Everything You Need to Know About Sunscreen

Everything You Need to Know About Sunscreen | Williamson Realty Vacations

Summer is here and our beautiful Carolina sun is shining as bright as ever on Ocean Isle Beach. Of course, we all love worshipping the sun, toes in the sand, and book in hand, but taking care of your skin is as important as ever. This week we have all the latest information about sunscreen. Yes, it’s that time of year where we all need to review a little sun safety. Let’s get started. 

Some terms you need to know

Let’s get a little technical for a moment and delve into some science that none of us probably remember from high school.

SPF (Sun protection factor):  The sun protection factor measures protection against UVB rays. The number multiplied by the time you usually take to burn shows how long you would take to get a sunburn. For example, if your sunscreen is SPF30 and you take 10 minutes to get a sunburn with the sunscreen applied, it would take approximately 5 hours. A SPF15 sunscreen should be able to block 93% of the sun’s rays while a SPF30 about 97% and SPF50 about 98%.

PPD (Persistent pigment darkening): It is a method similar to SPF, but in this case, it measures the UVA rays. Most sunscreens do not usually include PPD values.

UVA Rays: Ultraviolet A rays, which penetrate deep layers of skin, are thought of as "aging rays" because they contribute predominantly to wrinkles and age spots but may also cause skin cancer. Present from sun-up to sun-down, they’re 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays and they can go straight through windows and clouds, so you're never safe from their exposure.

UVB Rays: Ultraviolet B rays primarily burn skin (hence why they're known as "burning rays") and play a key role in skin cancer—plus, they’re strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Source: www.healthwithfacts.com

woman applying sunscreen indoors before hitting the beach | Williamson Realty

When to apply

Sunscreen is best applied to dry skin and before you go outside. So often you see people apply sunscreen at the beach, and that is fine if you are reapplying it. However, for your first application, it is best to put a good base layer of sunscreen on before you head out into the sun. This allows the sunscreen to be absorbed and offers maximum protection. As you will discover, certain sunscreen (chemical versions) actually take a half hour or so before they will be able to offer protection. Even a half hour without protection can be the difference between getting a little much needed vitamin D and a nasty burn. 

mother reapplying sunscreen to daughter on the beach | Williamson Realty

How often should I supply apply?

So here is the thing. You should always follow the manufacturers recommended time for reapplication. However, there is a common misunderstanding among consumers. That misunderstanding is that time is the biggest factor, when in reality it isn’t the time itself that diminishes the effectiveness of sunscreen. In fact, sunscreen degrades because of its exposure to the sun. After two hours your sunscreen has lost its effectiveness. You guessed it, even sunscreen takes a beating from the sun. So follow the manufacturers recommendation, but your best bet for maximum protection is to reapply frequently. This is especially important for small children or anyone who is going in and out of the water. 

 Chemical v. Physical Sunscreen

You probably didn’t realize that there are two types of sunscreen. Here is the easiest way to understand how they work, 

Physical sunscreens are made of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or a combo of the two. They literally block the UVA/UVB rays and protect your skin like a shield.

Chemical sunscreens are created with a combination of ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene, which absorb into the top layer of skin. These chemicals then neutralize the harmful effects of the UVA/UVB rays through a chemical process. 

A word of caution about spray sunscreen

Spray on sunscreens are very popular for a lot of reasons. Sprays are easy to carry, cheap, and seemingly easy to use, but not so fast. There are a few things that you should know about using a spray on sunscreen. 

Most of us are applying spray on sunscreen all wrong. When you spray the sunscreen directly on your skin you are inevitably applying it unevenly. This is, of course, a problem because it doesn’t give you the best coverage. Make sure after spraying on the sunscreen that you rub it into the skin. This allows your pores to open up and absorb the sunscreen for maximum efficacy. 

Dermatologists are on the fence about the efficacy of spray on sunscreen and many surveys indicate dermatologist would not recommend the use of spray sunscreens.

 Avoid using sprays with kids, as the spray can be harmful when ingested and always remember to cover the face and eyes when you apply a spray on sunscreen.

Source: Consumer Reports

Do you have your sunscreen? Have you booked your Ocean Isle Beach vacation yet? If not there is still time and we have some great deals on some of the best vacation homes on the Ocean Isle Beach. Give us a call today at 800-727-9222 to speak to one of our friendly reservationists or click the button below to see our inventory of vacation homes today. 

Everything You Need to Know About Sunscreen | Williamson Realty Vacations

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