The Sunscreen Glossary: Everything You Need to Know About All The Terms On A Sunscreen Label

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We all know that using sunscreen helps to prevent sunburns, skin damage, and protects from skin cancer. No matter whether it is summer, winter, or raining outside, it is essential to use sunscreen. But, when you go out to purchase yourself a bottle of sunscreen, do you really understand all the terms that you see printed on the sunscreen bottle or tube?

We understand it might be  difficult to figure out all the terms written on the sunscreen bottles and tubes, so here is a glossary of terms you need to understand your sunscreen better.


This is a term that means the sunscreen will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. You need skin protection from both because UVB rays tend to burn your skin, while UVA rays damage the skin on a deeper level and cause the collagen to break down.


It stands for Sun Protection Factor and is meant to specify its effectiveness against UVB rays. It doesn’t provide protection against UVA rays, which is why it is better to use a broad spectrum sunscreen. A higher SPF (SPF30 or more)provides more protection than a lower SPF.

Also Read|Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing A Sunscreen


Waterproof means that even if you go for swimming or if you sweat a lot, and pat yourself dry a few times, the sunscreen will still be present on your skin.


Non-Comedogenic means a sunscreen has ingredients that are less likely to cause breakouts by clogging your skin pores. Non-Comedogenic sunscreens are a good choice for someone who is prone to acne.


Sunscreen formulas can be physical, chemical, or a combination of both. Physical Sunscreens block the light from reaching your skin, reflecting the UV radiation outwards. Mineral sunscreens are also known as physical sunscreens because they act like a shield, sitting on the surface of your skin and deflecting the sun’s rays.

Mineral sunscreens generally contain ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both. In case you have sensitive skin, it’s better to opt for this type of sunscreen

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