Y'all remember that time you went on vacation to Sardinia during the summer, back when you where a carefree 21 year old and decided to undergo sun protection completely because you wanted to look like this...
Not only did you decide to skip sun protection (and go topless OUCH!), you so intelligently replaced it with olive oil (people kept saying you smelled like Mediterranean salad) because your best friend told you that's what European girls did to accelerate the suntanning process and instead ended up looking like this...
Ok, maybe not quite like that but you will if you're not careful enough.
Was it worth it? You definitely achieved your goal. You where the most suntanned girl in the whole European Union. But, fast forward 10 to 15 years and tell me how your skin looks and feels now. I remember that vacation and let me tell you ladies, I was suntanned! However, I woke up the next day throwing up because obviously I had over exceeded myself and now that I'm 35 I'm most definitely paying the consequences. Now I have to spend hundreds of dollars (ok maybe more) on expensive beauty products trying to even out my skin tone. Oh, and maybe trying to look younger and slow down the infamous aging process as well. Suntanning is not in style anymore girls! I don't care what anyone else says, maybe just your legs a little bit. If you're white, you're white, ain't nothing you can do about it.
Beauty is not the only issue here. There are also numerous health problems that come with careless sun exposure, like say maybe CANCER! Sooooooo...
WHAT IS SPF AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
We've heard about it, we've seen it promoted on the labels of numerous skin and beauty products, but let's be honest, we have a vague idea of what it really means (yes you, don't go acting like you know what it means, we all know you don't).
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburns, permanent damages on skin, and can contribute to skin cancer.
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays. For best protection, experts recommend using SPF sunscreen of 15, applying the proper amount, and reapplying every 2 hours (noooo, SPF 15 does not offer 15 hour protection in case you where wondering).
WHAT ARE UVB AND UVA RAYS?
Despite whatever you think you know, they are not the same thing. UVB (short wave ultra violet B) are the type of rays mentioned above and they usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. UVA rays (long wave ultraviolet A) are the ones in charge of aging your skin and will penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin's thickest layer. Needless to say, you need to protect yourself from both.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUNBLOCK AND A SUNSCREEN?
A sunblock reflects the sun's rays, thereby blocking them from reaching your skin. Sunblocks are highly effective in blocking UVB and UVA rays. Sunscreen also protects from UVB and UVA, but a major drawback is that the ingredients often break down after several hours of exposure to sunlight, which means you need to reapply them. Sunblocks appear white on the skin and sunscreens tend to be less visible on the skin.
Take a look at this educating video by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) it will help you understand better.
As of 2010 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) applied stricter regulations to manufacturers in order to assure the customer that what they are buying is really a sunblock and not just a sunscreen, and that the proposed SPF by the specific product is in fact accurate.
Bottom line ladies, you need to protect your skin, no excuses. I'm not just talking about for when you go to the beach, I mean everyday!
Since I can't really extend myself into more complicated scientific explanations because I would otherwise bore you to death, If you're really interested in learning more about SPF, I recommend that you visit the FDA's Website or the Skin Cancer Foundation's Website and read more about it.
I will however recommend 6 of the best sunscreen products in the market. According to allure.com these are some of the best.
1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50
2. Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen SPF 50
3. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion SPF 70
4. L'Oreal Sublime Sheer Protect Sunscreen Oil SPF 50+
5. Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 50
6. Coppertone Oil-Free Faces SPF 50
Choose one that satisfies your personal needs and is affordable to you. Let us know if there is a product that you love and is not on the list. I would love to hear about it.
Also, you can get one of this…
Giiiiiirl! You gotta look stylish!
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