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Choosing the Right Sunscreen

We’ve all been told the importance of applying some form of sun protection before we go outside for a prolonged amount of time. We’ve all at one point also forgot to follow this simple rule, and have toasted, and burned our skin as well. It turns red, it feels hot, it stings when you touch it, and then it sheds a layer of dead skin as it repairs itself. It’s not life threatening immediately, but it can eventually lead to skin cancer. So we aloe-it-up and hope for the best. Just in case this has happened to you on vacation, try the Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream for continued Aloe benefits, and sun protection.

Over the years, more and more products have flooded the shelves. They range from Sunblocks, to Sunscreen, and even Sun Cream and Sun Gel. Some protect you from UVA or UVB, and some do both! Some are physical and some are chemical? So how does one go about picking a sunblock that is best for their skin? Let’s break it down in this article.

Starting with the type of product, we’re all familiar with the typical sunblock. We used it growing up, it was slathered all over our faces and bodies before we went for a swim, and it did the trick. Sunblock essentially blocks your skin from harmful UV rays before it hits your skin. It forms a waterproof shield protecting your skin, leaves a white caste behind, and sometimes smells a little strong. Many sunblocks only protect you from UVB rays though. You can remember UVB, for the B in Burning. Which is great, no one really wants to burn anyways. But we also don’t want to age, and that's what UVA does. A is for Aging. UVA also causes wrinkles, and sunspots.

This is where Sunscreen comes in. Many of them block both UVA and UVB. Sunscreen can also be a physical, or a chemical one. Physical sunscreens work by building a physical barrier or layer over your skin. They commonly contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, and work much better for those with irritable or sensitive skin. Axis-Y’s Complete No Stress Physical Sunscreen is a great option for a physical sunscreen. A chemical sunscreen gets absorbed into the skin easily. It’s usually formulated with octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, octocrylene, and ecamsule. Since this type of sunscreen gets absorbed into your skin, there is usually no white caste. It is better for everyday use, is usually preferred for the face making it easier for makeup application.

We also wanted to add one more rating that Korean sunscreen uses. The Persistent Pigmentation Darkening (PPD) Test. It ranks its product by how much UVA someone can be exposed to without pigmenting the skin. You can find the level of protection on the product by the + signs after PA. For example, the Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel has a PA++++.

But wait, we still don’t know what we need. And really, it depends on what you plan on doing, and what your preference is. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone to use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen (one that blocks both UVA and UVB) and offers an SPF of at least 30 or higher. Follow the products application guidelines for maximum coverage. Other ways to prevent further damage is to re-apply when you need, seek out shaded areas to give yourself a break, and pick out proper clothing like sunglasses and hats.