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How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

We all know by now that SPF is an essential for any summer holiday. It protects your skin from UV rays, health risks as well as premature skin ageing. But how often do you need to apply sunscreen, to ensure that it is at its utmost effective?

apply sunscreen

Before Sun Exposure

A common mistake many make is waiting till they are lying out on their sunbed before they begin to apply sunscreen. Yet, in fact, you need to apply sunscreen about 20-30 minutes before you expose your skin to the sun. This will ensure that the ingredients in the SPF can really begin to work the moment you step outside.

During Sun Exposure

SPF should be reapplied every 2 hours. If you go swimming, play a sport or simply sweat from the summer heat, sunscreen should be immediately reapplied.

When it isn’t Sunny

Even when it is cold or cloudy, you must still wear SPF. It is a misconception that UV rays are non-existent or cannot penetrate the skin when it isn’t hot or sunny. You must always apply sunscreen because up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day.

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Source: 
Skincancer.org

Choosing the Right Sun Care for You

Damage from UV rays and HEV light can create a wide berth of problems for the skin. From hyperpigmentation and an early onset of wrinkles to more dangerous health risks such as skin cancer. So sun care products are essential to protecting yourself against these harmful rays. But which type of sun care is ideal for your skin type? sun care

There are two types of sun care; chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Below we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each formulation to help you decipher which is the most compatible and beneficial for your skin type and lifestyle.

Formula

The most obvious difference between physical and chemical sunscreen is its actual appearance. Physical sunscreen is commonly a thicker, milky white formula that needs to be thoroughly and generously rubbed in. In contrast, chemical sunscreen is a thinner, clearer formula that can easily be absorbed into the skin.

Sun Care Depending on Skin Conditions

Physical sunscreen is better for sensitive, acne and rosacea skin as it is less likely to cause skin irritation and clogged pores. However, the multitude of ingredients required in chemical sunscreen to allow full broad-spectrum protection results in a higher likelihood of irritation for sensitive skin.

 

sun care

What’s more, physical sunscreen can deflect heat from the sun away from the skin which is ideal for rosacea sufferers. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs and transforms UV rays into heat energy, meaning that for those with rosacea skin, there is a higher chance for redness and flare-ups.

Longevity and Effectiveness

While physical sunscreens instantly protect the skin from the sun, chemical sunscreen requires approximately 20 minutes to be fully effective. Similarly, physical sunscreens last longer when in direct sunlight, while chemical sunscreens require more frequent re-application to remain useful.

However, physical sunscreens are not effective when the body gets wet or sweaty. Any physical activity can easily make it rub off. Plus, if physical sunscreen is not applied thoroughly, the skin may not have total protection. In comparison, the molecular formulas of chemical sunscreens have no spaces between molecules so there is no risk of UV getting between and into the skin.

Find all ZO Skin Health’s various sun care products here.