Sunscreen Summer routines are here, which means sunnier days, spending more time outside, and remembering to apply sunscreen. SPF is one of the most important steps in any skincare routine and should be worn by everyone no matter their skin type. Every day we are exposed to the sun in one way or another and our skin needs to be protected from its harsh and damaging rays (UVA & UVB).
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Protecting Your Skin
Adding SPF to your daily routine is simple and should be the last step after moisturizer. The benefits of protecting your skin every day can protect you from many different health risks. Not only does it prevent you from getting sunburns but also aids in preventing skin cancer. The biggest excuse for not using sunscreen is because of wanting to tan. Health professionals say that protecting your skin to help avoid cancer outweighs the risk of wanting tanned skin.
The number one thing that will age your skin is the sun’s UV rays causing premature aging like wrinkles, sun spots, and saggy skin. Excess sun exposure over time can cause your skin to lose its elasticity. Using SPF also can assist in the anti-aging process.
The sun has three different types of rays but our skin only needs to be protected from two. Sunscreens used to protect from one or the other. UVA sunscreen would provide benefits from anti-aging while UVB was for preventing sunburns. Most sunscreens now protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. You can find this sunscreen by looking for the words ‘broad spectrum’ on the label.
UVC rays are still a concern on an environmental scale but the ozone layer is what protects us from the radiation of these rays. But it is vital to know that the ozone layer stays intact when we do our part in making eco-conscious decisions.
Types of Sunscreen and Sunblock
There are two types of sunscreen on the market which are mineral and chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreen otherwise known as physical sunscreen is zinc-based and better for the environment. This eco-friendly sunscreen screen sits on top of the skin which means you can go have fun in the sun right away without having to wait for it to activate. Chemical sunscreen sinks into the skin which takes 15 minutes after application to be effective for UV ray protection. Hawaii has a ban on all chemical sunscreen because of its threat to wildlife. Ingredients to look out for that are harmful are avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone.
What is SPF?
Sun protection factor also known as SPF goes on a scale from 5 to 100. Each level of SPF protects at a different percentage from harmful UV rays. At SPF 15 you are only protected from 93% of UV rays while SPF 30 has the protection of 97%. Most people think that a higher SPF is better, right? This is not exactly all it is cracked up to be since SPF 100 shields 99% of UV rays. Your best bet is to go with SPF 50 which is 98% and is easier to lather onto the skin. Another misconception is that a higher SPF will keep your skin protected for longer periods of time. SPF does not protect your skin by time, but by how effective it is by blocking UV rays. A general rule to stick to is reapplying every two hours at any SPF level.
Sunscreen is a must-have product that is important for your health and should be worn year-round. Society has made tanned skin to be desirable, but spending hours in the sun with little to no skin protection can be harmful to your health. There are other ways to keep your skin protected such as UV clothing and hats but sunscreen is your best bet for staying safe.