All About SPF: Sun 101 Guide

Summer is officially here! With sunny days ahead, we wanted to make a guide, All About SPF, with answers to common questions about sunscreen and sun protection. From when the sun is most intense to what a physical sunscreen is, we have you covered with sun 101 in this blog.


When is the sun most intense?

UV rays are most intense between 10am - 4pm and are even stronger during the spring and summer months. It’s best to look at a UV index that ranks the strength of the sun’s UV rays. These indexes take into consideration the latitude, elevation, weather conditions, time of year, and the ozone levels in your region to estimate your exposure to harmful rays.


But if I’m inside do I need to wear SPF?

Yes! While UVB rays do not penetrate through windows, more than 50% of UVA rays penetrate through glass. This is why broad-spectrum protection is essential! Check out our blog, Do I need to wear sunscreen inside? for more info on why this is important.


What are UVA rays?

UVA rays have a longer wavelength and are associated with long term damage like premature skin aging and skin cancer. They account for up to 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth!


What are UVB rays?

UVB rays have a shorter wavelength, are associated with burning your skin, and are a leading cause of skin cancer.


What can I do to protect my skin from UVA and UVB rays?

Find a Broad Spectrum SPF that will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB. Don’t forget to apply every day and reapply throughout the day!


What does broad-spectrum mean?

Broad-spectrum SPF evenly protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen that does not indicate broad-spectrum protection only blocks the UVB rays. It’s important to protect your skin from both kinds of damaging rays so broad spectrum is a must!


How can I tell if my SPF is broad-spectrum?

Check the packaging or website for the phrase “broad-spectrum” or ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.


Is Coural Cares Daily SPF broad-spectrum?

It sure is! All of our sunscreen products are formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin from the damaging effects now and in the future.


What is a physical SPF?

Physical (or mineral) SPF is made with active minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to create a shield that reflects UVA and UVB rays off of your skin. It acts as a physical reflective barrier between you and sun rays.


What is a chemical SPF?

Chemical SPF works by creating a chemical reaction that absorbs the UV rays into the skin, converting the rays into heat, and then releasing the heat from the skin.


How do I tell whether my SPF is physical or chemical?

Take a look at the ingredients. Chemical sunscreens are made with carbon-baseded compounds like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone. Again, these chemicals are absorbed into your skin and convert sunrays into heat. Physical sunscreen is made with mineral-based active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that physically block rays from harming you.


Is Coural Care a physical or chemical SPF?

Coural Care is a broad-spectrum physical SPF made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Usually chemical SPF sunscreens are easier to rub in and tends to be the reason why people chose it over physical sunscreen. At Coural Care, we’ve worked to make a physical sunscreen as easy to rub in as a face lotion. No one should have to chose between feeling good, looking good, and making good choices for our planet. At Coural Care we have you covered, literally.


What does reef-safe mean?

Reef-safe sunscreens are free of ingredients that have been liked to coral bleaching.


What harmful ingredients should I look out for?

The most common ingredients to avoid are oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene.  However, we base our definition of “reef safe” off of the scientific data and research conducted by Haereticus Environmental Laboratory. They’ve found that in addition to the above ingredients, parabens, PABA, nano-particles, and triclosan are also harmful to marine life. For more information check out our blog What “Reef Safe” and “Ocean Friendly” Really Means.


Is Coural Care reef-safe?

Yes! Coural Care isn't just a name but is also part of who we are as a company. We want to protect your skin and our planet, both above and below water! All of our products are formulated with ingredients that are known to not harm our precious marine eco-systems so you can protect your skin while you protect the planet and feel good doing it.

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