The warmer temperatures of summer bring more fun in the sun, which means we are applying that sunscreen more often. During a recent trip to the store, I ventured to the sunscreen aisle and found myself confused as to which sunscreen is best for the family. What does UVA and UVB and QRS (kidding with that one) mean? What is the difference between water-resistant and water proof? What is sunscreen vs. sunblock? Help!!! I decided to do a little research to educate myself and have come up with a mini sunscreen dictionary. Here it is, I hope it helps
Broad Spectrum: Sunscreens that protect your skin from some of the UVA and UVB rays. (Source: uvawareness.com)
SPF: The Sun Protection Factor tells you how well the product will protect the skin and prevent sunburn. The higher the SPF the more UVB rays are blocked. Keep in mind the SPF has nothing to do with UVA rays, which are the ones that cause Cancer and aging. To protect against both look for a broad-spectrum product (Source: uvawareness.com)
Sunscreen: Allows the sun’s raises to enter into the skin while filtering out some of the radiation. It protects the skin for UVA and UVB rays however it deteriorate faster when exposed to the light. (Source: uvawareness.com)
Sunblock: Does just as it sounds, it blocks the sun’s rays from hitting your skin. Sunblock is often thicker and can often sit on top of your skin. (Source: uvawareness.com)
UVA Rays: Account for 95% of the UV rays reaching the earth’s service. The UVA rays are more intense and penetrate the skin deeper than it’s counter part UVB rays. UVA rays are the rays that help us get tan, however they have been linked to aging and skin cancer. These rays are strongest during all daylight hours; year around and can seep through clouds and glass. (Source: SkinCancer.org)
UVB Rays: Are responsible for sunburn as they soak into the top layer of the skin. UVB also contributes slight to skin cancer and aging. UVB rays are strongest from 10am- 4pm in April-October. UVB can also be strong year around at high altitudes and when reflected of ice and snow. (Source: SkinCancer.org)
Waterproof: The FDA considers a product to be waterproof if it maintains it designated SPF following 80 minutes of exposure to water. (Source: MelanomaFoundation.org)
Water-Resistant: A product is considered water resistant if it holds its SPF following 40 minutes of exposure to water. (Source: MelanomaFoundation.org)
There is a lot that goes into finding the right sunscreen. Living in Southern California we have searched high and low for products that protect the family. Our favorite is Banana Boat Baby. It’s a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with an SPF of 50. It’s Water Resistant and is recommended by both Skin Cancer Foundation and Pediatricians. An added feature is that it is tear and sting free, so when it’s wet it doesn’t sting your eyes. This is perfect for the baby or for daddy while he is out surfing.
Now that you’re educated a little, go have some Fun in the Sun and have an AweMazing summer!