10 Important Facts About Sunscreen

Sunscreen Facts That Every Skincare Enthusiast Should Know

Sunscreen isn’t just handy for trips to the beach. While it’s most known for preventing sunburns, this skincare staple is one of the most vital tools around for keeping your skin – and body – healthy.

Sunscreen has plenty of benefits, but there are also plenty of misconceptions surrounding this tool. When is sunscreen necessary to wear – and what exactly are the real benefits of using it?

Read below to learn ten things about sunscreen that might surprise you.

What is Sunscreen – and What Does It Actually Do?

The sun shines UV rays back down to earth. These rays can burn your skin, lead to aging, and can even increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

There are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain ingredients that, when applied to the skin, reflect UV rays, pushing them to bounce off your skin rather than get absorbed. Chemical sunscreens, meanwhile, contain ingredients that absorb UV rays so your skin doesn’t have to.

Either way, these tools offer an important defence against harm from the sun.

Skincare Fanatics Should Know These 10 Sunscreen Facts

1. SPF is Based on Simple Math

Every bottle of sunscreen will have a number indicating its ‘sun protection factor,’ or SPF. What exactly does this term mean?

SPF is technically a scoring system based on multiplication, and it’s true that a higher SPF is better for your skin.

Specifically, the number refers to the length of time it would take for your skin to burn compared to skin with no protection. In other words, skin treated with a sunscreen that has an SPF of 50 would take 50 times longer to burn than skin with no sunscreen.

 2. Sunscreen Can Help You Indoors, Too

Even if you have no plans to go outside, it may be a good idea to apply some sunscreen to your skin. If you’re near a window – say, driving in a car or working in a cubicle – you can still absorb UVA rays from the sun, as windows tend to only protect you against UVB rays.

For that reason, consider making sunscreen a daily habit rather than something you only use upon going outside.

3. Technically, Sunscreen isn’t Water-Proof or Sweat-Proof

Check out the sunscreen display at your local drugstore or grocery store, and you’ll see rows upon rows of sunscreens that offer different types of protection. Many of them will claim to be water-proof or sweat-proof, and be recommended for athletes or users in particular environments.

Despite what these brands claim, water and sweat can still shed some of your sunscreen. For that reason, the FDA ordered American sunscreen brands to use the term ‘resistant’ instead of ‘proof.’

If you’re not sure if your sunscreen is staying secure on your skin, it doesn’t hurt to reapply!

4. Sunscreen Has an Expiry Date

Look carefully on the packaging of your sunscreen, and you’ll find an expiry date. Most sunscreens perform to their full potential for at least three years, but over time, they’ll lose their ability to fully protect your skin against rays from the sun.

It might be time to clean out your beach bag or bathroom cabinet, and ensure that your sunscreen isn’t too old.

5. Cream-Based Sunscreen is the Most Effective

There are plenty of ways to apply sunscreen – by spreading it, by spraying it, or in even more creative ways. However, the classic approach is the most effective. Thick liquid sunscreen has the power to cover all of your skin effectively, while it’s easy to miss spots using spray sunscreen.

6. Sunscreen Isn’t Your Only Defense Against Skin Cancer

Using sunscreen alone isn’t the most effective strategy to protect yourself against the risk of skin cancer.

Most experts recommend taking a more ‘complete’ approach – this means staying in the shade whenever possible, wearing appropriate outdoor gear (like a hat), avoid using UV tanning beds without knowing the risks, and paying attention to how your skin responds to the way you treat it.

7. Sunscreen Should Be Worn Even When The Sun Isn’t Out

One of the most common misconceptions about sunscreen is that you only need to wear it when the sun is visible. Clouds can hide the sun, but they don’t actually block the UV rays that come from the sun. For that reason, sunscreen is a great addition to your skincare routine year-round, rain or shine.

8. The Sun’s Rays Have a ‘Peak Period’

The sun’s UV rays can reach your skin from the moment the sun comes up until it’s finished setting. However, if you’re concerned about the sun’s effects even after applying sunscreen, you can time your outdoor trips. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. until the afternoon, so consider putting effort into staying out of the sun, or limiting your time outdoors during these hours.

9. Most People Don’t Apply Enough Sunscreen

Be careful how you apply your sunscreen! Experts believe that most sunscreen users only apply a thin layer of the product to their skin, leading to only 40 percent of the protection that should be provided. Try not to be stingy – let sunscreen do its job!

10. Chemical and Physical Sunscreens Should Be Applied Differently

Many sunscreen users can’t quite identify whether their sunscreen is ‘physical’ or ‘chemical.’ Learn the difference, and you can make the most out of your skincare routine with this trick: if your sunscreen is chemical-based, it should be applied before moisturizer to allow it to penetrate the skin. If your sunscreen is physical, it should be applied after moisturizer to block sun rays the way it’s designed to.

Treatments That Can Help Reverse the Appearance of Sun Damage

Spent too much time in the sun and forgot your sunscreen at home? With mild to moderate sun damage, there are treatments available that can help reverse issues like dryness, discolouration, and wrinkles caused by the sun. This includes:


You won’t regret incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine, if you haven’t already. This powerful tool protects your skin from the sun, lowering your risk of skin cancer and stopping your skin from aging. But in the event that you have already experienced some form of sun damage, give us a call at Chrysalis Rejuvenation Clinic to find out what treatments are available

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