A happy young woman applying sunscreen

It's common knowledge that we should all be using sunscreen faithfully every day, no matter the weather. 

However, even though most people know sunscreen is a must, people tend to ghost it. Seriously, think of all the times you've put off applying sunscreen before going outside: on a hot summer day, on a last-minute beach trip, or while running errands. Sure, you might be attempting to catch some added vitamin D or just want to avoid it because it doesn’t seem that important. But, truthfully speaking, there are endless reasons why slathering on sunscreen every morning is extremely important. So, we're here to shed light on the truth behind this morning skincare routine staple and give an in-depth look at what exactly sunscreen does! 

Buckle up because today I'm going to be your suntan expert extraordinaire as I unravel all the mysteries behind this tried-and-true goodie.

How does sunscreen protect your skin?

Sunscreen is an essential part of any outdoor *and even indoor* plan, as it helps protect our skin from both UVA and UVB radiation. Without it, exposure to these rays can lead to an increased risk of developing wrinkles, dark spots, and even some types of skin cancer. 

In this sense, sunscreen works by blocking or reflecting the UV light away from our skin with a combination of active ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Additionally, some sunscreens contain chemical blockers which absorb UV radiation instead of reflecting it away. So, all in all, by absorbing or reflecting the UV light, sunscreen acts as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun - like an extra layer of clothing!

However, here’s the catch: the way sunscreen protects your skin depends on the type of sunscreen you’re using. As we said before, this product can have chemical blockers or physical ones which, in turn, result in two types of sunscreens: physical or mineral and chemical. 

Sun Protection
All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk
Sun Protection All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk
Sale price$29.00

Chemical sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens are often misunderstood since the name sounds like you’re putting radiation on your skin, but that’s not it. This type of sunscreen works by absorbing UV rays, converting them into heat, and then releasing them from the skin’s surface. 

Sounds like some sciencey mumbo jumbo, doesn't it? Fret not, it’s actually quite simple! A layer of protection is created when chemical sunscreen molecules break apart and link together whenever they come in contact with your skin. By acting as tiny shields, they protect your skin from the sun. 

So, what’s the catch with chemical sunscreens? They’re not safe for everyone! This type of product contains oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals that penetrate the bloodstream, meaning that they’re not safe for pregnancy or breastfeeding. Additionally, although they are not toxic, they can still irritate acne-prone and sensitive skin. 

Physical or mineral sunscreen

Physical sunscreens are designed to protect your skin from the harmful, ultraviolet rays of the sun in a safe and effective way. Unlike chemical sunscreens which rely on chemicals to absorb UV rays and disperse them away from your skin, physical sunscreen has ingredients, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, that reflect UV rays and create a physical barrier against those pesky ultraviolet rays. 

This barrier reflects and scatters harmful UV radiation away from your skin before it can cause any damage. Physical sunscreens contain no parabens or chemicals making them a safer choice for both adults and children, especially those with sensitive skin.

Sun Protection
Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++
Sun Protection Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++
Sale price$22.00
Sun Protection
Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ (02 White)
Sun Protection Mermaid Skin Gel Uv SPF 50+ PA++++ (02 WHITE )
Sale price$18.00

Why sunscreen is important?

As explained before, applying sunscreen at the end of your morning skincare routine is a must because it helps protect your skin against UV rays. But why are these rays so dangerous for your skin? Let’s dive into it. 

UVA rays

UVA radiation is 95% of the rays that penetrate into the earth and are the ones responsible for giving you that trendy tan everybody is searching for during the summer. That’s why this is the type of radiation used in bed tans! 

However, that doesn’t mean they’re safe. These types of UV rays are responsible for causing wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and other signs of premature skin aging, this is because they penetrate deep into the dermis, breaking down collagen. Additionally, they’ve been found to cause certain types of skin cancer. 

UVA rays can penetrate glass, meaning that can still harm your skin while you’re indoors. 

Sun Protection
Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ C01 Mint - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sun Protection MERMAID SKIN GEL UV SPF 50+ PA++++ MINT
Sale price$18.00
Sun Protection
Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ (02 White)
Sun Protection MERMAID SKIN GEL UV SPF 50+ PA++++ (02 WHITE )
Sale price$18.00

UVB rays

UVB rays are ultraviolet B radiation from the sun, which are the 5% of the rays that penetrate the earth. They’re also known as the “sunburn” rays since they’re the main cause of sunburn during sun exposure. 

These rays don’t penetrate that deep into the skin, meaning the damage they cause is more topical than the damage caused by UVA rays. In this sense, they cause a burning sensation, irritation, and redness. 

UVB rays are stronger between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and can’t penetrate glass, so they harm your skin only when you’re outdoors. 

