Don't Sizzle This Summer: Sunscreen Explained
Warmer weather is coming to most of us, and that means it's time to get the beach gear and barbeque equipment dusted off. Because usually warmer weather means longer times outdoors, it's also time to grab a fresh bottle of sunscreen – especially when you consider the fact that skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer.
With this in mind, we think that it’s high time we all focus a little more on preventative measures and why they matter. Read on to see sunscreen explained and why you should avoid sizzling this summer.
Topical sun products break down into two main types: sunblock and sunscreen. Sunblocks are made with minerals and typically block UVB and UVA light. They are often referred to as “physical” sunscreens, and while particularly best for those sensitive to sunlight, they can also be messy and difficult to rub in. Sunscreens are chemical formulations, which contain ingredients that absorb UVB light and sit as a thin layer on the skin (making them much more cosmetically acceptable). For perspective, Real Purity’s Zinc Oxide and Paba sunscreens fall into the physical sunscreen category.
Ugh! Natural Sunscreens Don't Disappear
Zinc oxide and/or paba are often the main ingredients in sunblocks. They typically don't rub in very well and those with zinc oxide (a good alternative if your skin is irritated by paba) leave a white residue on the skin. Why white? Because the zinc oxide mineral is white in color, and most sunblocks with zinc oxide are “blocking” rays and sitting on the skin, rather than being absorbed.
What Do Those SPF numbers Mean?
At Real Purity, we get questions all the time about the SPF rating of our sunscreens, which have a rating of 15 SPF. So today, we’re answering this question: is a 15 SPF sunscreen going to be less effective than higher SPF alternatives?
The answer is: not really. If you take a look below, you’ll see why.
- At an SPF of 2, your sunscreen is absorbing 50% of ultraviolet radiation. On average, you can be out in the sun for 2x longer than if you were wearing no sunscreen at all.
- At an SPF of 15, your sunscreen will absorb 93% of ultraviolet radiation. Whoa – that’s way higher! On average, you can be out in the sun for 15x longer than if you were wearing no sunscreen at all.
- At an SPF of 34, however, your sunscreen only absorbs 97% of ultraviolet radiation. Here, we see a sudden decrease in additional value. Even though you’ve doubled the SPF of your sunscreen, you’ll only see a 4% increase in absorption of ultraviolet rays.