Cleansing and Sun Protection is skincare stripped down to the bare minimum. The type of sunscreen we use (also) affects our skincare a lot. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to skincare, so we’ve listed the two types of sunscreens we use daily and just what the terminologies stand for – to help us make better skincare choices :
1. Sunblock or Physical Suncream – Contains inorganic and active mineral ingredients like Zinc oxide or Titanium Dioxide which work in the Sun Protection department by completely deflecting and scattering off the UV rays away from the skin. They “block” UV rays from penetrating the skin, and hence their name. Sunblocks are great for people with sensitive and/or blemish-prone skin as they do not clog pores and cause further irritation. Sunblocks are active as soon as they are applied on the skin (no wait time needed), however, they are easily washed off and can create white patches on coming in contact with sweat. Physical Sunblocks like Klairs Mid-day Blue Sun Lotion are our pick of the lot.
2. Sunscreen or Chemical Suncream – Contains organic compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, that as as filters or absorbers and dissolve the UV rays that would otherwise penetrate our skin. These chemical absorbers begin degrading once they are exposed to the sun, so they need to be re-applied every two hours (thankfully, they are light in texture and do not leave a white cast). We do not recommend chemical sunscreens for oily and acne-prone skin as they tend to clog pores and cause breakouts.
– Broad Spectrum Sunscreens : These are sunscreens which block both UVA and UVB rays. Physical Sunblocks with Zinc Oxide and Titanium oxide are broad spectrum sunscreens.
– Sun Protection Factor : SPF is a measure the amount of protection from UVB rays a sunscreen will give you. Sunscreens with SPF 30 – 50 are recommendable when buying one. SPF30 offers 93% protection from UVB rays while SPF50 offers 98% protection from UVB rays.
– Protection Grade of UVA (PA) : Many Asian sunscreens come with a Protection grade rating which measures the level of UVA protection our skin is getting from a sunscreen. + being the lowest and +++ being the highest.