Sun Protection
All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX (SPF 50+ PA+++)
Sun Protection All-around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk EX
Sale price$29.00
Sun Protection
Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ (01 Clear)
Sun Protection Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++ (01 Clear)
Sale price$18.00

Sunscreen guide: 6 Tips to Pick the Best Sunscreen for Your Skin

Rain or shine you should always wear sunscreen if you don’t want to end up like an old, wrinkled raisin. But, what are the best tips to pick the right product for you? Here are some sunscreen facts you need to bear in mind: 

Be mindful of the Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun's harmful UVB rays. It's an indication of how long you can stay in the sun with your sunscreen on before getting burned. High SPFs provide better protection and last longer.

Taking that into account, on a day-to-day basis, it’s okay to use sunscreen with SPF 30 on your face and exposed areas *even if you work in an office or at home*. On the other hand, if you work or are planning to do any kind of activity outdoors, it’s recommended to use an SPF 50 or higher. 

Does SPF 15 do anything?

SPF 15 can definitely come in handy during your day-to-day, blocking up to 93% of ultraviolet rays; however, experts suggest using an SPF of 30 or higher for the most efficient sun protection possible. 

This doesn’t mean that SPF 15 or lower is completely useless, however, in comparison, SPF 30 offers 97% protection, while SPF 50 offers 98% protection from UVB rays, so they’re more effective. 

Broad-spectrum protection is better

Broad-spectrum protection sunscreen is a type of sunscreen formulation that works by blocking or reflecting radiation during sun exposure. This type of sunscreen doesn't just provide protection from UVB radiation *like most sunscreens*, which causes sunburn, but also UVA radiation, which accelerates aging and can cause more serious issues such as skin cancer. 

So, when picking up, it’s better to go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, instead of a common one. 

Sun Protection
Kiss Me Mommy UV Mild Gel SPF 33 PA++ - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sun Protection Kiss Me Mommy UV Mild Gel SPF 33 PA+++
Sale price$18.00
Sun Protection
Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Tone up Cream - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sun Protection Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Tone Up Cream
Sale price$30.00

Wear sun-protective clothing when outdoors

Most people know that it's important to wear sunscreen when outdoors, but not everyone is aware of the importance of sun-protective clothing. Wearing clothing that covers your skin is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. 

Sun-protective clothing is made from fabrics that have been specifically designed to block out UV rays. It's important to remember that even if you're wearing sunscreen, it's still a good idea to wear sun-protective clothing. This is because sunscreen doesn't always provide complete protection from the sun, and it can also rub off or absorb into your skin.

Use waterproof sunscreen when going into the water

Waterproof sunscreen is a summertime essential. Unlike regular sunscreens, waterproof formulas are designed to resist water and sweat for long-lasting protection. This means that swimming, kayaking, and beach days can be enjoyed without having to worry about the sunscreen losing effectiveness when exposed skin goes underwater. 

However, it's important to note that the majority of waterproof formulas wear off after about 80 minutes in the water, so you still have to go out and reapply it. 

People with darker skin tones still need to wear sunscreen

Believe it or not, even if you have darker skin tones, you still need to be aware of sun protection. Despite the common misconception that having a darker skin tone can counterbalance possible sun damage, this is unfortunately not the case. 

Skin tones that regularly tan may be less susceptible to redness and burning due to increased levels of melanin, however, skin cancer and skin aging risk still remains true regardless of what shade your skin is. 

Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen

Generally speaking, applying sunscreen once will not last all day. Depending on your unique situation—environment, time spent outdoors, skin type, etc.—you may need to reapply once every two hours or more frequently. 

So, for example, if you apply sunscreen in the morning and just go to work in an indoor space, it’s okay to not reapply it. On the other hand, if you apply sunscreen, go to water or sweaty activities, or spend the whole day outdoors, you need to reapply the product every two hours to avoid damage to your skin cells. 

When should you apply sunscreen?

ALWAYS! No matter if it’s Summer or Winter, if it’s raining or shiny, the last step in your morning skincare routine should A-L-W-A-Y-S be sunscreen. 

In this sense, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 minutes before you go outside. Reapplying your sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, ensures that you have full protection from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Remember: ALL seasons are sun-damaging seasons. 

Sun Protection
Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen - Asian Beauty Essentials
Sun Protection Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen
Sale price$35.00

Where to find the best sunscreens for skin?

Summer is coming, which means that sunscreen is about to become your best friend when going out to enjoy the season. So, now that you know what does sunscreen do, it’s time to go shopping! 

If you’re looking for a sunscreen that protects your skin without leaving you with an annoying white cast, Asian Beauty Essentials is your place to go! Visit our sunscreen collection and pick the one that suits you best. No matter your skin type, concerns, or the type of protection you need, we have something for you! And, if you’re not sure you can find what you need *because sunscreens are kind of confusing* leave us a comment and we’ll recommend you the product that goes best for you. 

Important: taking into account the harm chemical sunscreens can cause, Asian Beauty Essentials does not carry this type of sunscreen. All of our products are physical or mineral sunscreens

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Your blog is an excellent catalyst for innovative thinking and pushing past boundaries.

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