All About Sunscreen

As the days stretch and the air warms, we find ourselves discovering ways to just be outside. Whether you are headed to the beach or working in your garden, there is one thing you don’t want to forget…sunscreen!

Sunscreen has become one of the most important aspects to keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Let’s take a look at this mysterious substance and why you’ll want to lather up on the daily from now on.

Why do I need sunscreen?

We need sunscreen’s super powers to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancers caused by the sun. Even though we love the sun for its warmth, light, and source of energy for all living things, it can also do some major damage to the skin.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. Too much exposure of this radiation is what causes damage to living tissue. When you apply sunscreen, you are reducing your overall ultraviolet exposure.

According to the National Toxicology Program, only about 10 percent of sunlight is UV and only a third of that makes its way through the atmosphere to reach the ground. This 10 percent that we encounter is made of 95 percent UVA and 5 percent UVB rays.

Natural sunscreen

The body is brilliant. It has its own defense mechanism to protect itself from harmful UV rays. It triggers the production of a pigment called melanin. Melanin’s job is to absorb UV light and disperse it as heat. The more damage the body senses, the more melanin it sends. This causes the skin to darken, giving you that sweet tan you’ve been missing all winter long.

Why do I need to use sunscreen?

Even though the body has its own natural barricade, sometimes it’s not enough to keep the bad guys out. Overexposure to UV radiation can overwhelm the body’s troops and blast their defenses to smithereens. This is what we call a sunburn.

Why do I get sunburned?

A sunburn is the result of a suntan gone wrong.  Because excessive UV rays damage the DNA in the cells, the body sends a tidal wave of blood to help with the healing process. The more blood, the more painful and inflamed that area of the body gets. And before you know it, you’ve gone from summer-ready to summer-lobster.

Unfortunately, that cherry-red, inflamed look has never been on trend. But no need to fret. There is a very simple and shady solution to avoid a whole lot of pain and maybe even an identity crisis...sunscreen!


When applied properly, sunscreen is proven to:

  • Lower risk of skin cancers and precancers: Regular use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing the second most common skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, by 40%. Regular use of sunscreen can lower your risk of melanoma by 50%.
  • Helps prevent skin from aging prematurely. Sun damage causes more wrinkles, sagging and age spots.

Sunscreen should be applied to everyone starting as young as 6 months of age!

Babies under 6 months of age still have very sensitive skin, so they should limit their sun exposure as much as possible. Keep them underneath a large customized umbrella at the pool or beach, and clothe them in sun-protective clothing for double protection.

Individuals who tan easily and never burn are equally at risk of developing skin cancers as those who burn easily. Whether or not you burn, sun exposure still damages the skin. And over a lifetime, that damage can lead to skin cancer.

The best sunscreen.

Okay, you’re convinced to lather this lotion on. Except, which one?

Pacing the sunscreen isle might cause more anxiety than the idea of a sunburn because of the endless options lining store shelves. The best sunscreen is one that is safe, effective, and has a broad spectrum with an SPF 15 or higher. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, they believe the best sunscreen is “one you are most likely to use.” Because the happier you are with your sunscreen, the more consistently you’ll apply it.

To help find the sunscreen that’s right for you, let’s look at the two different types of sunscreens available.

Physical Sunscreen Ingredients:

Physical sunscreen, also referred to as mineral sunscreen, use physical components that literally block and disperse rays before they penetrate the skin. Forming a barrier on the surface of the skin, this sunscreen reflects UV rays away from the skin. These sunscreen products use the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

If your lifestyle includes daily and prolonged exposure to the sun, then this would be a great option for you! Mineral sunscreens protects against both UVA and UVB rays, providing ultimate protection from those long hours in the sun.

One flaw to this strong barrier is the very visible white coloring left on the skin. We’re talking Casper-the-friendly-ghost style.

Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients:

Chemical based sunscreens absorb the damaging UV rays before they reach the skin. Chemicals most widely used for this kind of protection are avobenzone, octisalate, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

These types of sunscreens are known to rub into the skin much easier and are less likely to turn you into a member of the Adams family.

Are sunscreens safe?

The U.S. FDA approves of both physical and chemical sunscreens and considers them safe and effective for topical use. It is important to note, the active ingredients in physical and chemical sunscreens are chemically derived, even the more “natural” types.

What does SPF mean and how much do I need?

SPF is an acronym for Sun Protection Factor. The number placed with SPF refers to the time it would take for the sun’s UVB rays to redden the skin if you apply the sunscreen (as directed) compared with the amount of time without sunscreen.

For example, if you apply a SPF 30 sunscreen properly, it will take you 30 times longer to burn than if you had not applied sunscreen.

To choose the right SPF for you, the first thing you need to do is consider your lifestyle factors:

      • If you spend most of your days inside with a few short periods in the sun, then an SPF of 15 or higher will work perfectly for you.
      • If you spend most of your time outside, then an SPF of 30 or higher should be your best friend. Don’t forget a water-resistant option might be best for you too! More time spent outside means you’re more likely to perspire. Especially in those hot summer months, lather up with your own personalized sunscreen!

Regardless of which SPF number you choose, sunscreen should be a part of your everyday routine. Apply 30 minutes before heading outside to allow the sunscreen to bind to the skin. If your sun exposure lasts longer than 2 hours, it is imperative to reapply for continued protection. Especially if your outdoor activities include swimming or excessive sweating,  reapply immediately.

Here at USImprints, we have a wide variety of custom logo sunscreens in personal sized bottles. Always having a mini sunscreen bottle around ensures you are always protected! The next time your customer avoids a sunburn, they'll have you to thank for it!

So there you have it...

Sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent skin damage and skin cancers, the most common form of cancer in the United States. Paired with sun-protective clothing and a shady umbrella, you can feel great about protecting your healthy and youthful-looking skin!