Keeping your skin protected from the sun is crucial, and daily use of sunscreen is the best way to do that. With so many sunscreen products on the market, it’s important to understand which are most effective. Just as you read food labels to understand the nutrition facts, you should also read the label of sunscreens to look for specific ingredients.
An important thing to know about sunscreen is that SPF, on its own, is not enough. SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to block out harmful UVB rays – the ones which cause tanning and burning, and possible skin cancer. Most skincare professionals (including us!) recommend the use of an SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis.
To ensure you’re protecting yourself from UVA rays, which can penetrate the skin more deeply and cause wrinkles over time, you need to use a product that has “broad spectrum coverage.” That means the sunscreen will protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, you want to look for products that offer some level of water resistance. Products labeled “water resistant” will generally remain effective for up to 40 minutes while swimming, sweating, etc. Those labeled “very water resistant” will generally remain effective for up to 80 minutes during the same activities.
To truly keep your skin protected, you should reapply all sunscreens at least every two hours when you’re outside. The protection won’t last much longer than that due to your body’s natural sweating.
Many sunscreens nowadays have a tint in them, which is especially helpful for even application. As you rub them on, you can see exactly where it’s being placed. For summertime, these products are also an excellent alternative to foundation – you can simply put on a tinted sunscreen and go! If you’d still like to use other makeup, tinted SPF products can work well as a primer.
Lastly, we’d like to note the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens use both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to deflect the sun’s rays, offering both UVA and UVB protection. These products are great for babies and those with sensitive skin, or anyone who wants to avoid chemicals. Alternatively, chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that will absorb the sun’s rays. Both options are very effective and offer broad spectrum protection. It’s up to you to determine which formula you’d like to use!
We want to help keep your skin looking young and healthy, and that all starts with sun protection! We carry a variety of sunscreen products from reputable brands right in our office and online store, so visit us today to find your new favorite.