PM 2.5, UV rays and blue light that emits from screens of computers or smartphones can lead to wrinkles and premature aging.
Hence, working from home does not mean that you are protected from damaging your skin. When it comes to facial care, facial creams and cosmetic products are the first things that come to peoples’ minds.
In reality, the base of achieving a healthy and beautiful looking skin is sunscreen. Sensitive skin can have different meanings for different people, hence, choosing the right sunscreen can be tricky.
Applying sunscreen before going outside or even when you are constantly exposed to blue light is a step that should not be overlooked. Now, let’s start getting to know more about sunscreen.
The Definition of Sunscreen
Sunscreen is scientifically defined as a chemical that protects the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, the goal of any sunscreen is to help shield the skin from harm caused by exposure to the sun.
What You Need to Know About UV Rays
The two types of UV rays that affect your skin in different ways are UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates deep into the skin causing long-term damage such as aging and wrinkles.
On the other hand, UVB rays burn the top layer of the skin, causing immediate damage like sunburns and skin cancer in the long run.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This is a measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet UVB rays. Theoretically, using an SPF 15 can filter out up to 93% of UV rays. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the SPF when purchasing sunscreen.
- What SPF Should I Use?
- SPF 2 – 8 is best for using inside such as when at home or in the office
- SPF 30 or more is best for when going outside and exposed to direct sunlight
Different Kinds of Sunscreen
Today, sunscreen comes in many different types and kinds. Choosing the best type of sunscreen can make all the difference! In a tropical country like Thailand, waterproof sunscreens are highly beneficial in order to prevent the sunscreen from being washed away easily from sweat or water. Now, let’s have a closer look at each kind.
Easy to apply and great for outdoor enthusiasts and sportspeople. It’s convenient and easy to carry around. Bearing in mind that it is not recommended to spray directly to the skin but to first spray onto your hands then spread it out evenly.
This is suitable for dry skin. We recommend going for a condensed formula that also gives moisture to the skin hence, reducing skin water-loss. You can also treat your skin at the same time by using lotion sunscreen that is enriched with nutrients.
Similar to gel as it is ultra-lightweight. Great for oily skin as mousse sunscreen can easily absorb into the skin.
Recommended for dry skin and are often rich with nutrients to treat the skin. Suitable to apply when staying at home and during the day. That being said, it may not be the best type to apply with makeup as the cream texture especially when it is thick can cause eye irritation when you sweat.
Best for oily skin because it’s non-greasy and quick to absorb. Also suited for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Made especially for applying around eyes and eyelids. You can also find sunscreen sticks that have already been mixed with makeup. This makes it easy to use throughout the day.
What Are the Different Types of Sunscreen?
What differentiates a Chemical from a Physical sunscreen? In order to choose the right sunscreen, you have to first understand the differences between the types of sunscreen.
- Chemical Sunscreen: It is the most common type found on pharmacy shelves. These sunscreens contain active sun filters that penetrate the skin and absorb UV rays to prevent them from accessing the inner skin. Chemical sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin.
- Physical Sunscreen (Mineral Sunscreen): Similar to car filters. Physical sunscreens reflect UV radiation. The main active ingredients are the minerals filters such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are effective immediately without having to wait before facing the sun.
- Mixed Sunscreen (Hybrid Sunscreen): Also known as Hybrid Sunscreen is an innovation that brings together Chemical and Physical sunscreen. It has the ability to reflect and absorb UV rays in itself.
The lighter texture of chemical sunscreens makes it ideal for daily and facial use. Many chemical sunscreens are water-resistant and control the oiliness of the skin.
Physical sunscreens are safe for people with sensitive skin and better for those prone to heat-activated skin conditions.
Why is it Important to Wear Sunscreen?
Wearing sunscreen daily is an important step for healthy and youthful-looking skin. However, there are also certain drawbacks that should be noted.
- Reduces the risk of Skin cancer
- Helps protect against the visible signs of premature aging such as dark spots and wrinkles
- Protects your skin against the sun’s broad spectrum of harmful UV rays
- Keeps complexion even
- Help keep the skin smooth and healthy both in appearance and function
- Strengthens the skin and prevents the protein in the skin’s layer from being damaged.
- Can leave stains and marks on clothes
- Regular use of sunscreen may cause depletion in vitamin D protection. To avoid this, it is best to take vitamin supplements to ensure that there is enough Vitamin D in the body.
- Sunscreen may cause irritation, allergic reaction, and acne for those with sensitive skin
What are the Ingredients in Sunscreen?
In today’s world, sunscreens are developed with ingredients that are gentle to the skin and do not cause allergies and clogged pores.
An important step in choosing the right sunscreen especially for people with sensitive skin is, therefore, knowing what ingredient to look out for.
Sunscreens are getting more and more innovative with ultralight texture, nutrients, and added benefits. For instance, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are ingredients used in sunscreens to prevent clogged pores and minimize excess oil.
In contrast, sunscreens with fragrances such as lavender oil or citrus oil are known to cause irritation. For that reason, those with sensitive skin should look out for sunscreen formulas that are free of paraben and alcohol.
So Is it Sunscreen or Sunblock?
Before, we often heard people use Sunscreen and Sunblock interchangeably. In the skincare world, sunscreen refers mostly to facial sunscreen that penetrates the skin and absorbs the UV rays, also known as Chemical Sunscreen.
Whereas sunblock refers mostly to body sunscreen that reflects the sun’s rays from the skin, also called Physical Sunscreen. Today, according to the FDA all everything should be labeled as sunscreen.
We hope you now have a better understanding of the basics, the meaning, different types, and the importance of wearing sunscreen. Applying sunscreen is an important step for all ages and gender. Don’t forget to pack in your sunscreen before heading out of your home today!