I’m sure we all have a question mark at the end of these S and U words? I had trouble figuring it out myself. I know I have to wear sunscreen but how much SPF do we really need, and which rays do we need to worry about the most? Also, some sunscreen makes my skin burn, and I don’t know why?

I’ve done some research and hope this information is helpful to you as it was to me.

Is there a difference between Sunscreen and Sun block?

Yes, there is a difference between the two. Sunscreen is more of a filtered type of protection. Absorbing Ultra Violet rays rather than reflecting them. Sunscreen will still allow tanning and darkening of the skin but still prevent it from burning. Sun block is pretty much like a barricade against the sun. Also, it will appear whiter on the face when you apply it as it has a higher content of Zinc. Sun block would be best to protect your skin from UV Rays, photo aging, wrinkles, skin cancer and all other sun damages to our skin.

For both of these products you want to let them sit 15-20 minutes prior to entering the water. So, it has time to dry and fully protect against the sun.

What does SPF stand for? Sun Protection Factor.

How much SPF is necessary? This answer will depend on every individual. The amount of SPF tells you how long you are able to stay in the sun before getting burned. For example if you pick an SPF 30 then it means your skin starts to burn after 30 mins of sun exposure. So, the SPF 30 will protect your skin for approximately 15 times longer (or 3 ½ hours) of skin protection without getting burned. If you think an SPF 30 is sufficient protection then you definitely do not need an SPF 70.

The SPF necessary will also depend on what type of activities you’ll be doing. You’ll definitely want to get an SPF with a higher number if you’re laying out on the beach under direct sun, and an SPF that’s just right for you if you’re getting moderate sun exposure.

However, if you finally find a sunscreen that works perfectly for your skin, and doesn’t cause a burn when you apply it but can only find it in a SPF number that is higher then what you need? Then it’s ok to wear a sunscreen one with a higher SPF.

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

UVA RAYS are less harmful then UVB RAYS. However, both can cause serious damage if not properly protected from them. Over exposure of UVA RAYS can cause cracks and shrinks to the collage and elastin in your skin. Also, known as the scariest word in the world, “WRINKLES”.

UVB RAYS would be the rays responsible for tanning your skin, but may also cause sunburn. These are the ones that can lead to an even scarier word, “Skin Cancer”. Which would probably be the one we fear the most and stress over proper protection.

Both of these types of RAYS can go through windows, most type of clothing, and windshields. Hence it’s the reason why we’d like to try and protect our skin at all times of the day regardless if you think it’s cloudy outside.

What are some of the reasons why my face burns with some Sunscreens?

The ingredients that commonly cause skin burning sensations when applied would be Benzophenones, Paba, or Para-amino benzoic acid. Ingredients such as these have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantage would be that they help the sunscreen stick to the epidermis making it difficult to be easily washed off or rubbed off while playing in the sun. The disadvantages would be that they can cause burning sensations when applied, and allergic reactions to about 4% of the population.

With all this said! Sunscreen would be best to wear under your make-up. Many cosmetic lines carry tinted moisturizers with SPF or you can mix in your favorite SPF into your favorite foundation.

If you still have questions about Sunscreen or Sunblock, please don’t hesitate to ask and I will try my best to get an answer for you.