Some medical organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, recommend the use of Sunscreen Lotion because it aids in the prevention of squamous cell carcinomas. The routine use of sunscreens may also reduce the risk of melanoma. To effectively protect against all the potential UV light damages, broad-spectrum sunscreens (covering both UVA and UVB radiation) are recommended.
Early civilizations used various plant products to help protect the skin from sun damage. For example, ancient Greeks used olive oil for this purpose, and ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants, whose products are still used in skin care today. Zinc Oxide Paste has been famous for skin protection for thousands of years. A paste called Borak or Burak is also typical.
The suncare products—from waterly weeds, rice, and spices—are shared among the nomadic sea-going Sama-Bajau people of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Women use it most commonly to protect the face and exposed skin from the harsh tropical sun at sea. In Myanmar, Thanaka, a yellow-white cosmetic paste made of ground bark, is traditionally used for sun protection.
Equally important, in Madagascar, a ground wood paste called Masonjoany has been worn for sun protection, decoration, and insect repellent since the 18th century. It’s also ubiquitous in the Northwest coastal regions of the island to this day. With that in mind, this guide will explore the vital sunscreen lotion application methods and the general Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value factors.
Getting To Know What The Sunscreen Lotion Market Offers Beauty Enthusiasts
To enumerate, Sunscreen Lotion, also known as Sunblock or Sun Cream, is a photoprotective topical product that helps protect against sunburn, and, most importantly, sunscreens help prevent skin cancer from occurring. Most sunscreens come as creams, lotions, sprays, gels, foams (like expanded foam lotion or whipped lotion), sticks, powders, and other topical sunscreen products.
Sometimes, sunscreens are joint supplements to clothing, particularly unique sunglasses, sunhats, sun protective clothing, and other forms of photoprotection (such as umbrellas). In other words, a Sunscreen Lotion product helps protect the skin. These products are essential in blocking Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation (the harmful rays from the sunlight) from being absorbed by the skin.
As of 2021, only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are generally considered safe and effective (GRASE) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, there is insufficient safety data to support recognizing petrochemicals. Perse, a survey of 1000 Australians aged 18 to over 76 (by Cancer Council) found that nearly half of respondents believed sunscreens contain chemicals.
In addition, they also noted that some sunscreens contained other harmful elements and could even cause cancer. Mineral sunscreens mainly work by reflecting UV rays. While chemical sunscreen ingredients mainly work by absorbing UV rays. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that sunscreens are regulated in terms of holding an active component of mineral or chemical origin.
Such as follows:
- Mineral Sunscreens: Also referred to as Physical Sunscreens, they use active mineral ingredients (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). Minerals mainly work by reflecting UV rays.
- Chemical Sunscreens: Also referred to as Petrochemical Sunscreens, they use active ingredients that are typically derived from petroleum (e.g., Oxybenzone, Octinoxate). Some chemical ingredients have also been heavily scrutinized for their toxicity. Thus, they have been banned in places such as Hawaii and Thailand, primarily due to their impact on aquatic life and the environment.
The downside of Mineral Sunscreens is that the active ingredients—Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide—tend to leave a white cast on the skin. On the contrary, Chemical Sunscreens—with active ingredients like Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, and Octinoxate—are easier to rub in and work like a sponge to absorb the sun’s rays rather than deflect them.
Either way, dermatologists say looking for a broad spectrum of sunscreen product-based formulas is essential. For instance, a combination of sunscreens that protects against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. Water resistance is also vital, especially if you have plans to exercise or swim. And don’t forget to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
Understanding The Main Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Meaning And Values
Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) on a sunscreen label measures how well the sunscreen protects against UV rays. As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases. Higher SPF numbers mean more excellent protection from UV rays. But no sunscreen can block all UV rays. So, how do you select a sunscreen?
You might be wondering: Does SPF matter? It’s a common question we beauty editors are met with quite often, especially with so many different sunscreens on the market. Furthermore, you might also receive further advice based on who you’re talking to. The Sun Protection Factor measures the amount of UV radiation needed to produce sunburn on protected skin (with sunscreen).
In particular, when compared to the amount of UV radiation required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin (without sunscreen). The higher the SPF, the more UV radiation exposure your skin can handle before sunburn. Generally speaking, most experts recommend an SPF of 30 or higher, but Green advises a minimum of 50 SPF. Thus, the Sun Protection Factor is an essential tool.
Various factors impact the amount of solar radiation; SPF does not reflect time in the sun. In other words, SPF does not inform consumers about the time spent in the sun without sunburn. Instead, it is a relative measure of the amount of sunburn protection provided by sunscreens. It allows consumers to compare the level of sunburn protection provided by different sunscreens.
