Protecting your skin from the sun is essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing skin cancer. One way to do that is by applying sunscreen whenever you leave the house.
But, with so many sunscreen products on the market, it can be challenging to know what to look for when choosing one.
Here are some key factors to consider when selecting sunscreen.
A major factor to consider when choosing a sunscreen is broad-spectrum protection. Sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection shields you against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, while UVB rays cause sunburn and skin damage.
A sunscreen that only protects against UVB rays is not enough to keep your skin safe from the sun. A broad-spectrum sunscreen ensures your skin is fully protected.
The SPF rating measures a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVB rays. A higher SPF rating means it protects you against such rays more effectively. However, it’s important to remember that no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays, no matter how high the SPF rating is.
That’s why it’s essential to reapply sunscreen every two hours, after a swimming session, or when sweating profusely. A sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30, like a mineral antioxidant sunscreen SPF 50+, is recommended.
If you plan on being in the water or think you might sweat a lot, pick water-resistant sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreens can maintain their effectiveness for up to 80 minutes in the water.
However, you should still reapply sunscreen every two hours, even if it is water-resistant. Check the label to determine the sunscreen’s water-resistant properties.
Skin type is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin, look for a sunscreen that is formulated for sensitive skin.
If you have oily skin, choose an oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreen. Alternatively, if your skin is often dry, choose a sunscreen that contains moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin.
There are several types of sunscreen products based on the application method, including lotions, sprays, and sticks. Lotions are easy to apply and provide even coverage. Sprays are convenient but can also be difficult to apply evenly.
Sticks are easy to apply to small areas such as the face but can be difficult to apply to the rest of the body. Choose a sunscreen that is easy for you to use and provides even coverage.
Sunscreens, like every other product, also have a shelf life, and they can lose their effectiveness over time.
That is why it’s crucial to check a sunscreen product’s expiration date before you buy it. If the sunscreen has expired or is more than three years old, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen
Sunscreens can be classified into two main types, chemical and physical. Explaining it briefly, chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, while physical sunscreens work by reflecting them.
Chemical sunscreens are more common, but they can cause skin irritation for many people. Physical sunscreens are a good option for people with sensitive skin.
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