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Want to know cool interesting facts about sunscreen? This post will bring you interesting facts that you may be wondering about.
We have all heard the phrase “wear your sunscreens, every time and in all weather conditions”. Yes, not wearing sunscreen affects the skin negatively but how much should you apply, how should you use sunscreens with other skincare ingredients, and what is the best sunscreen for my skin type?
With all these burning questions, here are the top 10 interesting facts you should know before using sunscreen.
10 Interesting Facts About Sunscreen
Fact 1: What Is UV Radiation?
On a typical sunny day, both UVA and UVB light reach the earth. UVA is known to be more dominant but UVB is the main cause of skin cancer, sunburn, and hyperpigmentation because it acts on the epidermal layer of the skin and breakdown the skin’s DNA. UVB is usually at its peak within the time of 10 am to 4 pm
UVA, on the other hand, appears all year round. It penetrates through the glass even if you are sitting quietly in your room. It is the main cause of saggy and wrinkled skin because it goes deep into the skin to damage both collagen and elastin fibres.
That is why the use of broad-spectrum sunscreen is advisable. It protects against both UVA and UVB light
Fact 2: What Is SPF?
To know how sunscreen works, we would have to know what SPF means. SPF (Sun Protection factor) is the ability of sunscreen to delay sunburn. You must have come across so many sunscreens with this important claim ranging from SPF 4, 15, 30, 50, and so on. It gives you the measure of how long it takes to burn.
- SPF 4 – 50% Protection
- SPF 8 – 88% Protection
- SPF 15 – 94% Protection
- SPF 30 – 97% Protection
- SPF 50 – 98% Protection
Note: No amount of SPF is capable of giving 100% protection
Fact 3: Do I Have To Wear Sunscreen For Dark Skin?
The answer is simply YES because everyone is predisposed to the adverse effects of overexposure to the sun. However, some skin types are more vulnerable than others. So you need to check your Fitzpatrick Scale to find out what your skin type falls in. Fitzpatrick’s skin type explains which skin tone is likely to burn and which isn’t. To check your Fitzpatrick skin type, read how to determine your skin type
Fact 4: What Is The Difference Between Physical And Chemical Sunscreen?
Physical sunscreens are also known as barrier sunscreen, they scatter UV light, visible light, infrared light, and are mostly recommended under intense sunlight. They are generally great for sensitive and acne-prone skin types as they barely irritate the skin. You would mostly find Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, iron oxide in this type of sunscreen.
Physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin rather than being absorbed into the skin and because of this, they give off a white cast. The white cast is the downside of most physical sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation into the skin and then release it back as heat. You would mostly find chemical sunscreens mixed with other physical sunscreen ingredients to improve its efficacy. Since chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, they may disrupt hormone levels and can be found in urines. They may also cause acne and skin sensitivity. You would mostly find oxybenzone, avobenzone, cinnamates, and other physical sunscreens ingredients mixed together.
Since chemical sunscreens are absorbed, they are great for use as a primer, they sit well into the skin without any form of white cast. The downside is the hormone disruption and not a great option for children under 2 years.
Fact 5: How Long Does It Take For My Skin To Burn Without Sunscreen?
This answer depends on what your skin type and the UV index on the Fitzpatrick Scale. You can obtain your UV index from your local weather stations or EPA’s website. UV index range from 0 -11, with 0 meaning low, and 11+ meaning high.
Fact 6: How Much Sunscreen Should I Apply?
If you look at most sunscreen, they will write “apply liberally” and you are left with “what does liberally even mean?”.
Well, the general rule to apply sunscreen is by following the TEASPOON RULE per the skin’s surface. Meaning the whole skin must be covered up with approximately 30ml of sunscreen for adults. To apply this amount, the best advice is to use the size of a “shot glass” for the whole body and a quarter teaspoon for the face.
Fact 7: How Should I Apply Sunscreens?
If you are applying skincare products such as cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, ensure that the sunscreen is the last step of the skincare routine. This will ensure that you are not limiting the effectiveness of your sunscreen. If you are using chemical sunscreens, then apply it 20 minutes before you leave the house and reapply after swimming
Fact 8: Is My Foundation SPF Enough?
If you have a foundation with SPF in it, it is simply not enough to protect you from the sun. If you have to follow the teaspoon rule, then you would need about 11 pumps of foundation to cover your whole face. That would be too much and cakey.
So it is best to use sunscreens underneath then use makeup with SPF to protect your face further.
Fact 9: Will Sunscreen Deprive Me Of Vitamin D?
Sunscreen is not capable of providing 100% protection from sun radiation so the tiny amount of UVB that sunscreen does not shield us from is enough to synthesize Vitamin D. Although this depends on your skin type, the UV index, weather, and age. So it is always a good idea to supplement with vitamin D to have optimal vitamins for the skin. I would highly recommend you take vitamin D supplements instead of relying on the sun’s rays.
Fact 10: My Best Sunscreen Recommendations For Different Skin Types
For acne-prone/oily skin
For acne-prone or oily skin, you really want to avoid products that contain oxybenzone or chemical sunscreens in general because of how this type of sunscreen acts on the skin. Oxybenzone has been shown to cause skin allergens and since it can penetrate the skin, it can cause sebum oxidation leading to more breakouts.
For acne-prone skin, go for a sunscreen with a high amount of zinc oxide and rich in antioxidants. Zinc oxide is known to be beneficial due to its ability to heal and soothe the skin, it helps reduce redness.
for sensitive skin type
For sensitive skin types, you may go for sunscreens that include both physical and chemical ingredients in sunscreens or just physical sunscreens. Choose sunscreens rich in antioxidants.
for dry skin type
You can either use chemical or physical sunscreens that contain hydrating ingredients. Pick a sunscreen that is really mild, gentle and does not irritate the skin
Wearing sunscreens protects us from the damaging rays of the sun and it is important to wear sunscreens all year round. Whether it’s rainy or cloudy UVA still penetrates the skin. I hope this post has helped with how sunscreens work and knowing some interesting facts about sunscreen.