The majority of us have done it. We spend a wonderful day in the sun, only to wake up the next morning “burning” all over. Not only does this look – and feel – terrible, it’s harmful to your health! Your solution: sunscreen or sunblock. Here’s what you need to know to stay sun safe.
You’ll see these three letters – followed by a number – on any bottle of sunscreen that pick up, but do you know what it actually means?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is the measure of the sunscreen’s capability of shielding you from Ultra-Violet light, specifically UVB, which is the light that burns skin. The number on the bottle (e.g. 15; 30; 50) is very important to consider. The Skin Cancer Foundation explains “If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours.”
Sunscreen vs Sunblock
Sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce (not prevent) the amount that reaches your skin.
Sunblock contains ingredients that physically block the sun (both UVA and UVB). You’ll see that it’s often much thicker than a sunscreen, as it forms an actual barrier over your skin.
Look for Titanium dioxide or Zinc oxide as the main ingredient. This may be a better choice for your family if you have anyone with sensitive skin.
It’s important to note that the majority brands of lotion are a combination of sunscreen and sunblock, so if you’re looking for a true sunblock, take a look at our selection of sun-protection products.
The truth is that most products are a combination of both sunblock and sunscreen, so read the ingredients carefully if you battle with sensitivity.
WARNING: If you don’t use a sun-protection product, you are more susceptible to skin cancer. Please make sure that you purchase a sunblock or sunscreen that does NOT contain vitamin A as this increase your risk of the very skin cancer that you want to prevent.
So, please, enjoy the summer sun, but make sure you’re protected!
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