SUNSCREEN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SKIN CARE PRODUCT YOU CAN EVER USE.
But most people aren’t using it correctly.
It’s almost like a broken record: Don’t forget your sunscreen! We all know we need it, but with so many options, what’s the best choice for you?
Everyone should be applying a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every day to protect their skin. Let’s break that down…
BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN PROTECTION
A Broad Spectrum or Full Spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from the damaging exposure of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) light, UVA and UVB.
- UVA rays penetrate into the skin’s dermis prematurely aging the skin causing it to wrinkle and develop brown age spots.
- UVB rays can burn the skin, they vary in intensity depending on the season, location and time of day.
Too much exposure to UVA and UVB rays can lead to skin cancer.
WHAT IS SUN PROTECTION FACTOR (SPF)?
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of how well the sunscreen absorbs or blocks the sun’s rays and theoretically the amount of time you can spend in the sun.
For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection. So, if your skin starts to redden in 20 minutes without sun block, applying a product with SPF 15 increases that time by a factor of 15, meaning you could stay in the sun for 300 minutes.
In addition, a higher SPF blocks out more rays — a product with an SPF of 15 will filter out approximately 93 percent the sun’s rays; SPF 30 filters out about 97 percent.
Skin is your body’s largest and fastest growing organ.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS?
Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds, such as oxybenzone or octinoxate, which change the UV rays into heat and release the heat from the skin. Chemical sunscreens have become more popular because they are easier to rub-in and come in multiple formulations tailored to various skin types.
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which deflect UV rays away from the skin. A classic physical sunscreen is the white zinc oxide seen on the lifeguard’s nose. Those days are gone! Today physical sunscreens are more cosmetically elegant. They are perfect for young children because they won’t sting the eyes. They also work well on sensitive skin or post-procedure following chemical peels or laser treatments.
WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU?
There are waterproof sunscreens, tinted sunscreens, moisturizing sunscreens, even powdered sunscreens. Different types of sunscreens can be used at different times of the day and can depend on the activity you are doing.
- Daily sunscreen should be a moisturizing broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Tinted sunscreen can be used in place of foundation or in combination with facial powder.
- Powdered sunscreen can be used throughout the day, and is great for easy reapplications.
- Water resistant sunscreen is a better choice for outdoor activities. The SPF on water resistant sunscreens can be maintained up to 80 minutes while swimming or sweating.
BEST WAY TO APPLY SUNSCREEN
When adding sunscreen to your daily regimen, remember to apply a generous amount at least 15 minutes before going outside, reapply that same generous amount 2 hours later, after swimming or heavy sweating.
Even if it is cloudy outside, sunscreen is still important. Apply sunscreen to all your skin’s exposed areas, arms, legs, ears, lips, top of your head, even your eyelids (yep, we have a sunscreen for that!). Sunscreen can be used on someone as young as 6 months and as old as 106!
The key factor about sunscreen is that it is the most important skin care product you can ever use. Ask any dermatologist, plastic surgeon or skin care specialist, “If you had to choose one skin care product, what would it be?” The universal answer? Sunscreen!