Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Welcome back to ReviewBox! Sunscreens are topical products whose main purpose is to protect the skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Their function is very important to prevent sunburn, premature wrinkles, spots and melanomas.

In this article we will talk about the different types of sunscreens, including their different varieties, models, functions, sun protection factors, uses, formats, brands, and qualities, so that you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for you, depending on your skin type. We will also tell you which are the best rated and most sold sunscreens on the internet, their costs, and the shops where you can get them. This information will be of great help to you to make the best choice of purchase according to your budget.




The most important

  • Sunscreens are products for cosmetic and medicinal use, designed to care for the health of the skin and prevent its early oxidation. They also prevent major risks, such as deep burns, irritation and even melanoma.
  • Apart from sunscreens, there are sunscreens, which form a barrier against ultraviolet rays, preventing them from entering the skin. There are also suntan lotions, whose main function is to accelerate the skin colouring process.
  • It is important that you take into account certain factors when buying the most suitable sunscreen for you, such as the different varieties, formats, uses, level of protection, and possible contraindications, among other aspects.

The Best Sunscreen: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about sunscreens

The main purpose of this buying guide is for you to know the main features of the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will detail the most important aspects of sunscreens, including their advantages, and those factors that are not so beneficial.

Sunscreens protect the skin from the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. (Photo: MaryiaBahutskaya/ 123rf.com)

What are sunscreens and what are their advantages?

Sunscreens are products that are applied to the skin to protect it from ultraviolet A (UVA) and/or ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The combination of the two is extremely harmful to health, and can lead to everything from premature ageing to skin cancer. Sunscreens or sunscreens are sold in different formats, such as creams, gels, sprays, etc., and have different graduations according to the sun protection factor (SPF).

There are also different sizes, designs, brands and qualities of these photoprotective elements. Among their main advantages, sunscreens prevent skin diseases, which can range from sunburn to melanoma. They also prevent the appearance of early wrinkles and skin blemishes caused by oxidation from solar radiation.

Advantages
  • They protect the skin from cellular oxidation
  • They prevent the development of melanomas
  • They prevent the appearance of premature wrinkles and spots
  • They protect the skin from burns
Disadvantages
  • They can cause allergies
  • They are sometimes very pasty
  • Some leave the skin oily
  • The best are expensive

Sunscreen, sunblock or suntan lotion - what should you pay attention to?

The family of sunscreens includes sunscreen, sunblock and suntan lotion. Below we will discuss the main characteristics of each so that you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for your skin type.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a substance that is applied to the skin to avoid or prevent sun damage, mainly sunburn and long-term cell oxidation. It can come in different formats and sun protection factors (SPF), and does not have absolute protection against ultraviolet rays.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen, as its name suggests, completely blocks ultraviolet radiation, so it is widely used for sensitive skin (such as babies), or very white skin. It has a thick, thick consistency and comes in different factors, usually from SPF 50 and upwards.

Suntan lotion: It has melanin-activating substances in the skin that accelerate the tanning process. Although you can find tanning lotions with a high protection factor, they are usually from SPF 15 and below, which implies a higher risk of burns, oxidation and melanomas.

Sunscreen Sunblock Tanning lotion
Format Cream, gel, spray, etc. Generally cream Cream, gel, oil, spray, etc.
Texture Creamy, oily, liquid Generally thick Creamy, oily
Duration 2 hours approx.2 to 4 hours approx. 2 hours approx. those with higher SPF
Sun protection factor (SPF) SPF 15 to 40 generally SPF 50 and upwards Generally less than 15
Skin types White and dark Very white and sensitive More resistant skin

How much does a sunscreen cost?

The prices of sunscreens basically depend on their sun protection factor (SPF) and brand, as the brand often determines the quality of the product. In the following paragraph we will tell you the approximate costs so that you have a parameter of the commercial values.

In the market you can find second brand sunscreens from 100 MXN (there may be offers at lower prices) and upwards. The prices of the first brands are usually between 200 MXN and 400 MXN, and can go up to 1,000 MXN, or more, depending on the characteristics of the product.

Different types of sunscreens are available on the market. (Photo: MilanMarkovic / 123rf.com)

Buying criteria

In this last section of the article we will talk about the most important factors you should take into account when buying sunscreens or sunscreens, as there is a great variety and assortment of this product, and sometimes it can be difficult to choose the most suitable one.

Chemical, physical or biological

Sunscreens or sunscreens can also be classified into chemical, physical and biological, which differ from each other mainly in their composition and level of protection. Below we will talk about them so that you can get to know their particularities and choose the best one for your skin.

Chemical sunscreens: Creams with chemical filters, such as sunscreens, have components that penetrate the skin layers, absorbing solar radiation and transforming it into something that is not harmful to the skin, depending on the type of factor (SPF).

Physical sunscreens: Physical filters, such as sunscreens, are mineral powders that do not penetrate the skin, as they create an external layer that acts as a barrier against the entry of the sun's rays; this is why their consistency is usually much thicker and thicker.

Biological sunscreens: Biological filters are products of natural origin made as creams from sesame oil, avocado, aloe vera, etc., and their main function is to prevent the formation of free radicals. Generally their level of protection is low, so they are used as boosters for other sunscreens.

Sunscreens offer the most protection. (Photo: chezbeate / pixabay.com)

Format

Sunscreens come in a variety of designs and formats, adapted to different usage preferences. Below we will tell you about each of them so that you can choose the one that is most convenient, practical and functional for you.

Cream: This is the classic format for sunscreens. Low SPF sunscreens tend to be absorbed more quickly, but do not protect the skin as much, and high protection sunscreens, such as sunscreens, prevent the arrival of ultraviolet rays, but are much thicker and uncomfortable, as their texture is a bit heavy.

Gel: Gel sunscreens have a lighter texture than cream sunscreens, but can sometimes be a bit oily, especially in the case of suntan lotions. But the brand of the product and the quality of the product also play a role.

Aerosol: Aerosol is one of the newest and most practical formats, as it is easy to apply evenly and its texture is very light, almost ethereal. It is especially recommended for oily skin or skin with acne, and not so much for dry skin (to which sun creams are recommended).

Water resistance

It is important that the sunscreen, sunblock or suntan lotion is water resistant, as we often do not pay attention to this fundamental point. We are not only talking about sea water, but also about swimming pools and the body's own perspiration due to the heat. But one thing we need to be clear about is that no sunscreen is 100% waterproof, even if it says so on the label.

It is therefore advisable that if you dive into the water with it, or sweat too much, you should reapply it after 40 minutes or 1 hour, instead of 2 hours. Another very important factor is to apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, as the effect is not immediate, especially if you are in contact with water. This rule includes all types of filters and SPFs.

Contraindications

Although it is not the most common, sunscreens or sunscreens can often have side effects on the skin. Below we will discuss the possible adverse reactions that these products can cause in some cases.

Allergy: It can happen (although it is not the most common) that chemical sunscreens cause irritation or itching in people with allergies or very sensitive skin. It is advisable to test them beforehand around the wrist to check if they cause any type of reaction. If the sunscreen causes redness, burning, blisters or discomfort, another option is to change the brand of the product (as they are sometimes made with different substances), or opt directly for a sunscreen of physical origin, which is unlikely to cause side effects.

Burns: Sunburn is not related to the sunscreen itself, but to its low UV protection. In addition, low SPFs can generate spots, premature wrinkles, and even melanomas, depending on skin type, predisposition, time and schedule of sun exposure, etc.

(Featured Image Source: Sergey Novikov/ 123rf.com)

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