The Best Tips For Selecting And Applying Sunscreen Lotion On Your Skin
From the above, it’s worth noting that sunburn protection increases as the sun protection factor value increases. There is a popular misconception that SPF relates to the time of solar exposure. For example, many consumers believe that if they usually get sunburned in one hour, then an SPF 15 sunscreen allows them to stay in the sun for 15 hours (i.e., 15 times longer) without sunburn.
This is not true because the Sun Protection Factor is not directly related to the time of solar exposure but to the amount of solar exposure. Although solar energy amount is related to solar exposure time, other factors impact the amount of solar energy. For example, the intensity of the solar energy influences the amount. Varying exposures may result in the same amount of solar energy.
- One hour at 9:00 a.m.
- 15 minutes at 1:00 p.m.
Generally, it takes less time to be exposed to the same amount of solar energy at midday compared to early morning or late evening—the sun is more intense at noon than at other times. Solar intensity is also related to geographic location, with greater power occurring at lower latitudes. Because clouds absorb solar energy, the intensity is generally greater on clear days than when cloudy.
You might think your face needs daily protection, and sunscreen is for the afternoons spent lazing around on a sunbed. But you would be wrong! The British Skin Foundation advises wearing sunscreen on all areas of skin exposed to the sun. A waterproof sunscreen is better, even if you are not swimming, as it protects you better if you sweat. Apply sunscreens 20-30 minutes before going out.
Also, apply sunscreens at least every two hours. If you swim or sweat a lot, use it more often. Remember, using a towel or lying back on a fabric sunbed can rub the sunscreen off. For its unique scent, easy application, and organic ingredients, Coola is an all-around excellent sunscreen product with high protection and up to 80 minutes of water resistance. You can apply it instantly.
By so doing, it transports you to a sandy beach, wherever you happen to be. You can’t go wrong with Garnier Ambre Solaire for those looking for something more affordable. With a five-star UVA rating, unique sensitive skin-friendly make-up, and eco-designed packaging, there is more than meets the eye to this product. It does everything a sunscreen should do and then some.
Realistically, Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation damages the skin, leading to sunburn and skin cancer—unfortunately, no sunscreen lotion blocks UV radiation 100%. But they allow you to be outdoors for a longer time before your skin starts to redden. Notwithstanding, using sunscreen doesn’t mean you can stay in the sun for an unlimited amount of time. Damage to your skin cells is still occurring.
So, as mentioned, sunscreen (lotion, spray, foam, stick, cream, powder, or gel) is a product that protects from sunburn and reduces suntan by absorbing or reflecting UV rays. On that note, sunscreen lotion is crucial outdoors—in direct sunlight. But it is only one part of an overall plan to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Still, there are other important methods to protect your skin.
They are as follows:
- Seek woven hats and shades to protect your face when appropriate.
- Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — this is when UV rays are the strongest.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim, tightly woven clothing that covers most of your skin, and sunglasses.
- Don’t use tanning beds or sunlamps unless a dermatologist advises you.
Remember, tanning beds do not help to treat acne, and, what’s more, both outdoor and indoor tanning can make acne breakouts worse. As mentioned, it’s vital to know the amount of sunburn protection sunscreens provide. For example, consumers know SPF 30 sunscreens provide more sunburn protection than SPF 8 sunscreens. To protect the skin, selecting a good sunscreen is essential, too.
The best type of sunscreen is the one that offers the above benefits and other notable advantages to the user. The lotion type or sunscreen brand you use is your choice. Sunscreen is available in lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks, and sprays. Just be aware that different sunscreens contain different ingredients. Stay away from products that have ingredients that irritate the skin.
Quality sunscreens offer:
- Broad-Spectrum Skin Protection: This protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- A 30 Or Higher SPF: Look for a broad spectrum of sunscreen lotion formulas (that protect against UVA and UVB rays).
- Water Resistance/Waterproof: A sunscreen that protects while swimming or sweating for 40 or 80 minutes, per the label.
Next, learning how to apply a sunscreen lotion effectively is wise. Notwithstanding, even when people use sunscreen products, they often don’t apply enough of it or don’t apply it correctly. This limits how useful it is. It’s expected that consumers are not using it correctly, whether involving a substandard product, laying an insufficient amount, or neglecting to reapply appropriately.
The topmost recommended sunscreens:
- Coola classic body organic sunscreen spray, SPF 30
- Garnier ambre solaire sensitive advanced hypoallergenic protection lotion, SPF 50
- Ultrasun family, sunscreen for sports, SPF30
- Bali Body hydrating body sunscreen, SPF50
- Vichy Capital Soleil solar protective water enhanced tan, SPF50
- Bondi Sands SPF50+ fragrance-free body lotion
- Incognito suncream and insect repellent SPF30
- Malibu sun lotion aerosol spray, SPF15
A good guideline for sufficient coverage is about a shot glass worth of product for one application for the whole body or the equivalent of 2 finger lengths for the face. If you’re in direct sunlight, you must reapply every two hours or anytime you get wet or sweat. Always remember the sunscreen lotion or related skin protection product you’ll use is the one that will be most effective!
