Things You Should Know About Waterproof Sunscreen
If you plan on perspiring or being in the water, using a waterproof sunscreen is your best option. While the sun may feel great on your skin, nothing ruins a vacation or even just a fun-filled day faster than a sunburn. Not to mention, excessive ultraviolet exposure is extremely bad for your skin.
Types Of Radiation
Ultraviolet radiation falls under two categories, which are helpful to know when choosing a waterproof sunscreen. UV-A ages your skin and penetrates deeper because the ozone layer does not absorb it due to its wavelength. UV-B is what gives you sunburns because the ozone layer only blocks part of the rays. Therefore the “A” stands for aging while the “B” represents burn. Of course, both are responsible for skin cancer.
Water-Resistant vs Waterproof
While the SPF level that you chose plays a key role in protection, how well it actually stays on your skin through various activity is just as important. A product is considered water-resistant if after 40 minutes of being exposed to water, it maintains its SPF level. A waterproof sunscreen must be able to maintain its SPF level for 80 minutes worth of water exposure. Therefore, even if you choose the waterproof variety, you will need to reapply it if you are in the water longer than 80 minutes.
How Sunscreen Works
There are two categories that sun shielding products fall under. Sunscreens are absorbers that soak the UV rays up so that they do not reach your skin. Sunblock products repel the rays so that they bounce right off of you. They are both made with entirely different ingredients. A sunblock is made up of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide while a waterproof sunscreen would contain parasol and benzophenones.
Choosing A Sunscreen
- Sun Protection Factor – The SPF measures how effective the product is at limiting UV-B exposure. It measures how long you can remain in the sun versus if you didn't wear one at all. For example, an SPF 15 would allow you to stay out in the sun for 15 times longer. Some individuals are under the assumption that a SPF 30 would offer double the protection of a SPF 15 but5 it doesn't. It merely allows double the amount of safe time in the sun.
- Waterproof – Perspiration and water wash away a general sunscreen leaving you exposed to harmful rays. A waterproof sunscreen will allow you to stay in the water longer and remain protected.
- Broad Spectrum – Most sun protection products only work for UV-B rays. It is important to find a broad spectrum product that protects against UV-B as well as UV-A rays.
- Sensitive Skin – If you are prone to acne or have oily skin, choose a water-based product. There are many available that are designed just for sensitive skin or specifically to use on your face.
To get the most out of your waterproof sunscreen, you should apply it 20 to 30 minutes prior to going outside. This will allow it to dry completely on areas that sweat the most, offering you better protection. If you are prone to burning, wear a hat, protective clothing and make use of sun umbrellas. Always be aware of the expiration date that is on the bottle. The protective compounds do degrade over time and leave your skin more vulnerable to exposure.
Make sure that you shake your waterproof sunscreen very well. There are specific compounds that tend to clump together which could result in uneven application with some areas less protected. Apply it generously, paying extra attention to your ears, back of knees and neck.