Choosing Your Sunscreen
Five Important Tips
Sunscreen is a must daily! It is never too late to start using sunscreen and begin to cut off the lethal effects of the sun on your skin.
I wish I had really got this concept along time ago.
The hurdle for me, and I think for a lot of us, was the rewarding experience of face enhancing color, cute little freckles, whiter looking teeth, brighter eyes etc... These glorious results worked for me as a sun worshiping teen, brought pleasure in my immortal twenties...
BUT in my thirties some real truths began to reveal themselves.
If I only knew then, what I know now...
I would have gladly used more sun sense and traded that short term appeal for long term, healthy, great looking skin now. I work pretty hard now to undo the appearance of damage and prevent further age accelerating exposure.
This is one of the most critical measures you can take to safeguard your skin, your beauty and your health.
Photo: ©istockphoto.com/ Haveseen
Protection of the skin from sun exposure is required for all races of people, every where, and should be part of everyone's' morning skin care program.
Over exposure is a serious issue that goes far beyond the displeasure of a sunburn. The sun damage resulting from over exposure, and repeated events of over exposure, far surpass the unattractive visual queue of leathery wrinkled skin. Sun harm can effect your skin's health dramatically, and even result in disease.
Sun exposure is the primary culprit behind aging skin , wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and most definitely skin cancer (and these negative effects occur in varying degrees depending on your skin color).
By the way, it is important to note that it doesn't take much to venture into "over-exposure" status. Too much sun can happen pretty quickly and that small time frame varies, an even smaller degree, based on your skin type and color.
It will take this long for chemical agents in sunscreens to work with your skin and provide protection.
The SPF number noted on packaging, determines how many times longer you can stay in the sun without burning, than you could with out it. It also will only protect you from UVB rays...thats why you need to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that also protects you from UVA.
Physical blocks act to create an immediate barrier between the sun and your skin, reflecting the UVA and UVB rays.
Great physical block ingredients:
TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ZINC OXIDE
Chemical block chemically work with the skin to create an absorbing shield. Because of this nature, chemical sunscreens need application approximately 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
Great CHEMICAL Block (absorb UVR) ingredients:
AVOBENZONE (Parsol 1789) ECAMSULE (MEXORYL SX-new) BEMOTRIZINOL (TINOSORB S-new)
For example, if you are very fair and/or have sensitive skin, you may lean towards water resistant sunscreens with physical blocks since they work immediately, stay on better, and are much less likely to irritate your skin.
On the other hand, if your skin is dark, you may opt for a chemical sunscreen since they are transparent and a physical sunblocks on darker skin can be noticeable since they tend to be opaque (although new formulations are more and more transparent).
In addition, we may need a different sunblock for our face, than the what we use on the rest of our body...
There are a number of great products with ideal formulations. Here are a few that stand out and are backed with both excellent customer feedback and professional reviews.
Roche-Posay Anthelios Sx SPF 15
- Mexoryl™ SX is a filter that is unique, organic especially
protective against short UVA rays as well as thorough protection
against UVA and UVB
- Parsol 1789 (Avobenzone) helps protect against long UVA rays
- Octocrylene helps protect against UVB rays
- Glycerin moisturizing agent
- Women’s Health 2010 “Expert’s Pick”
- Allure 2009 Best of Beauty “Best Facial Moisturizer for Normal Skin”
- Instyle 2009 Best Beauty Buy “Daytime Moisturizer with SPF”
Physical UV Defense SPF 30
- ideal for sensitive or traumatized skin
- safe for children
- broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunblock
- daily use
- all-physical sunblock contains 5% transparent zinc oxide and 10% titanium dioxide(both non-irritating active ingredients ideal for use on all skin types)
- advanced technology minimizes the “whitening” effect
SkinCeuticals Daily Sun Defense SPF 20 is a excellent product for daily wear under makeup and again, is good for all skin types.
SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 45 is a fantastic reliable sun protection product for outdoor activities since it is water proof and sweat proof.
For serious sports activity, and a less serious price try Banana
Boat Sport Faces Performance SPF 30, it is water and sweat
resistant, oil free, fragrance free, Hypoallergenic , and not
greasy. It has photo stable protection with AvoTriplex™
(Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone...)
For Babies 6 Months and older:
*IMPORTANT-Sun Protection on kids...the higher the SPF, the greater the protection, HOWEVER, it is marginal after SPF 30. As the SPF number goes up, there is a significant increase in the potential for your child's skin to be sensitive to the sunscreen. Really watch your choice of sunscreen application to your child's face, especially the eye area.
Specifically for kids, try Banana Boat Kids Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30 " Banana Boat® Kids sunblock provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a gentle, hypo-allergenic, tear free, and fragrance-free lotion." It contains titanium dioxide and is waterproof too.
For outdoor activities that include swimming try with Titanium Dioxide or Banana Boat Sport Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion, SPF 15 with Avobenzone.
They have expiry dates. Ensure you have one with ingredients working for you.