Though the sun is at its hottest during summer, it doesn’t mean that your skin is free from the effects of the sun’s harmful UV rays during the other seasons. Even in winter, your skin is still exposed to sunlight. At the same time, the cold, dry winter air can turn your skin dry, flaky, and dull. Because of this combination of concerns, you have to be more discerning when choosing your winter sun protection lotion. Thankfully, there are several things that you can look for to determine if your sun protection lotion is right for your skin. And when you are ready to choose your sunscreen, you can purchase it from beauty-centric websites like YesStyle.com.
SPF and PA+++
TheSPFs and PA+++s that are written all over sunscreen bottles indicate the level of protection you get. SPF stands for sun protection factor,and the products that carry this label protect you from UVB rays that cause the skin to burn. The number beside the SPFindicatesthe additional minutesyou get before the product’s protection wears off.
PA+++, on the other hand, simply means protection grade of UVA rays. This label is often seen on Asian brands. The more plusses there are after the PA, the longer the sunscreen’s sun protection qualities last. And each plus measures as:
- + -2-4 hours of sun exposure
- ++ – 4-8 hours of sun exposure
- +++ – > than 8 hours of sun exposure
If UVB causes your skin to burn, UVA causes permanent skin aging and increases your chances of developing skin cancer. Therefore, when choosing a sunscreen that has PA+ protection, you need to be certain how long you’ll be staying out in the sun.
If you are looking for a sunscreen lotion that has both an SPF and PA+ rating, you can try Banana Boat’s Ultra Protect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 PA+++. This lotion has a creamy, lightweight texture. Meaning, it doesn’t leave any sticky residue, and your skin can absorb it easily without clogging any pores. What’s more, it’s infused with the skin moisturizing qualities of aloe vera and other vitamins, keeping your skin moisturized and protected at the same time.
Even when two sunscreens offer the same SPF and PA+ rating, their consistency/texture will tell you how different they are. There are two general types of sunscreen lotions you can choose from, the first being physical, and the second, chemical.
Physical sunscreens are thicker and are a lot more stable. But because of their thick texture, physical sunscreens are tedious to apply. They are also known to rub off and leave a white cast on the body. Thus, reapplication is done more often. Physical sunscreens protect your skin by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, are colorless, odorless, and appear to be runny in texture, which make them easier to apply. They use a formula that lets usersadd ingredients like enzymes, peptides, and other elements that offer skin benefits. However, it takes chemical sunscreens up to 20 minutes before they take effect. They also leave a stinging sensation on the skin, which people with sensitive skin can find irritating. Chemical sunscreens protect your skin by absorbing the sun’s rays.
The main reason why you need to wear sunscreen during winter is to prevent your skin from getting dry. Since the cold air dries your skin quicker, you’ll need a lotion that offers moisturizing or hydrating properties. Luckily, sunscreens are already made to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated. What you need to look out for instead are the sunscreen’s moisturizing agents. The ingredients that make up these moisturizing agents help define the texture of your sunscreen as well.
Overall, there are three types of agents, namely: humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Each agent gives the sunscreen a different consistency. So use this reference to help you find a sunscreen with an agent that suits your skin.
- Humectants: Doesn’t feel greasy on the skin. It increases water content by attracting moisture from the dermis into the epidermis. Common ingredients includeglycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and others.
- Emollients: Creates a protective barrier that prevents moisture from evaporating from your skin. However, it is not recommended for people who are prone to blackheads and breakouts. Common ingredients include mineral oil, lanolin, petrolatum, butyl stearate, and glycerin.
- Occlusives: Slows the natural evaporation of water from the surface of the skin by creating an oily barrier on the skin’s surface. This is not recommended for people who are prone to acne, for occlusives are greasy and heavy on the skin. Common ingredients include, animal fats (e.g. lanolin), beeswax, paraffin, mineral oil, siloxanes (Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone), and vegetable fats like olive and almond oils.
Now that you have an idea of what sun protection lotion to get this winter, you need to remember to take your skin type into consideration. Not all sunscreens are good for your skin, so check the label and ingredients first before making a purchase.