Why is Sunscreen Important?


Why is Sunscreen Important?


There has been a lot of chatter when it comes to sunscreen.  In fact skin gurus suggest that applying a sunscreen is the single most important step in skincare for anti-aging.  With are so many sunscreens or sunblocks out in the market, so which one do you pick?  We will go over the history of “why is sunscreen important” and help you decipher through the many types in the market.


Why do we need to apply Sunscreen? 


Most of us know that we need to apply sunscreen to protect our skin from UV rays and to prevent sunburn and sun damage.  And the main reason for this is the thinning of the ozone layer.

The Ozone layer is the concentration of ozone found 15-30 Km above the earth’s surface, which covers and protects the Earth by absorbing harmful UV B radiation from the sun.  It acts like a natural sunscreen for us.  However, Chlorofluorocarbons, found in refrigerants and aerosols like in shaving cream, destroy the ozone layer. Over time many chemicals and refrigerants have been banned to help address this global problem.

The hole in the ozone is slowly healing, but the overall ozone layer is thinning because the production of chlorofluorocarbons has not been depleted completely. There is a rise in skin cancer rates due to more exposure to solar radiation, and therefore, it is important to protect the skin.


What is the difference between UV A  and UV B rays?  

UV A and UV B affect skin differently. The easiest way to remember the difference is that UV A has to do with Aging the skin and UV B has to do with Burning the skin.  

UV A rays travel deeper and go into the dermis layer of the skin and damage collagen, and structural components of the skin. These rays are responsible for signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, sunspots, and pigmentation

UV B rays reach our skin by passing into the deeper layer of the skin.  They pass through the epidermis and cause little breaks in the DNA strands which overtime become difficult for the body to repair. This repair system is dependent on the amount of exposure, family history, and age. Cumulative DNA damage causes abnormal cells and possible cancers. So “why is sunscreen important?” : to prevent the damages from UV A and UV B rays! 


What exactly is SPF?


SPF, also known as sun protection factor, can be in the form of chemical or physical sunscreen.  The minimum SPF one should use id SPF 30.  This will give you 30 minutes of sun protection – BUT ONLY IF YOU USE THE CORRECT AMOUNT.

 The FDA uses a certain amount of product when testing to get to aSPF number.  So we also have to use that amount for proper protection.  As a rule of thumb it is 2 finger lines of sunscreen, or about ½ teaspoon for the face and neck. Unfortunately most of us don’t use enough to get the adequate protection we need. Therefore, using a higher spf is probably more beneficial.  


The Two Types of Sunscreen 

The two types of sunscreen are physical and chemical.  Both types are created in a lab, where physical is commonly regarded as a mineral sunscreen or sunblock.

The General rule to distinguish the two – is that one is absorbing and the other  reflecting.  A Chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and then absorbs UV rays, converts the rays into heat, and releases them from the body. 

A Physical sunblock sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. The minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main active ingredients in physical blocks.


Which One Do I Use?

It’s a personal choice which one you want to use. Best way to know what type of sunscreen you have is to read the ingredients.  All physical sunscreens have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and chemical sunscreens usually have one of the following: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate.

Experts suggest that mineral sunscreens may also be “better for the skin than chemical sunscreens, especially if you’re prone to acne or other skin ailments”.

Sunscreen is highly recommended when using a Vitamin C serum or Retinol Serum. Studies have shown that using sunscreen with Vitamin C protects the skin from further photo damage caused by ultra-violet rays,”

The way retinol works is by accelerating the formation of new skin cells to replace the old, damaged skin. This new skin can be more sensitive and is more prone to sunburn, so we highly recommend a sunscreen.

Therefore, if you are using MōMISkin Vitamin C or Retinol Serum, we recommend you to use a sunscreen.



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