Why sunscreen?

why sunscreen

Sunscreen is the most important product that every individual should use but often ignore by many people. The only job is to protect our exposed skin from the sun. This article completely explains the sunscreens, the effects of not using it, when to use it, and how to use it.

What is sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a cream or gel formulated product that is generally categorized under skincare essentials by a dermatologist. Sunscreens, when applied to the skin forms a layer on the skin and prevents from entering harmful sun rays.

Why do we need sunscreen?

Sunscreen is not a fancy product. Above all, It is a must product to use by everyone. It works as a barrier and protects our skin from being affected by harmful sun rays. But If we fail to use it, our skin will suffer from many impacts of the sun’s rays. Also If our skin was continuously exposed to the sun, it leads to sunburns, pigmentation, rashes, suntan, irritation. Studies have proved that continuous exposure of bare skin to the sun can also lead to skin cancer. So it is necessary to apply proper sunscreen before we step out of the home.

What does a sunscreen contain?

Here is the list of acceptable active ingredients. This list is provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Such as

  • Aminobenzoic acid
  • Avobenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Meradimate
  • Octocrylene
  • Octinoxate
  • Octisalate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Padimate O
  • Ensulizole
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Trolamine salicylate
  • Zinc oxide

What are the types of sunscreens?

Sunscreens are widely classified into two different types.

  • Chemical Sunscreen
  • Physical Sunscreen

As you can see in the image, Chemical sunscreens form a layer on the skin. It reacts with the sun’s rays and neutralizes them on the top layer of the skin. Thus, prevents the penetrating of sun rays into the skin. Whereas, Physical sunscreens form a protective layer on top of the skin. The protective layer reflects the sun’s rays, thus protecting our skin from sun damage. We can choose either type. But make sure to apply at least 20 minutes before stepping out to the hot sun.

There are many forms of sunscreens available in the market. We have to choose them according to our skin type. Oily skin people should choose gel and stick based sunscreens. Cream and Lotion based sunscreens can leave a white cast on the skin. This white cast is due to the sunscreen’s active ingredients present in it. Thus, fair skin beauties can go for cream and lotion-based sunscreens. For Dark and dry skin, girls can prefer oil and butter-based formula, as it does not leave a white cast on the face. Oily skin people should avoid cream, oil, and butter-based sunscreens as it can create acne on the skin and make the skin more dull and oily. Here I have mentioned few available forms of sunscreens in the market.

  • Lotions
  • Creams
  • Sticks
  • Gels
  • Oils
  • Butters
  • Pasters
  • sprays

How to choose a sunscreen?

Here are the two important things that we need to consider while determining the effectiveness. They are Broad Spectrum and Sun Protecting Factor.

Broad Spectrum :

Broad Spectrum protects to or skin from the sun’s Ultra Violet rays. This gives protection from both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

Sun Protecting Factor :

Sun Protecting Factor, generally termed as SPF is valued by a number that denotes the effectiveness against UVB rays. People living in the hot region require an SPF of 30. Here is the list of Sun protection percent concerning SPF.

SPF% of Protection
1593 %
3097 %
5098 %
10099 %
SPF Vs % of Protection

How to use sunscreen?

Generally, sunscreens should be used on all the exposed parts of the skin while going out in the sun. A proper sunscreen, that suits our skin type and or environmental factors should be chosen.

When to use sunscreen?

Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before stepping out to direct the sun. If we are exposed to the sn for a longer time, we need to reapply for at least every 3 hours. There is no such thing as 12 hours of protecting sunscreens. It is better to reapply and protect our skin from harmful UV rays from the sun. People who are involved in swimming and sports activities can wipe off the already available residue before reapplying again.

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