A skin-cautious holiday comes on Sunscreen Protection Day, celebrated every year on May 27. This day raises awareness for sunscreen products and their valuable benefits to our skin and overall well-being. Sunscreen has been around since the early 1900s and contains sun protection factor (S.P.F.), which was discovered shortly after. Sunscreens are also called sunblocks or suntan lotions and come in a variety of forms such as cream, sprays, gels, sticks, and even powder. These topical products are applied to our skin to minimize the harsh effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (U.V.) rays. This day raises awareness for the photoprotective qualities of sunscreen.
History of Sunscreen Protection Day
Sunscreen and its benefits are gradually becoming widespread knowledge with the growth of skin-protection products in the already saturated skincare industry. If you haven’t used it before, you may have come across it, heard about it, or watched a commercial or two centered around it. In any way, we are sure you have a small idea of what this photoprotective product is.
As we mentioned earlier, sunscreen is a photoprotective skincare product. In basic terms, this very essential product is used on the skin to protect it from damages caused by sunlight, usually by ultraviolet (U.V.) rays, like aging and skin cancer. It is a topical product, meaning it is applied to particular areas on the surface of our skin — areas most exposed to sunlight.
We know after hearing all this ‘sunlight’ talk, you may assume sunscreen is only for those really hot, extra sunny days, or even more specifically, days at the beach. This couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter the weather — hot, warm, cold, or even really cold — the sun always comes out. This means there is always the presence of U.V. rays, although the intensity may vary. Therefore, you should never leave the house without your sunscreen.
Sunscreen was first created in the 1930s by Australian chemist H.A. Milton Blake and its U.V-protection qualities were verified by the University of Adelaide. Before that, early civilizations would use plant products such as olive oil, jasmine, rice, or Zinc oxide pastes to protect their skin from sun rays.
S.P.F. was discovered several decades later thanks to Franz Greiter, and it has now become the standard for measuring U.V. protection. Sunscreen Protection Day was created to raise awareness of the essential and protective qualities of sunscreen.
Sunscreen Protection Day timeline
Sunscreen is invented by Australian chemist, Milton Blake.
The first sunscreen product made by a commercial skincare brand is made by Eugène Schueller for L'Oreal.
Franz Greiter uses calculations from Friedrich Ellinger and Rudolf Schulze to create the first standard for measuring U.V. protection, S.P.F. 2.
The first water-resistant sunscreens are introduced.
Sunscreen Protection Day FAQs
Does S.P.F. value matter?
S.P.F. is the major factor used in determining U.V. protection levels. This means that a higher S.P.F. number is usually higher protection from the sun. S.P.F. levels range from two to 100, but the higher you go above 30, the smaller the difference becomes. For example, S.P.F. 30 offers 97% protection, S.P.F. 50 offers 98% protection and S.P.F. 100 offers 99% protection.
Does sunscreen expire?
Yes, sunscreen does have an expiration date. The F.D.A. requires all sunscreen to retain its original strength for at least three years. Changes in color, consistency, and effect can be signs of expiration. However, most sunscreens include expiration dates on their containers to let you know when to get rid of them.
Is it advised to apply sunscreen just once?
It isn’t enough to just apply sunscreen all over your body before heading out to protect you for the entire day. We are advised to take our sunscreen wherever we go and reapply it every few hours since the average sunscreen is only effective for about two hours. However, if you have a busier day where you might be exposed to a bit more sun or sweating more than usual, you can re-apply your sunscreen more frequently.
How to Observe Sunscreen Protection Day
This day is calling you to stop putting sunscreen to the side, and make it a top skincare priority! So, of course, the best way to celebrate the day is by putting some sunscreen on. We are advised to use around a full shot glass worth of sunscreen all over our exposed body parts. You can also focus on specific areas such as your face and thighs, providing you do so generously.
Purchase some sunscreen
If you don’t own any sunscreen today would be a good opportunity to get yourself some sunscreen products from off the shelf. Several skincare brands now produce skin protection products such as sunscreens. You can do some research, read some reviews, and select one that might be the best fit for you. Make sure you buy as much as possible, and stock up for the summer.
Learn more about sunscreen
We have only been able to touch on the many benefits of sunscreen. Go out of your way to learn more about the history of sunscreen and its essential properties. You could go out of your way to contact a dermatologist or skin aesthetician to get even more knowledge. You can also document and share your findings across social media or with your friends and family.
5 Interesting Facts About Sunscreen
Go for a broad spectrum
Sunscreens give two different types of protection — U.V.A & U.V.B. — so you would be safer going for a wide spectrum sunscreen that offers protection for both.
It is never waterproof
No sunscreen created is ever sunproof or sweatproof, they are only water-resistant, meaning they are effective for a certain amount of time underwater.
They aren’t good for babies
Kids under six months have very sensitive skin and are not advised to wear sunscreen.
Spraying might not be the most effective
Sunscreen sprays are the least effective form of sunscreen.
It’s for everyone
Sunscreen is advised for and effective on all skin complexions, tones, and shades.
Why Sunscreen Protection Day is Important
It’s all about our skin
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects all our internal organs and is a part of who we are. This day is all about our skin, and also how we can bring out the best in it.
Sunscreen Protection Day raises awareness of the importance of sunscreen, as well as sheds light on its photoprotective qualities. This allows us to learn more about something so essential in our daily lives.
This day enlightens us on a major way we can also protect our protectors. Sunscreen protects us from aging, skin damage, and skin cancer, and Sunscreen Protection Day places the spotlight on this product.
Sunscreen Protection Day dates