Importance of Sunscreen/SPF/ Sunblock during summer (or throughout the year)

Suns out, blue skies, hair up, denim shorts, bright colours, sunnies on, concerts and ice-creams..oohhh don’t we all just love the summer vibes!

As fun as it sounds to be out in summer, don’t forget to apply your sunscreen!

The sun is one of the most important sources of energy as it is the prime source of most of the energy found on earth. The sun gives us Vitamin D, it keeps us warm, gives us sunlight, helps plants grow and a lot more. Sun exposure is good and it is a basic necessity in our lives.

However, having an overexposure of the sun can be harmful to our skin due to the focused contravention of the depletion in the ozone layer which releases the ultraviolet (UV) rays. Thus, promotes several skin damages such as sunburn, aging and skin cancer. There are two types of UV rays, one is called UVA and the other is called UVB. These rays are separated by different wavelengths and both are harmful to our skin. The UVB causes the skin to burn whereas, UVA causes tanning and aging. Therefore, applying sunscreen onto your skin should be a year-round preventive health measure.

When in doubt, always wear your sunscreen! Regardless of your skin colour, tone or type!

Here are the reasons why should you apply sunscreen/ sunblock / SPF (Sun Protector Factor):-

1)     It protects the skin from the harmful UV rays

The ozone layer acts as a sun shield for the earth by absorbing harmful UVB rays before they reach the ground. However, as the ozone layer depletes, the risk of sun damage from the harmful UV rays increases and your body would need added protection from these harmful rays. The sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as recommended by the doctor, blocks these rays by reducing the likelihood of sunburn.

2)     It lowers the risk of developing deadly skin cancer

Applying sunscreen daily, even when it is cloudy or raining, dramatically decreases your risk of contracting skin cancer. Therefore, make sure to include it in your daily skincare routine!  

3)     It prevents the skin from the likelihood of aging

Sun damage from the UV rays causes premature aging of the skin, which is of a thick, leathery-looking skin that contributes to lines, sagging, and wrinkles. By wearing sunscreen, you are slowing down the development of wrinkles and leathery skin.

4)     It helps to maintain an even skin tone.

Applying sunscreen prevents skin discoloration and dark spots from sun damage, helping you maintain a smoother and more even skin tone.

 

Wondering what exactly is the difference between sunscreen vs sunblock?

Sunscreen, which is made of chemical ingredients, absorbs into your skin where it consumes the harmful UV rays when they penetrate your skin. 

Sunblock, which is made of mineral ingredients, remains on top of the skin and reflects the UV rays away. 

 

1) Protection

As talked about in the opening, sunscreen absorbs into your skin where it absorbs the harmful rays when they penetrate your skin.  Sunblock is different in that it remains on top of the skin and reflects the UV rays away.

Because sunscreen absorbs into the skin, this is why it is important to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure, so that the chemicals in the sunscreen have an opportunity to absorb into your skin.

Sunblock sunscreens that remain on the surface are ready to protect you much faster after application than traditional sunscreens are.  To be safe, it’s always important to prepare before you enter the sun, even if you are using a sunblock product that reflects the UV rays.

2) Chemicals vs Minerals

Sunscreen is a chemical-based product.  There’s a long list of chemicals that are used as ingredients in sunscreen.  As with any chemical-based product, it is best if you do research beforehand to find out if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.  If you have purchased sunscreen, before using it over your entire body, test it on a small part of your skin to make sure it doesn’t cause a reaction in your skin.

Sunblock is a mineral-based product.  Mineral-based sunblocks are usually made of either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  These products are considered by many experts to be a better option because they don’t have the same harsh chemicals that are in sunscreens. Try Avialla UV Sun Protection with SPF 55 that blocks UV damage to help prevent future spots from forming.

3) The Sensitivity of Your Skin

The sensitivity of your skin may play the biggest role in determining whether sunscreen or sunblock is better for you.  My advice would be to test a little of both types of products to see which one seems to react better with your skin.

In general, sunblock is considered to be easier on your skin not only because it doesn’t contain chemicals, but also because it sits on the surface of your skin instead of absorbing into your skin.  But obviously everyone’s skin is unique so it would be best to contact your dermatologist and see if they have a recommendation for your personal needs.

There is always serious debate in the sunscreen protection community between sunscreen protection and the possible harmful effects of the chemicals inside of sunscreens.  If you’re like me, sometimes these types of debates just end up spinning you around in circles.

If you are here, it’s because you want protection.  And I understand that and can relate to that.  As some say, the best type of sunscreen is the type you will wear.  So never underestimate the importance of protecting yourself from harmful sun exposure.

Deciding what is best for you is a question you will need to pose to your doctor if you have concern. But as a general rule, I do myself try to avoid harmful chemicals as much as reasonably possible.  Because of this, I try to use mineral-based sun protection.

The lengthy debate and warning of chemical-based products across all industries has been talked about for decades.  If you have reservations, contact your doctor and do some personal research on specific chemicals to see what you think.

But it is always important to remember that unprotected sun exposure is never a good thing.  Try to find a product that works for you.  There are a lot of options, between sunscreens and sun-protective clothing.

 

4) Which Works Better with Makeup?

Okay.  Let’s talk practicality for women.  Because sunscreen absorbs into the skin, it tends to be much easier to combine with makeup regimens than sunblock.

Although some makeup may contain SPF, remember that you need broad-spectrum protection, not just SPF-based protection.  Broad-spectrum sun protection will guard you against both UVA and UVB rays, whereas SPF-only products will just protect you against UVB rays.

Sunblock protection, which sits on top of your skin and reflects harmful UV rays, has come a long way over the years.  Remember the nostalgic pictures of times past where lifeguards sat with white cream pasted all over their noses?  That was sunblock.  Nowadays, there are many sunblock options that are much smoother, and don’ leave a white cast.  So, if you want a chemical-free sun protection option, but don’t want it to affect your makeup,  try our best recommendation of Avialla UV Sun Protection with SPF 55. Click here to shop now!

 

5) Rosacea and Redness from Heat Absorption 

Do you suffer from rosacea or redness in your cheeks and face when you get overheated?  If the answer is “yes”, then mineral-based sunblock could be a better option for you.  Sunblock sits on top of your skin and deflects the sun light, therefore also deflecting the heat from absorbing.

Chemical-based sunscreens absorb into your skin where they then consume the UV rays as they penetrate your skin.  At that point, they convert those harmful rays into heat, which can cause flushing in your cheeks and skin.

6) Water Resistance 

Despite its importance, water resistance for sun protection is often neglected by consumers.  Whenever you are planning for sun exposure, you need to determine if you will be in the water and/or if you will be sweating a lot.

Water itself can wash away sunscreen, but often what happens is a person swims and then towel dries when they leave the water, wiping away not only the water but also the sunscreen.  The same can be said for sweating.  A person will wipe away sweat, also at the same time wiping away the sun protection.

Sunblock, because it sits on top of the skin, tends to be a bit easier to wipe away.  So if you choose a mineral-based sunblock that sits on top of the skin, be sure to re-apply often if you are sweating or in and out of water.

With that said, applying sunscreen not only during summer but on a  basis throughout the year regardless of your skin colour, age or the weather of the place you are at, isn’t just an ordinary skincare routine but an important preventive health care habit that should be maintained all year.