When choosing a formula, it’s essential to consider your skin’s sensitivity, particularly when deciding between chemical and physical sunscreen and your overall skin type. To find the best of the best, we spoke to four esteemed dermatologists and revisited some new and old Vogue editor favorites (all of which have been worn IRL!). Read on to find your best facial sunscreen.
Follow these quick guides:
- Apply sunscreen to all areas of skin that will not be covered by clothing.
- Use at least 1 ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) to cover exposed areas. An ounce should cover the whole body. But you might need to adjust the amount depending on your body size and hair.
- Apply sunscreen to dry skin about 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. This gives it time to be absorbed.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or more after swimming or sweating.
- Protect your lips by applying a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Remember that children need protection from the sun, too. However, it’s essential to realize that sunscreens are recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. For babies younger than 6 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics approves using sunscreen only if adequate clothing and shade are unavailable. Parents should still try to keep young babies away from sun exposure.
This is especially true if they are highly likely to get exposed to direct sunlight. Dress a baby in lightweight clothing that covers most surface areas of the skin. In addition, guardians and parents may also apply a small amount of sunscreen to exposed areas, such as the baby’s face and the back of the hands. Your SPF-laced makeup must be layered on top of a layer of sunscreen.
Of course, skincare is vital for all of us. Given the dreary few weeks this summer, sunshine might be the last thing on your mind. But fear not: warmer climes are predicted, so it’s time to start considering a skin protection routine from the sun’s harsh glares. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid the midday sunlight when possible, as this is when it will be at its strongest.
In addition to solar intensity, several other factors influence the amount of solar energy a consumer is exposed to—the skin type, the amount of sunscreen applied, reapplication frequency, etc. Realistically, fair-skinned consumers will likely absorb more solar than dark-skinned consumers under the same conditions. Sunscreens also impact the amount of solar radiation absorbed.
This is because more sunscreen results in less solar energy absorption. Because sunscreens wear off and become less effective with time, the frequency with which they are reapplied is critical to limiting the absorption of solar radiation. The reapplication frequency is also impacted by the activities that consumers are involved in. For example, those who swim while wearing sunscreen.
They must reapply the sunscreen more frequently because water may wash it from the body. In addition, high levels of physical activity require more frequent reapplication because the movement may physically rub off the sunscreen, and heavy sweating may wash off the sunscreen. Thus, more frequent reapplication is generally associated with decreased absorption of solar radiation.
Top Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does sunscreen prevent tanning?
First, sunscreen product usage can help prevent melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two types of skin cancer. However, there is little evidence that it effectively prevents basal cell carcinoma. Secondly, wearing SPF doesn’t prevent tanning, as formulas can’t protect your skin entirely from UVA. Factor 50 protects you from 98% of rays, while factor 30 shields you from 97%. This means it is still possible to get a tan while helping to protect your skin from sunburn. Have a look at the overall sunscreen health effects in detail.
2. Do sunscreen products expire?
Sunscreen has a shelf-life of between two and three years, with most formulas remaining at their original strength for at least three years. However, once opened, sunscreen generally starts to lose its SPF efficacy after 6-12 months – make sure to read the label for clear guidance. So, although you can use leftover sunscreens the following year, it’s best to purchase a new one. Unopened sunscreen will also have an expiration date, telling you when it’s no longer effective. Check the product label for more information.
3. What do I look for in a facial sunscreen?
SPF Level: Picking a sunscreen does not have to be complicated! Look for a sunscreen suncare that is SPF 30 or higher and has a broad spectrum that helps to block UVA and UVB rays. You want to use at least two finger lengths of sunscreen for the entire face. Also, reapply every two hours to maintain adequate sun protection when you are out in the sun. Apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are present even on cloudy days. These ultraviolet rays not only can cause skin cancer, but they also can trigger wrinkles, skin sagging, and age spots.
4. How do I determine the sunscreen type?
Physical Sunscreens (Suncreams or Sunblock) provide a physical barrier between the skin and the sun’s harmful rays. In contrast, Chemical Sunscreens work by chemicals penetrating the skin and then absorbing UV rays to prevent sun damage and skin cancer. Although both can be incredibly effective, chemical sunscreens can be somewhat more irritating to sensitive skin. Typically, physical sunscreens are a bit more stable but are a little more occlusive and can trap heat—feel heavier than chemical sunscreens.
5. How do I determine the sunscreen texture?
How the sunscreen sits on the skin can make all the difference in your wear. Those looking for something under makeup might appreciate a lightweight formula or something with a primer-like texture. Conversely, someone with dry skin might consider a richer, emollient formula similar to a face cream. Remember your routine (and skin type) when selecting your sunscreen product SPF value. In most cases, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are mineral sunscreen agents to look out for when shopping for sunscreen and skincare products.