Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health

Wearing sunscreen is all about protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. The sun can cause debilitating damage to your skin, and most of the effects might not even be present until you are a little bit older.

The problem with choosing and wearing sunscreen is finding the right kind of sunscreen for your skin. With so many skin types out there, choosing the perfect sunscreen for UV protection is essential for both the health of your skin and your pocket.


In this article, you will learn why sunscreen matters and how you can find the perfect sunscreen for your skin.

Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health
Image Source: Britannica

What is Sunscreen?

Sunscreen helps protect the upper layer of your skin from sun damage. 

Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health
Image Source: Baylor Scott & White Health

While you are always advised to be exposed to the sun, the amount of sunlight you should receive for your health should be minimal. 


In some instances, the sun's UV rays penetrate the skin, causing damage to the upper layer. To protect this layer, sunscreen is applied, which is typically a lotion or cream that has all the ingredients that block such damaging factors. 

Sunscreens have SPF or sun protection factor, which determines how long you can stay under the sun with the sunscreen on.

How Much SPF Do You Need?

Many people think that wearing sunscreen with a good SPF is enough to prevent damaging effects for the rest of the day. 


This is far from the truth, as the amount of SPF your sunscreen has is the level of protection you can gain from each application. Most of the time, sunscreens with SPF 10 allow you to stay under the sun for a few minutes up to around 20 minutes of protection. 

It also depends on your skin tone, as darker skin tends to have more natural protection against the sun than fairer skin. On average, having sunscreen with around SPF 30 to 50 is a good range for daily use.

Pay Attention to UVA and UVB Protection

Knowing and understanding UVA and UVB protection in sunscreen can make a difference in choosing the type that you should go for. 

Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health
Image Source: Sephora Philippines

UVA, or Ultraviolet A rays, can go through glass, and you might not even feel any prickling or burning sensation when exposed to it, which is a bit dangerous. 

Meanwhile, UVB, or Ultraviolet B rays, are shorter; hence, they cannot pass through glass, but are often the cause of sunburn

When choosing which sunscreen works best for either of these, you should choose a broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum sunscreen that helps protect your skin from all kinds of UV rays.

Organic vs Inorganic Sunscreen

You might also be surprised to learn that there are different kinds of sunscreen depending on the ingredients and how they work on the skin. 

Inorganic sunscreens are composed of titanium oxide and zinc oxide, which act as a barrier when applied to the skin. It reflects and scatters the UV rays away from the skin and body. 

Meanwhile, organic sunscreens have different active ingredients, but they don't contain both titanium and zinc oxide. Most organic sunscreens are absorbed into the top layer of the skin, which then causes a chemical reaction that transforms light rays into heat and dissipates at the upper skin layer.

Difference Between Sunscreen and Sunblock

You may have already encountered the term sunblock when choosing the right sunscreen for you. 

Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health
Image Source: The Conversation

In reality, you shouldn't be seeing the term "sunblock," as it is already banned in many countries all over the world due to the overstatement of its effectiveness. 

This often leads to people using sunblock lotion thinking that they can go on with their day fully exposed to the sun's damaging rays without expecting any dangerous results. 

No amount of sunblock lotion or sunscreen can fully block the UV rays from the sun, which means that sunblock does not happen at all.

Alternatives to Sunscreen

If you're looking for alternative ways to sunscreen, the best way to avoid the damaging effects of the sun is to avoid exposing yourself to it altogether. 

Wear long sleeves or bring an umbrella if you have to go out in the sun for longer periods. You can also bring wide-brimmed hats to avoid both the heat and the intense rays. 

There are sunscreen pills that are on the market right now, but they are not yet approved by any agencies to be as effective as sunscreen.

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

Even if you are just spending the entire day inside the comforts of your home, you should still be wearing sunscreen, even in the smallest amount. 

Why Sunscreen Matters: A Guide to Skin Health
Image Source: Verywell Health

It is best that you wear sunscreen every day for the rest of your life. Make it a habit to apply it after everything on your body. 

This way, whether you go out or not, you know that you are well protected. 

If you go to the beach or simply go outside, make sure that you bring sunscreen and re-apply every 2 hours to guarantee full protection.

What to Do When Using Sunscreen

There are several things that you need to do when using sunscreen. First, you need to check if you have a full-spectrum sunscreen so you can be protected from different kinds of UV rays. 

You also need to check the expiration date to guarantee you are protected all the way through. Before applying sunscreen to your skin, make sure to shake the bottle or tube first, then apply evenly to distribute the active ingredients equally to the skin. 

Don't forget to include spots that you might think are not exposed to the sun, such as the back of your hands, the back of your neck, your ears, and many others.


Being exposed to the sun's harmful rays can have serious effects on our bodies. There is an increased risk of skin cancer, and the amount of damage that you get from being exposed will only get much worse as you age. Protect your skin from sun exposure today by using the best and most effective sunscreen protection that you can find.

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