Sunscreen Benefits: Why is Sunscreen a Must in Skincare?
Despite being one of the most crucial aspects of a morning skincare routine, sunscreen, or sunblock, is easily the most overlooked. With only one out of ten Americans wearing sunblock on a daily basis, its benefits are deeply unappreciated.
Why do people omit sunscreen from their skincare routine?
Given the many myths surrounding sunblock, it’s no wonder sunblock is misjudged. So today, we’ll be uncovering the truth behind a few of these common myths.
Myth #1: “Sunscreen causes acne and clogs pores”
In this case, this myth may not be completely out of line as some sunblocks may be more oily than others. There are so many different types of sunblock, so some may be more calming for sensitive skin types and other may be more targeted for acne-prone skin.
So, just as you carefully select a face cleanser or moisturizer, you should also select a sunblock that’s compatible with your skin type and your skin care routine. With all the sunblock choices out there — from oil free to paraben free — you’re sure to find the perfect one. If you’re just starting on your sunblock journey, I recommend first trying a lightweight face sunblock.
To learn more about Korean morning skincare routines, click here.
Myth #2: “Sunscreen isn’t necessary indoors or on cloudy days”
It’s a valid and common question, “Do clouds block UV rays?” The answer, sadly, is no. Thus, being the skin’s first line of defense against harmful UV rays, sunscreen is imperative whether it’s a sunny or cloudy day.
To provide you with some background, there are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB rays. The former has longer wavelengths that seep into the skin causing premature aging, while the latter has of shorter wavelengths that graze the surface of the skin causing sunburns. Moreover, these UV rays can pierce through clouds and even window panes, revealing that sunscreen protection may even be helpful while staying indoors.
Myth #3: “I only need to apply sunscreen once per day”
Unfortunately, shortly after sunscreen is applied to the skin, it begins to chemically break down. Therefore, generally after around two hours, or perhaps even less if sweating, you should reapply another layer. Overall this is a rather difficult for the average person, especially if you are wearing makeup. Thus, I would only do this on days where I’m in the sun for long hours at a time or if I’m lounging at home and can reapply a layer on my bare skin.
Myth #4: “My moisturizer or makeup already has SPF so I don’t need to apply anymore”
Although many companies claim their multi-purpose products to be SPF friendly, most of the time the efficacy of the SPF in these products is only half of what is advertised. This inconsistency, however, does not stem from an evil intent. Typically, it is because when the products are tested, they apply a thick layer of the product rather than the amount the average person would use.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that we combat this reduction by also applying an actual sunscreen. This extra step will ensure that you are obtaining the protection you are looking for.
Benefits of Sunscreen
Now that we have put the myths to rest, what exactly are the benefits of sunscreen? What should you be looking for?
#1: Skin cancer risk reduction
According to the American Academy of Dermatology association, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with one of its main causes being excess UV radiation. But, by wearing sunscreen daily, the chances of contracting skin cancer are cut in half.
#2: UV ray exposure prevention
As stated earlier, UVB rays inflict redness and irritation on the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. Therefore by selecting an appropriate sunscreen with a generous SPF, damage, including sunburns and inflammation, to the skin’s surface is less likely to occur.
Although you may not notice your epidermis irritation on a day-to-day basis, it may very well be there. As such, it’s extremely important to protect your skin even if you can’t see any irritation.
#3: Skin aging prevention
UVA rays, on the other hand, penetrate deep into multiple layers of the skin. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, UV exposure can account for up to 80% of skin aging. Of the UV rays that reach the Earth’s surface, about 95% are UVA rays, proving the ease of experiencing premature aging.
In order to decrease UVA ray exposure, a broad spectrum SPF with, once again, an appropriate SPF is essential. To clarify, broad spectrum indicates that the sunscreen’s UVA protection is proportional to its UVB protection and the SPF indicates the amount of protection offered. The higher the factor, the higher the protection.
However, as with most things, “everything must be in moderation”, so too high of a factor for daily use may be counterintuitive. Generally, SPF 50 suffices for everyday wear.
With these two UV rays accounted for, the likelihood of sunburns, skin cancer development, and premature skin aging is all reduced.
What Are Kbeauty Sunscreen Benefits?
In terms of why you should choose Kbeauty sunscreen above all other options, it comes down to quality and ingredients. Kbeauty culture prides itself in its achievements for obtaining textureless and no-makeup-like skin. As such, their sunblocks uphold this same principle. Coming in a wide range of forms, BB cream, CC cream, and more, Kbeauty sunblocks glide onto the skin. More importantly, they rarely have that sunscreen smell and tackiness that several US sunblocks have.
Additionally, in South Korea, unlike the US, the sunscreen chemical drug approval process is streamlined, allowing the Kbeauty industry to dominate innovation. Unfortunately, in the US, the sunscreen chemical drug approval process is extremely long and difficult. In fact, in 2017, there was no approved sunscreen chemical since 1999.
With so many options to choose from, which sunscreen should you try first? I recommend WishFormula’s Fermented Oil Free Dr Mild Sun Block.
Full of enriching ingredients like clover flower ferment extract, peppermint leaf ferment extract, hyaluronic acid, and more, this oil-free sun block contains nutritious goodies to keep your skin moisturized without clogging your pores. Both hypoallergenic and lightweight, this product is the best Korean sunscreen for sensitive skin. Leaving the skin plump with no white cast, it’s the perfect finish if you looking to apply foundation or leave the house right away.
Moreover, with an SPF of 50+ as well as a PA+++, this is a broad-spectrum sunscreen great for everyday wear. With high protection from UVA rays as indicated from the PA+++, WishFormula’s sun block is sure to prevent premature aging and skin discoloration.
For many foreign sunscreens, PA dictates UVA protection with a range of PA+ to PA++++. PA+ offers the lowest protection and PA++++, the highest. Adapted from the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) method, the PPD to PA conversions are as follows:
- 2 to 4 PPD, PA = PA+
- 4 to 8 PPD, PA = PA++
- 8 to 16 PPD, PA = PA+++
- 16 or higher PPD, PA = PA++++
These conversions indicate that a sunscreen with PA+, for example, should provide an individual with 2 to 4 times more UVA protection than if he or she were not wearing sunscreen. The following conversions are read in the manner.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, read “What Is PA+++?”
People often discover the effects of sun damage by the time it’s too late. Thus, I highly encourage you to start your sunscreen journey today. By taking only a few extra seconds each morning, you can drastically decrease the chances of harm or aging occurring, allowing you and your skin to reap sunscreen benefits in the years to come.
To review the main points, wear SPF everyday no matter the rain or shine. Sunblock generally needs to be reapplied every few hours directly onto bare skin for maximum efficacy. Also, take the time to find the right sunscreen for you and your skincare routine even if may be tedious.
To learn more about K-beauty and the latest skincare products, make sure to read our last post.