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The Ultimate Guide to Sunscreen

by nylonpink
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This post is sponsored by COTZ but as always, all opinions are our own. 

In the summer months, we all rush to the shops, buy a bottle of sunscreen and lather our bodies in it to protect ourselves from the sun. What we forget is that yes, even though the sun is harsher in the summer months, we still need to avoid its rays all year round.  

We prefer using COTZ tinted mineral sunscreen as it reflects the rays of the sun – making it a healthier sunscreen – instead of absorbing it into your skin. Also, the tinted formula allows us to skip the extra step of applying foundation!

Picking out which sunscreen suits you, applying it correctly and all the steps that need to be taken to ensure that it works correctly can be quite daunting. However, there is no need to fret we’ve found out everything you need to know to make it all simple.

The Importance of Sunscreen

With so many benefits, sunscreen is essential to use for all ages, skin types and genders but there is one main reason why it is so important. The sun emits harmful UV rays in two forms -UVA and UVB rays, and sunscreen helps protect our skin and body from the damage that they cause. Each of these rays can damage our skin in different ways. All the horrible effects of the sun on the skin that causes our skin to look aged such fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots are caused by UVA rays. These types of beams can penetrate through glass, making us susceptible to them anytime we’re near a window. 

When we get painful sunburns, however, they are caused by UVB rays. While these rays cannot affect you while you’re near any form of glass, they can nevertheless be carcinogenic just like UVA rays can be. While sunscreen helps to protect all of these factors they also provide a whole host of other benefits like maintaining a more overall skin tone.

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Reasons to use sunscreen

Alongside the health benefits that are noted above there are many other benefits from using sunscreen. Applying sunscreen helps prevent tanning. While yes, a tan looks healthy and it’s a big part of everyone’s look, the ultraviolet B rays can cause a lot of damage while you’re sunbathing. It also helps to enhance the health of your skin. When you apply sunscreen you help protect the essential proteins in your skin like collagen, keratin, and elastin. These proteins aid in keeping the skin smooth and youthful.

Sunscreen is the best protection from the sun. It is often thought that just simply being covered in clothes can help minimize sun damage. That, in fact, is a myth. A dress, particularly one made of cotton provides next to no protection from the sun, especially when it’s wet. 

Ultimate Guide to Sunscreen

How to use sunscreen

Sunscreen can come in a few different forms; spray, lotion and moisturizer. COTZ doesn’t offer sunscreen spray as they do not want their customer’s inhaling the sunscreen ingredients, When using any form of sunscreen, it is essential that you use it correctly and enough of it because if you don’t, you risk not only aging skin, due to melanin deposits, aging, and wrinkles but also cancer. 

We would not suggest spray sunscreens for children. In lieu of a spray sunscreen, COTZ has a foam sunscreen that is great for children and will not get into their lungs!  

One of the main factors that sunscreen is not as effective as it should be is because they do not follow what is written on the bottle, according to dermatologists all over the world. Firstly it is essential that you do not use that old, dusty bottle of sunscreen in the back of the cabinet.

When putting sunscreen on its important to lay it on thick, when putting it on your face you should use roughly one tablespoon of sunscreen and about two ounces on your body. If you do not put sunscreen on thickly enough, then you will not get complete factor you need. Your SPF 30 will only give you the benefits of SPF 10.

When applying it to your face, it’s essential that you try to dot the cream on your face instead of rubbing it on. This helps faster and more efficient absorption. When teaming sunscreen with moisturizer the best way to do it, is to apply your moisturizer after your sunscreen. Start off with clean, dry skin before applying your sunscreen. This step can be skipped if you are using a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Should I use Sunscreen Everyday?

One thing that people do not realize is that sunscreen should be used on a daily basis. Most sun damage occurs when you expect it least, so it’s important to be safe than sorry. Chemicals that exist within sunscreen need time to absorb in the skin. For that reason alone it is essential that you put your sunscreen twenty minutes before you leave the house to allow the sunscreen to protect you to its fullest ability.

What Ingredients Should be in Sunscreen

When buying sunscreen, you should always check the ingredients that it contains. It is imperative that your sunscreen contains the following ingredients:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Octyl methoxycinnimate (OMC)
  • Avobenzone (also parsol)
  • Zinc oxide
  • 4-Aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Avobenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Diethanolamine methoxycinnamate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Drometrizole trisiloxane (Mexoryl XL)
  • Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
  • Ensulizole
  • Enzacamene
  • Homosalate
  • Meradimate
  • Octinoxate (non-encapsulated)
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Oxybenzone
  • Padimate O
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Triethanolamine salicylate

The Most Important Ingredient in Sunscreen

The most important ingredient in sunscreen is zinc oxide, which is a main ingredient in COTZ sunscreen, has been used for generations to aid with protection against the sun. Zinc was first used in Indian medicine, in 500 BC in a salve called Pushpanjan. Pushpanjan was used to heal skin naturally. Zinc oxide is derived from a metal known zinc, that is also found in many different household products  and electronics. It not only helps lower skin inflammation and prevents sunburn by providing broad spectrum protection, it also helps prevent against cancer and prevents aging of the skin.

