With so many sunscreen brands and types in the market, how does one choose the right sunscreen? It is important to remember that not all sunscreens are the same and that different skin types may require different treatments.
Too much sun exposure causes issues such as premature ageing and hyperpigmentation, but more importantly it may also lead to skin cancer, which is actually the most common type of cancer in the United States. As such, everyone needs to protect their skin.
Some of the key things to remember when it comes to protecting our skin from too much sun exposure are wearing proper clothing that can cover the skin, not going out for too long when the sun is at its peak, and by using sunscreen.
But how can one choose from the many sunscreen brands and types?
UVA, UVB, And SPF
It is important to look for a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection or a product that has a “broad spectrum” label. This is because it is UVA rays that cause issues such as premature ageing, while UVB causes sunburns. Too much exposure to both may lead to skin cancer, so it is important to be protected from both.
Meanwhile, it is also wise to look at the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of a product, as it determines the amount of UVB that the product can filter out. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended, as it blocks out 97 percent of UVB rays. For comparison, a product with SPF 15 can only block out 93 percent of UVB rays.
When buying a product, it is important to choose one that will actually be used every day, so even factors such as one’s skin type must also be considered. For instance, someone with oily skin might want to opt for a sunscreen that has a “non-comedogenic” label so that it does not block the pores, while someone with dry skin would be better off with a sunscreen that has moisturizers.
As for the types of sunscreens, people can now find gel, cream, stick, and even spray types, so it would be best to choose the product that one is most comfortable with so that it can be really used on a daily basis.
Important Reminders Regarding Sunscreens
Some sunscreens are banned in some places such as Hawaii and Palau due to the chemicals in them that cause harm to coral reefs and marine life. As such, it is also wise to take a look at the ingredients of a product as well as the laws of a place before making a purchase.
When it comes to skin protection, it is not just enough that one uses sunscreen, but it is also important to make sure that one uses sunscreens properly, meaning that all exposed skin must be protected and preferably with an ounce of sunscreen. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours especially when one is sweating or swimming and to still use cover-ups such as hats and protective clothing to minimize sun exposure, as sunscreens can only do so much to protect the skin.