5 Features to Check While Buying Sunscreens for Safety

Sunlight is essential for your health. It helps your skin make Vitamin D necessary for normal bone function and good health. It is common to soak in the sun on the beach or by a pool. Though sunbathing is a good practice, environmental changes like the depletion of the ozone layer have increased the risk of skin exposure to UV radiation. 

Sunscreen is the best sun safety you can carry along with you. The chemical composition of sunscreen can protect your skin from sunburns. There are hundreds of sunscreens available. So how do you select the best sunscreen? Here are five features to check while buying sunscreens for safety. 

1. Sun Protection Factor 

Sun Protection Factor means SPF. You should know this acronym as you will find it mentioned on every sunscreen. It is the most crucial feature of your sun safety product. Sunscreens in the market have a varying concentration of SPF compounds. Therefore, the Sun Protection Factor is an important number that tells how effective the sunscreen is against blocking UV rays. Here is some general information about the SPF number and the level of protection.

  • SPF below 15 offers low protection, while SPF in the range of 15 t 29 offers medium protection.
  • SPF 30 to 49 offers high protection, while SPF above 50 offers very high protection. 

Dermatologists mention you should look for sunscreens with SPF of more than 30 to protect your skin. 

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2. Broad Spectrum 

Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet radiation, such as UVA and UVB. UVA rays have the longest wavelength, followed by UVB and UVC, which have shorter wavelengths. Most UVC radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, but UVA gets transmitted through the atmosphere, and your skin is more likely to absorb UVA in large quantities when in the sun. Also, a small quantity of UVB radiation reaches your skin. 

The broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Hence, you should look for broad-spectrum sunscreen for optimal skin safety in the sun. 

3. Water Resistance 

You are more likely to swim when sunbathing near a pool or a beach. Also, tropical weather can make you sweat, and hence you should look for a sunscreen with water-resistant properties. It will ensure the sunscreen protects your skin even after drenched in sweat or after a swim.

4. PABA Free 

PABA is short for Para-aminobenzoic acid. It is a naturally occurring chemical in the body and is also found in many food ingredients like meat, milk, grains, and egg. PABA can cause skin irritation and also stain your clothing yellow. Hence, you should look for a PABA-free sunscreen. 

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5. Types 

Sun protection creams are generally of two types – sunblock creams and sunscreen. The sunblock is a thick paste applied to your skin. You don’t need to rub sunblock as it remains on the skin’s surface. On the other hand, sunscreen is invisible as they penetrate the skin and offer protection. Sunscreens are available as lotions, sprays, and creams, and you need to rub them to facilitate their penetration into the skin. 

Sunburn is a health hazard, and every sunburn increases your chance of developing skin cancer. Medical experts mention having five or more sunburns doubles the risk of melanoma. Hence, you should choose your sunscreen carefully to avoid the risks. Focusing on the features mentioned in the post will help you select a sunscreen with the best sun protection.  

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