It’s time to buy sun protection and people may be confused between sunscreen and suntan lotion. Are they the same thing? What are the differences between these two products?
Sun protection has become more complicated than it has to be. Marketing strategies have used the words “suntan lotion” for many years, targeting people who would like to get a nice tan without getting sunburn or skin damage. However, a suntan lotion is nothing but a sunscreen with an SPF of less than 15. In other words, it’s a weak sunscreen that theoretically should help you tan more and better than if you are using a stronger sunscreen.
The majority of suntan lotions are just tanning sunscreens with an SPF between 4 and 8 and don’t provide enough sun protection, particularly for people with lighter skin and especially for kids. Since suntan lotion doesn’t provide enough sun protection, kids should only use a sunscreen or a sunblock that provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection instead of a suntan lotion or tanning oil.
Additionally, it gets more complicated. Some sun care products are labeled sunblocks and there are also a few differences between these and the traditional sunscreens.
Sunscreens work by filtering the sun’s rays, whereas sunblocks work as a physical sunscreen, reflecting the sun’s rays. Both sunscreens and sunblocks offer good protection against the sun, though sunblocks may be undesirable cosmetically as most of these are opaque.
Hopefully this quick guide can help you buy the sun protection you need for this summer.
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