Is sunscreen really that important?

One of the biggest and the most delicate organs in our body is our skin. Skin is the only part that is being constantly exposed to UV rays that can harm and make the body create mutations on the skin in order to protect it. Daily direct exposure to sunlight without UV protection also makes the skin age faster and raises skin cancer risk.

Keeping your skin protected from UV rays should be a top priority for all generations and genders. It should not matter if you are a male, a female, or anything in between.

For all of those who think that our daily dose of sunlight cannot do much damage to our skin, let us break it down for you. The sunlight consists out of two UV rays, the UVA and the UVB rays. Both of these rays are responsible for premature aging, moles, burns, and other similar conditions that may happen to your skin. When a UVB ray gets in the contact with your skin, it damages all of the important cells in the epidermis while making them stop creating collagen.

On another note, collagen is a substance responsible for smooth and elastic skin. The lack of it is being reflected in the appearance of wrinkles, which is exactly why premature aging can happen at a very young age.
And this is just a small portion of what UV rays can actually do to our skin. Many other harmful things could happen to the skin due to contact with UV rays. Those may include burns, changes in pigmentation, sagging, and even melanoma.

The only product that can stop UV rays from reaching our skin is a good quality sunscreen with a high protection SPF factor.

• Sun protection in dependence of skin tone

One of the most popular myths in the modern age is the one saying that people of color should not use sunscreen. People with darker skin tone should use sunscreen as much as people with lighter skin, and here is the reason why.
People with darker skin tone are known for being a little more resistant to the sunlight than those with lighter skin. It is just a way a darker skin reacts to the sunlight, but that does not mean that sunscreen is not necessary. Darker skin is also susceptible to create wrinkles, acne, burns, and develop melanoma due to the frequent and high sunlight exposure without proper protection.

To protect your skin, no matter the skin tone, sun-protective clothing is the simplest way to stay safe; unlike sunscreen, you never need to reapply! With clothes containing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+, you will get excellent protection. UPF 50+ clothes can block around 49/50 rays from reaching your skin and causing uneven pigmentation, sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer.

• Different types of sunscreens

There are two types of sunscreens available, physical sunblock and chemical sunscreen. The key difference between these two is in the composition.

PHYSICAL SUNBLOCKS usually possess mineral ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Once the Physical sunblock is applied, it will sit on top of the skin and will reflect most of the sun’s rays. Physical sunblock is also called “mineral sunscreen,” since these 2 ingredients are natural minerals.

On the other hand, CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS contain active ingredients like Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Oxybenzone. All these ingredients are synthetic. Once the cream is applied, UV rays that get in the contact with your skin will be transformed into heat, nothing is reflected. After that, the collected heat is being naturally released from the skin.

In conclusion, we can say that one huge difference between these two types is that one is repelling UV rays, while the other one is absorbing them and transforming them into heat.
There are pros and cons to both types of sunscreen.

Physical sunblock:

• Is less irritating and great for sensitive skin types.
• All physical sunscreens are broad spectrum.
• Is Less Environmentally Damaging
• Is more moisturizing, which can feel heavy on the skin.
• Some brands are difficult to fully blend into the skin.
• Some brands can leave behind a chalky, ashy residue on black and brown skin tone.

Chemical sunscreen:

• Is more lightweight,
• Is more aesthetically pleasing,
• Is much cheaper.
• Has a high risk of irritation.
• The heated skin can cause an increase in existing brown spots.
• When you swim with sunscreen on, sunscreen’s chemicals can kill coral and damage coral reefs.

Studies indicate that chemical sunscreens can act as endocrine disruptors, and the most prominent chemical actives—Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octinoxate—will absorb into the bloodstream after a single application.

Research have shown that chemical ingredients, particularly oxybenzone, can be detrimental to our ocean’s coral reefs. While no sunscreen is proven to be 100% reef-safe, physical sunscreens have not yet been found to harm corals.

To determine which sunscreen is better for yourself, the first thing to consider is the type of your skin. We will speak more about this in our next article.

Great brands to check out if you are interested in physical sunscreen are Weleda Edelweiss Sunscreen Lotion, Paiskincare, GreenPeople, True Natural Caribbean Coconut, Jason Mineral Sunscreen, Beauty by Earth Sunscreen, Badger, REN Clean Skincare.

• In conclusion

The best advice that we could give you is to be very careful while choosing sunscreen for yourself, your kids, or your loved ones. Since sunscreen should be reapplied every two-three hours, you certainly want to use a product that contains skin-friendly ingredients.

This is just the beginning, there is still more information that we will bring about sunscreens. So, stay tuned for our next article where we will continue discussing sunscreens for all skin types from dry to combination skin, talking about the DIY sunscreens, and making the subject more interesting by further discussing other sunscreen types.