The best sunscreens should be broad spectrum that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. These will aid further in protecting against UV rays, as well preventing rashes, clogged pores, acne and sun burns. Sunscreens should also be be water resistant. Even in water the sun rays can be harmful to skin, therefore it is essential that sunscreen does not wash off in the pool or sea. Sunscreen can be tested to be either 40 minutes water resistant or 80 minutes water resistant.

We love using COTZ sunscreen because it is a healthier sunscreen and its non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog your pores. It’s also fragrance free and doesn’t contain and dyes, oils, and parabens.

Remember that it is important to make sure that you are regularly applying sunscreen every two hours, to make sure that you are always fully protected.

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Sunscreen FAQ

Q: Is it possible to apply moisturizer before sunscreen?

A:  When you have a particular skincare regime in place with things such as moisturizers and serums it is best practice to apply sunscreen after they have been applied. The reason for this is because, these products can dull the protecting ability of sunscreen.

Q: Can sunscreen be used during pregnancy?

A: One of the best things you can do to safeguard yourself during pregnancy, is religiously wearing sunscreen, with a minimum SPF of 30. It is, however, very important that you carefully read all the ingredients in your chosen sunscreen. This due to the presence of some chemicals that are present in sunscreens that can absorb into your bloodstream and harm your fetus. COTZ recommends that you speak to your doctor before using any sunscreen during your pregnacy.

Q: How long does the protection provided by sunscreen last?

A: The duration of protection provided, its completely dependent on the SPF factor of the sunscreen itself. For optimum results sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before entering the sun. This will give the chemicals in sunscreen ample time to sink into the skin. After this sunscreen should be applied at two hour intervals regularly.

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Q: Is there a difference between factor 30 and factor 50 sunscreen? 

A: Yes, but the difference is not great. They both provide high levels of protection against the UV rays. SPF 30 provides 96% protection whereas SPF 50 provides 98%.

Q: What does SPF stand for?

A: The effectiveness of a sunscreen to block UVA and UVB rays is known as SPF. Although no SPF can provide full and complete protection against the sun, it is a general rule of thumb that the higher the SPF, the greater the amount of protection that is provided by the sunscreen in question. Next to the SPF there will also be a number that will represent for how long the sunscreen will provide protection. For example, if the number was 3 and SPF was 50, then you would be protected from sunburn and other ailments for 150 minutes.

Q: How much sunscreen should I use?

A: Most of the sunscreen users do not apply more than 20-25 percent of the required amount sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied so that the whole body is completely covered. In order to cover an adults body you need roughly 1 to 2 ounces of sunscreen. This is usually enough to fill one to two shot glasses. People also tend to miss certain areas of their body and end up getting sun damage. You should always be sure that you cover feet, your neck, your ears and the top of your head. There is always a possibility of skin cancer developing on your lips. To prevent this from happening try using a lip balm that contains SPF of at least 30

Q: What type of sunscreen is best to use?

A: The best type of sunscreen to use is one that suits your skin, which will be different for every person. Sunscreen can come in so many different forms including lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks, and sprays. Whatever your preference all sunscreens should be SPF 30 or above and be water resistant.

  • If you have dry skin creams are best for this. Creams are also good for use on the face.
  • Hairy areas such as the head or male chests it is best to use gel sunscreens.
  • Eyes are best protected with stick sunscreens.
  • When applying sunscreen to children, it may be easier to use a spray sunscreen. When using these products, it is imperative that all skin that is exposed is fully covered. When these products are applied, please make sure that it is not done in heat, near an open flame or while smoking.
  • There are also sunscreens made for specific purposes such as newborns or people with sensitive skin.

Often you can get combination products like moisturizers that contain SPF. These products also need to be applied regularly just like sunscreen.

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Q: Will sunscreen prevent me from getting all the vitamin D that I need?

A: There is the possibility of lower vitamin D absorption if there is sunscreen applied to your skin.

  • If you have concerns about your levels of vitamin D, then it is a good idea to book an appointment with your doctor about supplements.
  • Vitamin D can be gained from foods and other supplements. This will make sure you have adequate levels without risking cancer.

Q:  How to treat sunburn?

A: In the unfortunate event, that you contract sunburn you should treat it immediately. Good ways to do this are:

  • To help reduce the heat take a cool bath.
  • Discomfort caused by dry skin due to sunburn. This can be eased with moisturizer. Apply to damp skin after a bath, to help trap water in your skin.
  • An over the counter cream, known as hydrocortisone is also a great aid in easing the pain caused by sunburn. This can also be done by taking ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Sunburn makes water travel to the skin, so it is essential to drink copious amounts of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Any ”-canine” products should be avoided.

Sometimes skin can blister because of sunburn. This is known as second-degree sunburn. To treat this dermatologists recommend:

  • Blisters are formed to prevent your skin contracting infection. The blisters should be left to heal naturally.
  • If the blisters cover a large area of your body, it is essential that you seek immediate help.
  • The sun should be avoided when you have sunburn. In the summer months, we all rush to the shops, buy a bottle of sunscreen and lather our bodies in it to protect ourselves from the sun. What we forget is that yes, even though the sun is harsher in the summer months, we still need to avoid its rays all year round.  Picking out which sunscreen suits you, applying it correctly and all the steps that need to be taken to ensure that it works correctly can be quite daunting. However, there is no need to fret we’ve found out everything you need to know to make it all simple

Ultimate Guide to Sunscreen

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