Best Time of Day to Tan? A Guide On Sunscreen

Read on and find out how sunscreen works and when you should apply it.

If you are a beach lover like us, when you’re visiting paradise your skin receives invisible rays which can cause harm, and if you are looking for a perfect and healthy tan, sunblock can be your best friend.

How often do I have to apply sunscreen?

Whether in spray, cream, bar, gel or wax, sunscreen can be designed to reflect light or to absorb ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Inorganic sunblockers are composed of minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which works as a physical blocker to reflect UV rays and move it away from our skin.

In contrast, organic sunscreens contain organic chemicals usually called avobenzone or oxybenzone, which instead of reflecting ultraviolet light, have molecules that absorb it. The more light it absorbs the weaker it becomes, making it to emit heat, and thus it’s needed to be reapplied more frequently.

Regardless of type, Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sunscreen/sunblock must be reapplied every two hours, since most people do not use enough or use it in “extreme” conditions, such as swimming under the sun, for example.

So, what is biodegradable sunscreen?

If you travel to Mexico and other destinations, it’s a common travel recommendation to bring a biodegradable sunblock with you, and you should pay attention so “Biodegradable” label refers to the product itself and not the packaging.

Biodegradable sunscreen is chemical-free as in other products which damage the ecosystem such as PABA, octinoxate, oxybenzone, 4-methylbenzylidene, camphor and butylparaben.

This biodegradable product is considered ecological because it doesn’t harm nature or animals when it breaks off from your skin while you swim, sweat, surf, snorkel or dive. Usually this requirement is strict and common sunblocks are confiscated until you return from the tour.

It’s very important to attend this requirement at the moment of interaction with nature like swimming in the sea, rivers or cenotes.

What does FPS mean?

The Sun Protection Factor is an index which indicates the ability of sunscreen to protect skin against UVB radiation. These rays can get you a beautiful tan, but it can also burn your skin.

Long story short, the number of FPS indicates the level of protection and how long it would take for your skin to turn red. For example, if your skin takes 10 minutes to do it and you have a sunscreen FPS15, multiply those 10 minutes by 15, resulting in 150 minutes, that is, 2 and a half hours.

Of course it is an approximate time and it also depends other factors such as humidity, skin sensitivity and sun intensity.

Do not using sunscreen can cause cancer?

Believe it or not, using sunscreen can prevent serious skin damage such as cancer.

The UV and UVB rays cause burns, but UVA rays penetrate connective tissues, causing spots, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and other effects of photoaging.

UVA rays are increasingly considered a cause of skin cancer, according to Skin Cancer Foundation.

When is the best time to get a tan?

It may seem a somewhat “closed schedule”, but if you want to minimize at all costs the risks of damaging your skin, we recommend you to moisturize your skin before exposing it to the sun, and we are talking not only of moisturizers and sunscreen, but also of drinking lots of water and eat foods with beta-carotene, a natural anticarcinogenic component.

Also, use sunscreen whenever you expose your skin to the sun, even if it is only to leave the house and go directly into the car. You can buy a small travel bottle to always carry it with you.

If you want to tan in the least harmful way, we recommend you to get in the sun for 20 minutes every 3 hours. Use the morning sun before 10 o’clock, and afternoon sun, after 4 o’clock.

This way you will get a perfect and healthy tan!

Help! And if I already spent too much time under the sun?

If you are reading this and it is a bit late, do not worry, there are painkillers for all those times that you fall asleep in the sun and then wake up with red skin and a burning sensation.

For these cases there are fresh and light after-sun gels, which are specially designed for easy application with a non-sticky formula, perfect to give you that relief feeling.

If you are looking for something more natural, you can cut a leaf of aloe vera and apply it directly in the areas with more pain, this will give you the much needed hydration your skin begs and its 100% natural!

We recommend using biodegradable sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun, since this way you will take care of the environment and avoid damage to your beautiful skin at the same time.

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