Sun Protection 101: Understanding SPF and Sunscreen
SPF 15 versus SPF 50, chemical versus non-chemical… When it comes to sunscreen and SPF, there are plenty of questions to be answered.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help clear things up a bit.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a numbering system, which shows a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVB. While SPF 15 is a good choice for most people, some may need more; in that case, we recommend a non-chemical sunscreen of SPF 25 for face that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
If you have sensitive skin, are taking medication that could increase your sensitivity to the sun, or plan to have prolonged exposure to the sun, even the highest SPF won’t be enough to fully protect your skin from the visible signs of sun damage. In situations like these, your best defense is to wear a hat and protective clothing.
Benefits of Non-Chemical Sunscreen
When it comes to the type of sunscreen you choose, we recommend going the non-chemical route—such as “physical” blockers like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide—instead of chemical sunscreens. These not only help protect against sun damage, but also are less likely to cause breakouts and irritations.
And because they’re not able to penetrate your skin, non-chemical sunscreens stay on the surface and physically block the sun’s rays from entering.
The Problem with Chemical Sunscreen
Sure, the lighter formulation and easier application of chemical sunscreens may seem like the more appealing choice, but they’re more likely to cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin (particularly for acne-prone and sensitive skin). On top of that, chemical sunscreens can start to decompose in the presence of UV rays and lose their effectiveness. What does this mean for you? More time spent reapplying…or else risk leaving your skin more vulnerable to damage.
Oh, and let’s not overlook the fact that a number of studies indicate that chemical sunscreens can penetrate your skin, getting into your bloodstream and potentially harming your body.
With all of that being said, though, here’s one key thing to keep in mind—no matter which sunscreen you choose to go with, be sure to remove it thoroughly as soon as you come inside.
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