You know it’s summer when the smell of sunscreen lotion replaces the scent of perfume. Although sunscreen or sun block should be used the whole year round, sunscreen becomes more of an essential during summer. After all, summer means more trips to the beach and outdoors. With that in mind, I decided to remind all you sun lovers out there about using sunscreen.
First off, what’s the difference between sunscreen and sun block? Well, sunscreen contain chemicals that absorb UV rays. They are also inconspicous on the skin. The chemicals that are most often found in sunscreens include PABA, Benzophenones, Cinnamates & Salicylates. Sunblocks reflect UV rays. Sunblocks are usually opaque white film, but nowadays, some companies create sunblocks that are almost invisible as well. Chemicals most common in sunblocks include Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. There are a lot of products in the market today that are combination sunblock and sunscreen. These products are actually superior since they protect the skin both from UVA & UVB rays.
Some tips on choosing and applying sunscreen:
Look for the highest SPF you can find. Although some say that anything over SPF 30 is superfluous, it never hurts to be extra careful. A higher SPF can also mean better protection if you don’t apply the right amount of sunscreen.
Apply the right amount of sunscreen. Always try to remember a teaspoon for your face and a tablespoon for each arm or leg.
Choose waterproof sunscreen. Even if you’re not going swimming, a waterproof sunscreen can protect you better especially on extra sweaty days. If you are going in the water, remember to reapply every hour.
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure.
For kids, try to look for a sunscreen that is hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Since their skin is more sensitive, make sure to choose one that is PABA free. You might also look for one that gets its UVA protection from a sunblock, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, since they can be less irritating than avobenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient.
Have a great summer!