Two types of Sun Protection:
There are two types of sun protection available: chemical and physical sunscreens. A chemical sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays (UV radiation) before they affect the skin. A physical sunscreen sits on the skin's surface and reflects or scatters UV radiation before it is able to damage the skin. These two forms of protection have different methods of achieving a similar goal.
The FDA requires that all sun protection products display a Sun Protection Factor or SPF label, although many consumers are unaware of the fact that this label only indicates the relative amount of protection from UVB rays a product can provide when used correctly. Certain ingredients must be included in a product to receive adequate UVA protection. In order for a sun protection product to provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone or ecampsule (MexorylTM) must be included. Sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30 are recommended. High SPF numbers can be misleading, as an SPF of 30 is not twice as protective as an SPF of 15. When used properly, an SPF of 15 protects the skin from 93% of UVB radiation, an SPF 30 97% and an SPF 65 98% protection.
Two types of UV Radiation:
The two types of UV radiation that can affect the skin, UVA and UVB, have both been linked to skin cancer and a weakening of the immune system. They also both cause skin color changes and contribute to premature aging. UVA rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer and penetrate deep into the skin. UVB rays mostly impact the surface of the skin and are the primary cause of sunburn. Up to 90% of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by sun exposure.