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9 Terms You See on Sunscreen Bottles, Defined

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Long days and strong rays mean it's time to upgrade your basic daily sunscreen habit to a full-on slather. We all know that using sunscreen helps to prevent sunburns and skin damage, but we're stumped when it comes to the gibberish slew of letters and numbers on the label. Read on to learn what nine common sunscreen terms mean.

1. SPF: SUN PROTECTION FACTOR

SPF tells you how much much UVB light (more on this in a bit) is filtered out, so it’s often used as a proxy for how long you can stay in the sun without doing damage (to an extent). But the FDA cautions that SPF shouldn’t be thought of in that way, as there are so many variables that go into solar radiation. Instead, they suggest using SPF as a comparison: A higher SPF provides more protection than a lower SPF. According to Jeremy A. Brauer, a board certified Manhattan dermatologist, “SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB rays, SPF 50 blocks 98 percent.” Keep in mind that no sunscreen can block 100 percent of UVB rays.

2. UVA: ULTRAVIOLET A

UVA radiation is one type of light that causes skin aging and skin cancer. According to Adam Friedman, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, UVA light "does not burn, but is sneaky and penetrates deeper than UVB, accelerating the aging of your skin and causing skin cancer." UVA rays also contribute the most to our UV exposure.

3. UVB: ULTRAVIOLET B

UVB light causes sunburns and is more intense than UVA. These rays contribute less to our overall UV exposure than UVA rays do, but have serious, immediate effects on the topmost layers of skin.

4. BROAD SPECTRUM UVA/UVB

The term broad spectrum means that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB light—all sunscreens block UVB (temporarily), but some let UVA slip though. It’s one of the most important markers to look for because both types of light can cause skin cancer.

5. PHYSICAL/MINERAL SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen formulas can be physical, chemical, or a combination of both. Physical sunscreens act as a literal barrier: They block the light from reaching your skin, reflecting the UV radiation outwards.

6. CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN

A chemical sunscreen works in a different way: It absorbs, rather than blocks, the light. When the radiation is absorbed by the sunscreen, it’s converted to heat that is then released by your skin. Friedman says that the problem with chemical sunscreen is “each time they do their thing, a percentage of the filter stops working. So ultimately over time, it can't change that UV energy into harmless warmth.”

7. WATER RESISTANT

You’ll never see an FDA-approved sunscreen that is "waterproof," or sweatproof for that matter. Instead, the FDA requires the label to note how long the product can last in water. You’ll see this on the bottle written as “water resistant, 40 minutes,” for example. This means that after 40 minutes of wear, the sunscreen will need to be reapplied because it won’t work as well—even if you haven't been in the water.

8. SPORT

The FDA doesn’t regulate the use of words like “sport” when it comes to sunscreen. This is a marketing term used to make the product more appealing to active people. If you're interested in a sunscreen with staying power, pay more attention to the SPF and water resistance.

9. PA+ RATING

If you pick up a bottle of sunscreen while on vacation or order it online, you might be confronted with "PA" followed by some plus signs instead of the familiar SPF. The PA rating system, common in Japan and South Korea, tells you how well the sunscreen protects from UVA rays, instead of UVB. The more plus signs that follow PA, the better. PA ++++ offers the most UVA protection, PA + the least.

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Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First
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Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled until you locate your luggage on the carousel. Luckily for impatient fliers, there are several ways to game the system and ensure a speedy suitcase delivery once you step off the plane, according to Travel + Leisure.

To score true VIP luggage treatment, ask the representative behind the check-in counter if they can attach a “fragile” sticker to your bag. Suitcases with these kinds of labels are often loaded last and unloaded first. (Plus, they receive the type of kid-glove treatment that ultimately helps them last longer.)

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need a new tag each time you fly. If it looks old, or was issued by a different airline, the crew might not pay attention to it, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Also, consider upping your suitcase game, as quality, hard-shell bags look like they contain delicate or important items. Their appearance—along with the fragile sticker—will inspire baggage handlers to give them special treatment.

Another trick that can shave a few minutes off your wait time is making sure you're the last person to check in, instead of rushing to be first. If you can't resist getting to the airport early, try asking if you can check it at the gate. This could make your bag one of the last on the plane, and thus one of the first taken out. This method isn't surefire, however, as loading and unloading systems vary among flights.

And if all else fails, Thrillist advises that you try upgrading your flight. Some airlines give priority to bags that belong to elite travelers and business class, meaning they’ll be stored separately from other luggage and come out first. Good luck! No matter what happens, at least you can't have it worse than the lady who had to wait 20 years for her bag to show up.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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How to Stop Instagram Photos From Automatically Posting to Facebook
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If you have Instagram photos you don’t mind sharing with your aunts, exes, and former high school classmates, Facebook is the perfect place to post them. But some pictures are better suited to more intimate audiences: For those scenarios, you’ll want to unlink your Facebook from your Instagram account. The Daily Dot put together a simple how-to guide.

To keep your Instagram photos from automatically showing up on your Facebook profile, head to the Instagram app. Go to your profile, tap the gear icon next to Edit Profile, and then scroll down to the Linked Accounts option under Settings. If every photo you share through Instagram is published on Facebook, you should see Facebook highlighted in blue with a checkmark next to it under Linked Accounts. After tapping this, hit the Unlink Facebook button and Unlink a second time when the app asks you to confirm your decision.

Once that’s taken care of, any new posts you share through Instagram will only be seen by your Instagram followers (unless your account is linked to Twitter or some other social media site, in which case you can follow the same steps above). To undo this action, just return to Linked Accounts and tap Facebook to join the two accounts again.

This is a smart way to limit your social media presence or curb potential damage if hackers ever access your Instagram. But if you’re looking to distance yourself from Facebook because of issues you have with the site itself, simply unlinking it from Instagram won’t cut it. Facebook owns Instagram, so any information you post to either profile goes to the same place. There are better ways to control how Facebook handles your personal data. Read this to learn more about the social media giant’s ad targeting practices and what you can do about them.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

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