Not wearing sunscreen is often linked to premature skin aging and even skin cancer. However, some of you may have trouble understanding which sunscreen is right for your skin type or skin tone. There is a plethora of options one can choose from. Some of the most advanced SPF formulas are manufactured in South Korea and Japan. Modern formulations even allow one to avoid the white cast that most SPFs leave behind.
Wearing sunscreen protects you from the harmful UVA and UVB rays present in sunlight. US dermatologist Ranella Hirsch also clarified that “SPF only speaks to UVB protection and does nothing for UVA rays, which age your skin and cause skin cancer.” Hirsch also mentioned in another Instagram post that the SPF number only shows how much protection it will provide against UVB rays, and it says nothing about protecting against longer wavelength UVA rays responsible for photoaging. Therefore, invest in a broad spectrum SPF to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
For darker skin tones, Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Medical College, told Harper’s Bazaar, “I recommend SPF 30 for daily use and SPF 50 when you’ll be out for more than an hour. Sunscreen should be applied every day. be reapplied in two hours.”
There are mainly two types of sunscreen products available in the market: physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. The main difference between these types of sunscreens is how they block the sun’s rays. Physical sunscreen creates a physical barrier against UV rays, while chemical filters absorb and disperse the spectrum. Even if it’s a cloudy day, it doesn’t mean you should drop the SPF. According to Hirsch, clouds do not block harmful UV rays. So wear that SPF when you go outside.
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