We are strong believers that sun cream is the best product you can ever add to your skin routine. It bring s a lot of benefits. It blocks UV light from penetrating your skin and damaging it. However, in Western countries, we still struggle to use sun cream every day.
So let’s go through the essential information about sunscreens and how to SPF every day.
It is hard to start a topic without going through the basis of sun exposure. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC
UVC is blocked by the ozone layer and there is no need for you to worry about it.
UVA makes up about 95% of the UV light. It is the most dangerous type of ultraviolet light. You cannot feel UVA penetrating your skin. UVA rays cause genetic damage and speed up the process of aging.
Even during a cloudy or a rainy day, UVA are strong. In addition, UVA can be reflected by water, snow, or even sand. If you’re indoors you’re still being exposed to UVA light.
UVB strength can vary by the time of day. UVB causes sunburns and hyperpigmentation.
SPF & PA
There are two main ratings that are used to determine the level of sun protection. The SPF called also Sun Protection Factor and the PA.
Sun protection factor (SPF)
The SPF indicates the protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays.
The lowest amount of SPF recommended by dermatologists for daily use is SPF 30. However, we always recommend using the highest SPF50. It is also very important to provide the skin with broad-spectrum protection you will have to look for protection against UVA rays.
UVA protection (PA)
The PA rating system was introduced in Japan. It focuses only on protection against UVA rays, and not UVB rays. Always check the PA rating as well.
|PA+||Some UVA Protection|
|PA++||Moderate UVA Protection|
|PA+++||High UVA Protection|
|PA++++||Very High UVA Protection|
SPF vs PA
Both, SPF and PA are very important. While SPF is focusing on protecting the skin from sunburns, the PA is to protect you against the more harmful UVA rays. These can cause cellular damage and speed up ageing. Hence, we always recommend looking for sunscreens with broad-spectrum as they provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Chemical vs Physical sun cream
In general, sunscreens split into two categories: chemical and physical.
Physical sun creams (also known as mineral)
There are two main physical sunscreen ingredients: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. They reflect or disperse UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens with these ingredients are usually much gentler on the skin. They are usually recommended for those with extra sensitive skin.
Something to consider is that Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide may leave a white cast because of the nature of the ingredients. Hence, they may not be suitable for dark skin tones.
Chemical sunscreen (aka synthetic)
The most common chemical sun creams are containing Octisalate, Avobenzone, Homosalate, and Octinoxate. The chemical sun cream absorbs by the skin. It eliminates the negative impact of UV by converting them into heat.
Chemical sunscreens don’t leave a white cast. They have lighter, more liquid textures. They gentle as physical sunscreens and can be sensitizing for those with extra-sensitive skin. As the chemical sun creams do not leave a white cast in general, they will be suitable for people with dark skin tones or those who do not like to wear makeup and do not like any residue on their skin.
Check our selection of sun creams here.
Do you SPF every day?