Types and Definition of Sun Care Products

    Svetlya Anukudinova

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    Sun exposure is unavoidable in our daily lives; however, without appropriate protection, the sun can severely damage your skin in the short as well as long term. 

    Sunscreens are considered OTC drugs in the US since they help prevent various conditions, including sunburn, aging, and skin cancer. After-sun products, on the other hand, are considered cosmetics in the US.

    Sunscreens are designed to provide photoprotection against the harmful radiation of the sun, including both UVA and UVB radiations. The protection they provide can be through chemical and/or physical methods. Sunscreens are available in a variety of dosage forms, including creams, lotions, sticks, wipes, gels, as well as aerosols. Sunscreen products can be classified into two main categories according to their purpose;

    • Primary Sunscreens are products whose main purpose is to provide photoprotection for the skin, such as beach sunscreens and products used for outdoor activities.
    • Secondary Sunscreens are products that have a primary use other than skin protection, such as daily moisturizing creams, antiaging creams, and color cosmetics, such as facial foundations. For this category of products, sun protection is an additional benefit, but not the main purpose of their use. Nevertheless, they are also considered OTC drugs in the US since they provide photoprotection.

    After-Sun Products are designed to be used after exposure to the sun or other UV radiation. After sunbathing, even without any signs of redness, appropriate skin care is recommended. After-sun preparations help smooth and moisturize the skin as well as provide a cooling effect and relieve pain resulting from sunburn. Product forms include lotions, creams, and gels.

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