Why sunscreen?

why sunscreen

Sunscreen is the most important product that every individual should use but often ignore by many people. One and only job of the sunscreen is to protect our exposed skin to the sun. This article completely explains the sunscreen, the effects of not using sunscreen, when to use, 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. Sunscreen, 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. 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. If we fail to use sunscreen, our skin will suffer from many impacts of the sun rays. 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 are the list of active ingredients of sunscreen that are acceptable. This list is provided by U.S. Food and Drug administration.

  • 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 sunscreen?

Sunscreens re 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 rays and neutralizes them on the top layer of the skin. Thus, prevents the penetrating of sun rays into the skin. Whereas, Physical sunscreen forms a protective layer on top of the skin. The protective layer reflects the sun rays, thus protecting our skin from sun damage. We can choose either of the sunscreen types. 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 sunscreen can leave a white cast on the skin. This white cast is due to the sunscreen active ingredients present in it. Thus, fair kin beauties can go for cream and lotion-based sunscreen. For Dark and dry skin, girls can prefer oil and butter-based formulated sunscreen, 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 sunscreen 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 of the sunscreen. They are Broad Spectrum and Sun Protecting Factor.

Broad Spectrum :

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

Sun Protecting Factor :

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

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

How to use sunscreen?

Generally, sunscreen 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 sunscreen for at least every 3 hours. There is no such thing as 12 hours of protecting sunscreen. 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 already available sunscreen residue before reapplying again.

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