What You Need To Know About Sunscreens

As an Esthetician it is my job to tell you to use a sunscreen every single day even if you are not out in the sun and even if it is -25 degrees in Chicago and cloudy…Why? Because there is a hole in the ozone layer!!! The sun’s rays can still reach and damage your skin and over time this compounds and causes skin damage and cell deterioration.

It is especially crucial to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen and/or block if you are having direct or prolonged sun exposure. Unprotected exposure to the sun not only causes cancer but also leads to aging, hyperpigmentation, capillary damage, free radical damage, and collagen and elastin deterioration.

What is the difference between Sunscreen and Sunblock? Sunscreens absorb or reflect ultraviolet rays and are typically available in the form of chemicals such as octyl salicylate and oxybenzone. Sunblocks are non-chemical in nature and are minerals such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens or Sunblocks often appear white in nature. Chemical sunscreens are typically color neutral.

SPF refers to the Sun Protection Factor in sunscreens. In this day and age you should be wearing a minimum SPF of 15, I personally prefer at least a 30. Sunscreens/blocks must be reapplied every 80 minutes and must be applied at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. It takes the ingredients at least 30 minutes to be performing at its highest efficacy and it lasts for about 120 minutes hence we suggest reapplying every 80 minutes so that the original layer of sunscreen that was applied is still in effect while the new layer kicks in. So protect your skin and your healthy cells and make sure you use an SPF of at least 15 every single day as part of your skin care routine.