Sunscreen cream is one way we can protect ourselves effectively from the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. You would have heard the buzzwords “Climate change”, “global warming” all of which are related with the depletion of the ozone layer. This has increased our risk of sun damage from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
The use of sunscreen cream blocks UV rays limiting excessive UV exposure, greatly reducing the likelihood of sunburn and skin cancer.
It has been made known that protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful rays can make you look much younger than not protecting it.
With the enormous benefits of using sunscreen cream, not all sun protection products are created equal. There are various kinds of sunscreen cream. What works for Naomi Campbell might not work for Kim Kardashian.
Skin type varies among individuals and is a great determinant on choosing the best type of sunscreen cream.
It can be difficult knowing exactly what to look for in a sunscreen cream. Hence, this sunscreen cream buying guide. Getting the correct information about sunscreen creams would help you choose wisely to meet your needs. You would become empowered with the right knowledge to give yourself the best protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
This sunscreen cream buying guide contains proper details about sunscreen creams preventing you from wrong information.
Forms Of Radiation
The sun puts out ultraviolet radiations that gets in contact with our skin. There is the ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. Understanding the difference between UVA and UVB rays would guide you when selecting a sunscreen cream protection.
Ultraviolet A Radiation
UVA light accounts for a lot of the ultraviolet light that reaches the skin. UVA rays are more dangerous than UVB rays. The reason is that a larger percentage of them reach earth’s surface. They are available in all weather and season conditions even when you see the sky is cloudy. You might be feeling the sun is not out yet and you are safe. B UVA rays are still present without the sun coming out.
UVA rays are silent killers of the sun. This is because you do not feel the effects of the harm it does on your skin. UVA rays reach deep into the skin, causing harm in every layer. They destroy the substances in the skin that keep the skin firm and elastic. UVA rays causes tanning; getting a tan is not painful until you get burnt.
You might be thinking you are protected in your house, office or as long as you’re not out in the sun. But UVA rays can penetrate glass. That is how powerful they are. Your skin is not safe from UVA rays in such scenarios except the glasses are made specially to ward off radiation from UVA.
Ultraviolet B Radiation
On the other hand, it seems the UVB radiation would not be as bad as the UVA radiation. But the UVB radiation is also powerful. UVB tends to damage the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer.
It is the radiation that causes sunburn and some other changes that you can clearly see on the skin’s surface. Take note: UVB radiation has a hand in the growth of skin cancers.
UVB radiation is equally present all year round, like the UVA radiation but UVB is more predominant in climates with lots of sun than in others.
It is necessary that you choose a sunscreen cream that blocks enough ultraviolet rays that will give your skin protection.
What You Would Find in Most Sunscreen Creams
To give a sunscreen cream some credibility, there are some terms to look out for. If you are already using one, then you may know what some of those terms mean.
However, if you are just about to buy one, then here are the meanings of some of the terms you may see. They are not rocket science. They just explain to you what you are getting into.
You may not see all of the terms but a good sunscreen cream should have most of them
1. SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
The sunscreen protection factor means the amount of Ultraviolet radiation that it takes a skin to get burn that is protected (using sunscreen cream) to the proportion it also takes to burn a skin that is not protected (without sunscreen).
SPF factors are rated on a scale from 2 to 50+. Take note, the higher the SPF number, the stronger the protection it offers. Most people use a minimum of SPF 30.
Look at this scenario. If you have a skin type that burns after 30 minutes without a sunscreen cream, a SPF 30 will do. It will give you 30 times more protection than a lesser SPF.
2. Broad Spectrum
In non-professional terms, broad spectrum tells you the product offers protection against Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays.
3. Chemical Sunscreen
If you find the term chemical sunscreen in a sunscreen product, it means it prevents damage to your skin’s chemical filters. These filters keep your skin from unduly absorbing excess UV radiation.
4. Mineral Sunscreen
They function by preventing the rays from the sun with substances such as zinc oxide. Mineral sunscreen is also called physical sunscreen.
Photo-stability tells you that the sunscreen cream does not lose its formation when it encounters sunlight.
6. Water Resistant
When a sunscreen cream is water resistant, it means it can still hold underwater. It would remain on your body for up to 40 minutes when you are exposed to water.
Non-comedogenic simply means the sunscreen won’t block your skin pores. Watch out for this word. It is an integral factor that you should take note of if you skin type is sensitive, oily or prone to acne.
Have you noticed colored spots that are dark or brownish on your skin? Such areas are usually exposed to sunlight and they include your arms, face, hands and so on. Other names associated with sunspots are age spots and solar lentigines.
Photo aging in a sunscreen cream is referring to the harm that is done on the skin by long exposure to both Ultraviolet and ultraviolet B radiation.
Antioxidants helps neutralizes the effects of the damaging agents that could have been used in sunscreen creams. They work to defend your skin from the sun radiation.
