Sunscreen is an important skin care product and it provides many preventative benefits. When applied, you are protecting your skin against harmful rays from the sun, including UVA and UVB. These can cause conditions such as sunburns, premature skin aging such as dull, matte, tired looking skin, brown discolorations, broken capillaries, age spots, weather-beaten skin, wrinkles, and more. They complement other products such as anti-aging creams and lotions since they help prevent additional occurrences of brown spots and wrinkles.
SPF refers to sun protection factor. This term helps sunscreen users identify the amount of protection a product will provide against harmful UVB rays. With this rating, you can determine how long you will need to stay in the sun without experiencing sunburn. If you can stay in the sun for 15 minutes without protection, then a SPF of 10 will allow you stay in the sun 10 times that amount, or 150 minutes. Regardless of the rating, it is recommended that most products are applied multiple times instead of just once in the morning.
The two types of sunscreens are the traditional “chemical” products and the “chem-free” ones. Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients that include avobenzone to reinforce the skin. The ingredients work by aligning on your skin and then absorbing and neutralizing any incoming harmful UV rays. Chem-free sunscreens are considered “carbon free” because they substitute carbon-based active ingredients with one or two mineral based ingredients to protect your skin from UV. These minerals are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They help block and reflect the sun’s rays from contacting your skin.
Using sunscreen without following the recommended steps can significantly reduce your protection against the sun. Using half of a product with SPF 50 may actually provide you with protection of a product with SPF of 7. It is important to read the guidelines carefully before using any sunscreen product.