What is SPF Sunscreen?
Protect you Skin and Health
Ageing is inevitable but there is no need to speed it up. Prolonging the age process can be avoided by sticking to two simple rules:
– Wear sunscreen/sunblock and drink lots of water (2-2.2 Liters a day).
Drinking water is clear enough but sunscreen has been marketed to extraordinary lengths that it has left many confused. What nr rating to go for? How often to apply? Ingredients? etc. Let’s simplify it here.
Ultraviolet radiation: UVB vs. UVA
UVB rays are shorter and reaches more the surface and causes the carcinogenic effects of sunburn.
Due to UVA rays being longer it penetrates the skin deeper which creates wrinkles and sagging aka ageing. It is the main cause of skin cancer.
The other important difference between the two is where UVB damage shows red, UVA damage does not show until too late – cancer or ageing signs such as wrinkles.
It is a measure of the time it would take for you to sunburn (UVB rays that make your skin go red) without sunscreen. Sunblock (a protective paste, shade, clothing etc – think cricket players) will keep you completely from harm’s way concerning UVA rays.
Example – If it takes 25 mins before your go red then wear SPF30. This will then in theory prevent sunburn 30 times longer.
Difference in percentage of how much it blocks UVB rays:
Anything above this is purely marketing for it will only be marginally better. There is also higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals in the higher ratings then the lower. Whatever the rating, it should be applied every 2hrs.
Scientists and doctors recommendation: SPF30.
How to Use
*Apply 1 oz (a shot glass size) 30 minutes before exposed to sun to fully bind with skin and thereafter every two hours. Better off not skimping on sunscreen.
*Water resistant sunscreen – once out of the water reapply again after 60-80 minutes. Otherwise not effective anymore.
*It is stated: a full day on beach = 3-4 oz of sunscreen.
* Use on cloudy days (including the winter). 40% UVB/UVA rays still reaches through.
Most sunscreens these days have a long list of ingredients but it is always good to know which ones to look out for and are the most common used for protection.
Protection against UVA spectrum – titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is needed. Other notable ingredients: ecamsule, avobenzone, benzophenones (such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone). Ensure at least one of these are included in your sunscreen.
UVB absorption: PABA derivatives, salicylates, and/or cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamte and cinoxate)