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More about Sun Protection


During the summer months, many people have questions about sunscreen. While most readers likely have a basic understanding of sunscreen, this article aims to address a more recent and popular topic.

Some customers have expressed confusion about why their sunscreen hasn’t lightened their dark spots. The purpose of sunscreen is to block ultraviolet rays from penetrating the skin, and it does not have a whitening effect nor is it 100% effective. Another way to enhance sun protection is to use umbrellas, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts to block UV rays. However, the best way to avoid UV rays altogether is to avoid direct sun exposure.

Recently, a type of spray-on sunscreen has gained popularity, even being promoted by a major brand. It is characterized by its convenience, speed, and versatility, as it can be applied to various body parts and even on wet skin. However, can spray-on sunscreen replace traditional sunscreen lotions? One issue with spray-on sunscreen is that its ingredients may enter the lungs and body through the nose and mouth, prompting the FDA to investigate its effects on the body since 2011. While the results are currently unknown, spray-on sunscreen may not necessarily cover all areas that have been sprayed since the spray comes out as droplets, leaving spaces in between (Skipped Area). If spray-on sunscreen is to be used on the face, it is best to spray it onto the palm of the hand and then apply it to the face, rather than directly spraying it onto the face.

In 2011, the FDA proposed that the maximum SPF level on sunscreen labels should be SPF 50+, not SPF 60, 90, or higher. A higher SPF level does not significantly increase sun protection but can increase its impact on the skin. The FDA also requires that sunscreen undergo specific tests to be labeled as broad-spectrum sunscreen, meaning it can effectively block both UVA and UVB rays. The SPF number only represents the ability to block UVB rays. UVA rays can also increase the risk of skin aging and cancer, so consumers should not blindly pursue SPF numbers while neglecting protection against UVA rays.

During summer outings, should children also apply sunscreen? Infants under six months have very fragile skin, and should avoid wearing sunscreen to prevent sensitivity to the product. Parents should also avoid exposing babies to direct sunlight. For children over six months who need sunscreen, it is best to use physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are not absorbed by the skin and do not cause sensitivity.

Remember, sunscreen needs to be used properly to achieve its ideal protective effects!