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June 30, 2022
Gone are the days when we only thought about sunscreen when heading to the beach or on a tropical vacation. We’ve all heard it said that we need to protect our skin whenever we go outside regardless of the season or temperature. It’s important and if you’re not using regular sun protection then you are setting your skin up for serious harm. No matter who you are or where you’re from, sun protection is necessary.
There are many different varieties of sunscreen to use and the choices could be a bit daunting. There are creams and lotions, as well as sprayables in pumps and aerosols. They even come in stick format. With so many choices come lots of questions. We’ll answer a few of those right here.
What does SPF stand for? SPF means Sun Protection Factor. It is a measure of how much solar energy (UV radiation) is required to produce a sunburn on protected skin. The higher the SPF number in the product the better the protection.
Does a higher SPF number mean I can stay in the sun longer? No, not really. There are several factors to consider, mainly the intensity of the sun at a given time. The sun’s rays are less intense at 8:00 in the morning than they are at 1:00 in the afternoon. The type of day also plays a factor. Is it cloudy, raining or cloudless with full sun?
What’s the difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen? Both types are applied topically to your body, however the physical sunscreen contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These cause the UVA/UVB rays to bounce off your skin. These are the types that tend to leave a whit-ish cast to your skin as they cannot be rubbed in entirely. The chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone. These act like a sponge that absorb the sun’s rays.
This gives you a bit of information to help you make wise decisions about your skin and sun protection. We’ll continue our sun series next time with a few more questions and answers.
Disclaimer: We are not medical officials, and do not make any claims. The information provided above id for information purposes only and used at your own risk. If you have more questions, please consult your doctor or health care provider.
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