What You Need To Know About Sunscreen

If you’re planning a vacation, sunscreen must be on your shopping list. But, you can easily be confused with all those sunscreen options and ingredients. Here are a few basic things you need to know about sunscreens.

What are sunscreens exactly?

Sunscreens are products that combine several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s UV radiation from reaching the skin. There are two types for ultraviolet radiation – UVA and UVB. They increase the risk of skin cancer. Not all sunscreens are evenly effective in protecting you from these rays.

What are UVA and UVB?

Theory says that ultraviolet radiation is a part of the electromagnetic light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. These rays are invisible to our eyes, but they can cause skin damage, skin aging, skin cancer (UVA rays) and sunburns (UVB rays).

What is SPF?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. It takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, but with using an SPF 15 sunscreen, theoretically this period is prolonged 15 times over (for about five hours). Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB.

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