Last week I wrote a post, Sunblock Is The New Black, where I touched upon the importance of sunblock and I know that when I’m in the sunblock aisle of the drug store I’m more than a little confused. And then there as the news story last year about the little white lies surrounding all those “water-resistant” claims. So I’ve decided to do a little research to help clear up my confusion and I decided to share it with you. Please be sure to consult with your physician about the appropriate sunblock for you and your family.
Lets start with SPF. WWhat exactly is SPF?
Sun Protection Factor. This rating indicates how long a sunscreen remains effective on the skin.
Is a higher SPF the better?
The the number doesn’t necessarily mean a significant amount of protection from the sun. An SPF 15 sunblock product blocks approximately 94% of UVB rays while a product with a SPF 45 blocks approximately 98% of rays.
What is UVA and UVB?
The sun gives off energy in the form of radiation. We can see the sunlight, but we can’t see or feel the sun’s UV’s rays. This ultraviolet radiation is made of UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are short, powerful and dangerous rays that affect the outer layers of our skin. The cause sunburns or produces melanin, aka that tanned look. UVA rays are longer rays that penetrate into the skin’s layers. The rays cause wrinkling and premature aging of our skin
When should sun block be applied?
Approximately 15-20 minutes before you step out into the sun.
Is water-resistant really water-resistant?
Water-resistant sunblock retains its SPF level after 40 minutes of water immersion. But it never hurts to re-apply.
How often does sunblock need to be reapplied?
Some sunblocks will lose their effectiveness after two hours. So re-apply often.
Spray-on vs. Lotion, which one is better?
Both have their pros and cons. I like the spray-on because it dries quickly, easy to apply and doesn’t leave my hands greasy. However, it’s hard to tell if you’ve covered up completely. I think with lotions you have better control of where you’ve applied sunblock. And I guess either one is the better choice if you use it consistently.
Applying sunblock is an extra-step in our already hectic life, but it’s well worth the couple extra minutes we spend. Now we are armed with info to hit the drug store and buy what we need to help protect us from the sun and allow us to enjoy these great warm days ahead.
Which do you prefer? Spray-on or lotion?