9 Facts About The Sunscreen You Should Know
Sunscreen is a cream or lotion that is applied on your skin to protect it from direct exposure to sunlight. It creates a chemical or physical barrier between the skin and the sun rays that absorbs the ultraviolet radiations. These prevent your skin from disorders that result due to sun damage. Thus, it is important to smear sunscreen on your face.
Specially formulated sun protection creams prevent sunburns and formation of rashes and blisters. Sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging tool. Sun rays lead to loss of collagen causing wrinkle formation and other aging signs.
1. Sunscreen Life-span
Unlike many cosmetics, SPF is formulated to be effective for three years. Thus, it is important for you to check the expiry date before purchasing the product. You can detect expired product through the scent, texture or color change.
Expired sunscreen will cause harm to your screen. To maintain its efficacy for the 3 years, you should store it properly in a cool, dry place. Make sure it has its lid on it throughout. Factors such as excess heat will accelerate the clumping and separation process making it ineffective.
2. Focus on Other Areas Too
Various areas other than the sun, makes your skin be vulnerable to skin cancer. It is important to apply sunscreen everywhere; especially the ears, scalp, fingers and toes, to prevent your skin from sun damage. Apply a lip balm with SPF 15 to protect them from the sun rays.
3. The Labels on the Product
You should read the labels on the product before purchasing it. This is to ensure that it has the desired qualities. It is important to be aware of wrong labeling of products. Look for those products that have been approved by Consumer Reports. Some companies also indicate inaccurate data on the contents present. Checking the labels will give you a chance to identify some of the ingredients that can cause allergy and disrupt hormones.
4. Ideal SPF Level
SPF level indicates how many more times you can stay in the sun without burning, than you could without the sunscreen. You should go for those products with the SPF around 30 since it blocks about 97% of sun rays. Upgrading to SPF 50 or 100 is not more effective because it only makes a difference of 1% or 2%. FDA regulates a SPF level of not more than 50 in all sunscreen for face.
5. Be aware of Chemical and Physical Formulas
Both formulations are slightly different from each other and they play different roles. Physical sunscreen forms a physical barrier that refracts the sun rays. They contain mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin where they form a chemical barrier. They contain organic compounds that react with the sun rays and release them in form of heat.
It is advisable to use both of them; however, for those with sensitive skin, it is recommendable to use sunscreens with natural minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide.
Read More: Sunscreen: Not Enough To Protect Skin From Cancer
6. Misleading Terms
FDA regulates the sunscreen products since they are sold as over-the-counter drugs. The board ensures that the products are effective and safe to use. They have declared words such as “waterproof”, “all day” protection and “sweat-proof” to be illegal. For instance, even if a product is water-proof, it wears out as the days goes by. Stating its waterproof capability might prevent others from reapplying it frequently. Instead, they can talk of water-resistant and indicate the frequency at which you are supposed to reapply it.
Some companies mislead their customers on the effectiveness of their products. Some claim that their products have broad spectrum protection while as they can only protect you from UVB rays. They also regulate the information that is to be contained in the labels. This includes whether the sunscreen:
- Offers broad spectrum protection.
- Has the standard level of SPF.
- Has an alert on skin aging or skin cancer.
- Is water-resistant or not.
7. Efficacy of Sun Factor Protection (SPF)
UVA rays account for around 95% of the sun rays and they penetrate deeper into your skin while the UVB ray occupies the remaining 5%. The SPF protects your skin from the UVB rays only which are associated with sunburns. UVA rays are associated with skin cancer, skin aging and free radicles that damage your skin. The broad-spectrum sunscreen contains antioxidants that hinder the activity of the free radicles and prevent premature aging. You can also use those that contain zinc oxide as their main ingredient because they are effective in filtering UVA rays.
8. The Frequency and the Amount you are Applying
You should apply the correct amount of sunscreen to ensure full coverage. This is especially for mineral sunscreens which are thicker in appearance. You should put on the sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. It wears out after about two hours thus, it is necessary to reapply it frequently when staying outside for long durations.
9. The Ingredient Content
It is important to check on the ingredients that make up the product. Some such as oxybenzone cause hormone disruption, allergy and are carcinogenic in your body while others such as Avobenzone and Mexoryl are important in blocking the UVA rays.
Retinol, a moisturizing antioxidant, can trigger cancerous lesion and tumors. Some of the ingredients that are important are; antioxidants which prevent the action for free radicles.
- Zinc oxide and titanium oxide
10. Don’t use Sun Screen on Babies younger than Six Months
Infants have unique anatomical differences as compared to adults. They are skin is sensitive, thin and the acidity levels are low and therefore it would be a bad idea to use sunscreen on them. Babies need to be physically protected from the sun by staying out of the sun or using external barriers such as umbrellas.
Enjoy having a cool time in the sun without having to worry about your skin. This is only if you take caution on the mentioned facts about sunscreens. Sun is inevitable, thus, you should take care of your skin. Drink plenty of water and take healthy diets in order to maintain a healthy, glowing skin. You should also protect your hair with SPF products.