Recent studies have shown that most people have no basic information about sunscreen when it comes to how much you should use, when you should use it, and whether it expires or not.
Sunscreen is divided into physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. The physical sunscreen is cheaper than the chemical one, and it usually reflects the sun. Zinc and titanium oxide are the two primary ingredients used in physical sunscreens to protect the skin.
They are usually found in sensitive skin and baby sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun rays. Dermatologists recommend beachgoers and tourists to purchase an SPF 30 sunscreen. SPF comes from sun protection factor, and it represents the level of protection provided by products.
For example, SPF 15 sunscreens block 93 percent of the ultraviolet rays, whereas SPF 30 products block 97 percent of the UV rays. A higher SPF provides only a little additional protection.
UV rays are divided into UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are shorter but more common than UVA rays, and they are usually the ones causing sunburns. On the other hand, UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays, and they penetrate the skin deeper, meaning that they increase the risk of skin cancer.
Doctors strongly recommend people to look for products which have the “broad spectrum” label because these provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This information is essential for tourists who want to enjoy some quality time on the beach.
According to Dr. Liz Farhat, Allina Health dermatologist, people should make sure to use sunscreen properly and to cover all exposed areas. Regarding the expiration date, manufacturers advise people to discard the products after three years.
Dr. Farhat underlines that the chemical ingredients from sunscreen products become ineffective after three years. Sunscreen sprays are not that efficient because they do not cover all areas. You need to rub it very well to make sure that you are protected against the UV rays.
Also, sprays are not recommended for children because they can inhale the chemical ingredients which might be harmful to them. Dermatologists recommend people to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure to make sure that the product is efficient.
Other valuable information consists of the fact that no sunscreen is waterproof regardless of what is written on the label. It should be reapplied at every two hours, after swimming, or excessive sweating.
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