Sunscreen - Protect Your Skin From the Sun

What is sunscreen?

Sunscreen, also known as sunblock or suntan lotion, is a photoprotective topical product for the skin that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thus helps protect against sunburn and most importantly prevent skin cancer. Sunscreens come as lotions, sprays, gels, foams (such as an expanded foam lotion or whipped lotion), sticks, powders and other topical products. Sunscreens are common supplements to clothing, particularly sunglasses, sunhats and special sun protective clothing, and other forms of photoprotection (e.g. umbrellas, etc.).

Woman applying sun cream

Ancient Egyptians used rice, jasmine, and lupine extracts to protect their skin from the sun. Other ancient civilizations followed with their own natural remedies, such as the olive oil used by Greeks and the pine needles or sunflower oil used by Native Americans.

What is UV radiation?

UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. On the electromagnetic spectrum, UV light has shorter wavelengths than visible light, so your eyes can’t see UV, but your skin can feel it. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation.

UV radiation and the skin

Can Ultraviolet Nail Salon Lamps Give You Skin Cancer?
A 2020 review of literature related to the incidence of skin cancer on the hands and nails of young adults (those under 40) found that “there is little to no carcinogenic risk inherent with UV gel manicures.”
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The Benefits of Sunscreen

Sunscreen and Vitamin D
Studies have never found that everyday sunscreen use leads to vitamin D insufficiency. In fact, people who use sunscreen daily can maintain their vitamin D levels.
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Types of suncreen

There are some companies that mix chemical sunscreen ingredients with some physical sunscreen ingredients to create a formula with an easier application. Mixing it will have a lighter consistency thanks to chemical sunscreen ingredients and less irritating thanks to the physical sunscreen ingredients. It will also help screen a larger portion of the spectrum if chemists mix ingredients since some chemical sunscreen ingredients only screen either UVA or UVB.

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen

How to apply?

Waterproof sunscreen do not exist
People should also be aware that no sunscreens are "waterproof.” All sunscreens eventually wash off. Sunscreens labeled "water resistant" are required to be tested according to the required SPF test procedure. The labels are required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens must provide directions on when to reapply.

Coded by Sandra Łubińska