12. Chemical Filters
It acts to stop UV radiation from penetrating into your skin. Chemical filters are of various kinds; some protect against Ultraviolet A only. Some protect against Ultraviolet B only while and some offer protection against both.
Types of Sunscreen Cream
Variety is the spice of life, they say. There are different types of sunscreen cream available in the market. It is up to you to pick the one that suits you best.
Once-a-Day Sunscreen Cream
This sunscreen cream helps to protect you from the sun all day with only one application. While this is the claim of the manufacturers, it is advisable you follow the guidelines when it comes to application.
Water Resistant Sunscreen Cream
The water resistant sunscreen cream is for those who are regular users of the pool or sea. It offers protection from the sun radiation for users when they are in the water.
It is important to note that towel drying will clean off your sunscreen cream. Therefore, always remember to reapply.
Insect-repellent Sunscreen Cream
Insect-repellent sunscreen cream depends on the kind of environment. If you would be in a place where you think or know you would encounter insects, it is advisable to use the insect repellent sunscreen cream.
Facial Sunscreen Cream
Facial sunscreen creams are often moisturizers containing sun protection factor (SPF).
Factors to Consider When Buying a Sunscreen Cream
There are certain factors to look out for before purchasing a sunscreen cream. Such factors include:
Date of Manufacture
Sunscreen creams that are more recent in date of manufacture would work effectively. As the shelf life of the sunscreen cream reduces, the ingredients used tend to lose its efficacy.
Try to finish the old sunscreen cream before you consider getting a new one to avoid the new one waning out.
Warning, do not use products that are expired. You are doing yourself more harm than good.
You should go for reputable brands when making your choice on sunscreen creams. For sunscreen creams, brands are key to the value you would get. Do not just pick a sunscreen cream off the shelf; go for tested and trusted brands.
Be sure to check the ingredients used in a sunscreen cream before you buy one. If you are wondering where to find the ingredients, read the label. You would find the lists of ingredients used.
When selecting a sunscreen cream, ensure that your choice has Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B in the product. (We have discussed about them earlier on this article).
Avoid sunscreen creams with zinc oxides, as they would make your face look pale. Also, avoid sunscreen creams with alcohols and preservatives.
If you are confused with the terms, return to this article and read the session on terms associated with sunscreen creams.
The Type of Skin You Have
Not all sunscreen creams are suitable for the type of skin you have. There are those made specifically for people with sensitive, dry, oily skin.
It is advisable that people with oily skin use sunscreen creams that contain ingredients with silica.
People with sensitive skin should consider using hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, mineral sunscreen creams.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Again, check the sunscreen cream package and look for the SPF number. To get the best from your sunscreen cream, choose one that offers SPF 30 protection or higher. The reason is because the higher the SPF, the better.
Where would you be using the sunscreen cream , is it for sports or swimming actives. Different environment requires the use of a different sunscreen creams. Go back to the top of this article to check out again the various types of sunscreen creams.
Have you heard the saying that good things are expensive?
If a sunscreen cream is expensive, that does not mean it would be effective. Have a budget that you can stick to and select sunscreen creams that makes you comfortable rather than basing your judgement on price alone.
Tips to Get the Most from Your Sunscreen Cream
Getting a good sunscreen cream that meets your expectation is not just enough, how do you ensure that the cream remains effective. It is one thing to buy a sunscreen cream; it is another thing to apply the sunscreen cream properly.
Try out the tips listed below to get value for your money and prevent your skin from damage.
Add Sunscreen Creams into Your Makeup Routine
Some foundation products contain SPF. When shopping for make up products, look for products that offer you protect from the sun’s radiation.
One size does not fit it all when it comes to the use of sunscreen. Sunscreen creams are made to be used regularly and not a one-off item. The effectiveness of any sunscreen cream depends on you. Yes, you determine how it would produce results.
You should apply sunscreen creams to the visible areas of your body such as head, neck, arm, leg etc. Ensure you always apply your sunscreen cream to the areas of your body that are exposed. Do not do this once and feel you have done enough.
Put on Clean Skin
Apply your sunscreen cream from between fifteen minutes to half an hour prior to when you would step outdoors. This gives the sunscreen cream enough time to infiltrate into your skin. If you have to go out in a hurry, increase your sunscreen cream application.
Sunscreen creams should be stored properly at a temperature below 30 degree centigrade. When you expose your sunscreen cream to sunlight, it loses its effectiveness.
Put on Clothes that has a UVP
The term UVP simply means ultraviolet protection rating. No sunscreen cream guarantees 100% protection from the rays of the sun. Sunscreen creams are secondary protection against UV radiation.
It is ideal to choose clothes, caps and other protective materials properly. Choose clothes with dark colors and those with tightly woven fabrics. The reason is that they give more protection.
Protect yourself from the sun harmful radiation and you would glad you did.
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