First, let’s talk about sunscreen and general, and why we need it. Because of the changing levels of the ozone, it is believed that the earth’s atmospheric layer of protection against the sun’s UV rays is not as reliable, and that makes sunscreen products a necessity more than just vanity. Too much UV exposure causes sunburn, and in some extreme cases can lead to skin cancer.
By applying sunscreen, we are protecting our skin (especially our face) from sun damage and with daily use, it helps maintain our skin’s elasticity which is what we need to avoid wrinkles and premature aging. Another benefit of using it regularly is that sunscreen evens out our complexion, avoids pigmentation, and boosts the skin’s brightness.
In tropical countries like Thailand, it is recommended to use at least SPF 30 sunscreen. However, the higher the SPF, the better—especially when doing outdoor activities like swimming and running since that is when our face is more exposed to the sun, and you can’t exactly use and umbrella when running, or a hat when swimming.
By the way, while we’re talking about running, it’s probably a good idea to look for running shoes that are more appropriate for hot, sunny days.
When to apply sunscreen products
If you spend plenty of time outdoors, put the sunblock on at least 30 minutes before going out (or whatever the allotted time that the label says). The reason for this is not necessarily so that the sunscreen can penetrate the skin. Instead, if you apply the sunscreen on your face and body beforehand, it allows the product to “set” and form an even layer of film. Imagine, you are literally putting some shield on your skin! Once the shield has set, there are less chances of it coming off.
Also, if you’re worried about the sweat and water (when swimming) wiping off the skin protection, most sunscreens are formulated to be water- and sweat-resistant. But you can always reapply whenever you think it’s needed.
You may be thinking that you won’t need sunscreen when you spend most of the time indoors, but actually, you still do. That’s because aside from the fact that sunlight still passes through our windows, we also need to consider the blue light coming from our computer screens, smartphones, televisions, LED light bulb and even fluorescent signs. It may come as a surprise but recent research shows that the blue light from these modern tools and equipment can cause skin damage. So even if you are working from home as a VA or maybe a day trader, using sunscreen is not a bad idea.
Now let’s answer the question: sunscreen gel or cream?
Using a suitable sunscreen for you will give you the best result and avoid any side effects such as irritation, redness, pigmentation and even acne. Generally, there are two types of sunscreen products: first, the inorganic sunscreen which is creamy and often leaves a white cast; and second, the organic sunscreen which is typically in gel-like texture.
1.Sun cream has been around since the beginning of sunscreen products in the 1930s
This type of sunscreen is inorganic due to its main ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They do not contain any carbon.
Sun cream is widely known as “physical sunscreen” although that is not an accurate description. The nature of the two main ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, helps reflect some of the UV rays, but most of it is absorbed (contrary to popular belief). It is also these two ingredients that often leaves the white cast. But as technology advances, manufacturers are finding more ways to reduce this. One can argue the point though that since the cream is visible, you can tell whether you’re applying it evenly or you need to reapply.
One thing to consider: if you have an oily skin, the thick and creamy form of sunscreen may cause problems like acne and irritation.
2. A newer form of sun protection: Gel
The first sunscreen gel came out in 1985 and was a favorite among athletes. That’s because it is lightweight and non-greasy. That makes it also probably better for oily skin types.
The accurate description of sunscreen gel is “organic” because of the presence of carbon in its ingredients, mainly avobenzone and octinoxate. Because of the chemically treated compounds, this type of sunscreen is popularized as “chemical sunscreen.” In reality, sun cream’s zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are also chemicals. So this distinction between physical and chemical sunscreen is quite misleading.
What makes sunscreen gel different is that it absorbs all the UV, instead of reflecting them. The absorbed UV is then turned into heat and released. But probably the best feature of a sunscreen gel is that it feels cool on the skin, not thick, not visible and quick to dry. It sounds like the perfect product in a fast-paced world.
One downside: because it has more chemical contents, it might cause some adverse reaction from sensitive skin. But if you’re worried that it can cause acne, gel sunscreens are non-comedogenic which means they do not clog pores that may cause pimples.
In summary, the difference between the sunscreen gel and cream really boils down to your skin type and preference. But they both do a good job in helping protect our skin from too much sun exposure. Sunscreen gel is better for people who are always on the go and do not like the heavy cream on their face or body. If ou are looking for an effective sunscreen gel at a very reasonable price, check out our Ultra-light Aqua Sunscreen Gel which offers protection from UVA, UVB and blue light.
Our friends at Virtual Assistant Thailand are health-conscious, including healthy skin, and they see to it that whether they are working from the lush mountains in the north or the stunning beaches in the south, they are using good sun protection products.