As the temperature goes up and the sky gets sunnier, it’s time to whip out the sunscreen!
Today we are venturing down the skincare aisle and learning the basics of sunscreen! Our fav topic!
Let’s start off with the most basic question…What is sunscreen?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen is an important part of a complete sun protection strategy. It functions to decrease the risk of skin cancers and helps prevent premature skin aging!
Skin cancer affects 9,500 Americans yearly! Without sunscreen or taking the necessary precautions, issues like wrinkles, sunspots, actinic keratosis, and even eye problems may occur!
Sunscreen comes in many forms, such as lotion, spray, stick, and powder! Check out this video to see the coverage differences among these options! UV Camera Reveals the Best Way to Apply Sunscreen to Your Face
What happens if I don’t wear SPF?
Without using sunscreen or protective material, the melanocytes (what gives the skin its pigment) start to grow in an erratic way and may eventually develop into a skin cancer known as melanoma.
Some warning signs of melanoma include a change in the surface of a mole, redness or swelling, pain, or itchiness on the mole, etc. For more information on this cancer, visit the American Cancer Society website!
It affects lighter skin tones 20 times more than darker skin tones! The risks get higher as you age, so it may be helpful to start using SPF daily!
What is Chemical and Physical SPF?
There are two common types of sunscreens, chemical and physical (mineral). These two sunscreens perform differently on their own, the ingredients in chemical sunscreens take in the UV rays from the sun before it can harm the surface of the skin.
While the ingredients in physical sunscreens help block and break up the UV rays before they can damage the skin! Sounds like a superhero!
Is one better than the other?
They are both effective at protecting the skin, but it depends on what you want! This is where experimenting comes in! You can try out both and choose the one you find to be the most comfortable on your skin! Skin types play in a role in finding the best sunscreen for you, so keep that in mind if you have skin sensitives or similar issues!
When should SPF be worn?
Even on days when it is cloudy! Take CDC’s word for it, “Even if it’s cool and cloudy, you still need protection – UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage”. You read it here first, folks! Wear your sunscreen even on cloudy days!
What does SPF 15, 30, or 50 mean?
The numbers on the packaging are the percentage of how much protection the sunscreen has! Lets break it down shall we?
SPF 15 - 93% of protection.
SPF 30 – 97% protection.
SPF 50 – 98% protection.
As you can see, sunscreen does not 100% protect us from UV rays! That is why CDC recommends…
· Staying in the shade as much as possible,
· Wear protective clothing (long-sleeved shirt and pants),
· Wear hats that cover the face, ears, and the back of your neck.
· Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays.
Sunscreen is only an added step in the protection from the sun’s rays, be sure to not only depend on that! Keep in mind what CDC recommends to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from skin cancers and enjoy your time outside!