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How To Choose The Correct Sunblock

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 @ 12:52 PM

Tags: sunblock, suncare, sunscreen

Protecting our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays is absolutely necessary in the prevention of premature aging, sun damage, and disease. The application of sunblock and/or sunscreen every day greatly reduces these effects on our skin by creating a barrier against the sun. It should be repeated that sunblock is crucial during all seasons, sunny or overcast, during all times of daylight. Even if you are aware of all this already, you may be confused as to just what kind of sunblock or sunscreen to use and when to use it.  
     In this article, we discuss the how to choose the best sunblock for your needs.   Sunblock, Sunscreen, or Sun Tan Lotion - With all the sun products out there, it can be a little confusing as to what is what. You have three basic options when it comes to being out in the sun: sunblock, sunscreen, and sun tan lotion. Sunblock is the most potent of sun products in blocking the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your skin. It comes in a variety of spfs and is necessary for protecting your skin during the summer and for extended periods of time spent outdoors. Sunscreen is a lighter alternative to sunblock and lets a little sun in to help you get a tan or perhaps for daily use when you spend limited time in the sun. Sun tan lotion, lastly, is quickly becoming a less popular item as it offers absolutely no protection against the sun. Though it professes to help you get a tan, most sun tan lotions will also let in harmful UV rays-so that you receive the damaging skin effects as well.       

UVA and UVB -UVA and UVB are the two kinds of ultraviolet sun rays that-if not blocked-will damage your skin. Though it is good to block one of the two, it is necessary to look for sunblock and sunscreen that will block both. Both UVA and UVB are equally as damaging and will lead to premature aging, cancer, and other serious skin conditions if not properly protected against.

SPFs -SPF is used to measure the amount of protection you will receive with any given sun care product. The most commonly used-though lower and higher spfs are used- spfs are 15, 30, and 45. SPF 15 is what you will typically find in face lotion and/or makeup and can be used daily for limited time in the sun, year round. SPF 30 is for extended periods of time in the sun. Lastly, SPF 45 or higher is used most commonly for high intensity sun-i.e. while hiking or at the beach on a hot, sunny day. Most people use all for year round use-and it is recommended to do so.

Waterproof/Sweatproof -It is almost always useful to have a sunblock or sunscreen that is waterproof or sweatproof. It may be a bit more thick than a normal sunblock or sunscreen, but is absolutely necessary on hot days or when you may be swimming as it doesn’t wash off and leave your skin once again vulnerable. It is necessary to note, however, that waterproof and sweatproof formulas are not infallible and should be reapplied after sweating or swimming, as some of the product will wash and wear off. 

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