No matter the forecast, sunscreen is the one step you should never skip when heading to the great outdoors! SPF (sun protection factor) protects your skin from the sun’s powerful UV rays, minimizing the risk for sunburns, premature signs of aging (dark spots & wrinkles) and skin cancer.
With so many sunscreen options out there, it can be overwhelming trying to select the best one! Here are a few basic pointers and things to look out for when you feel glazed over in the sunscreen aisle
Broad Spectrum: If your sunscreen label reads “Broad Spectrum”, you’re off to a great start! This ensures your SPF protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA (Aging) rays prematurely age the skin which can cause wrinkling, dark spots, and a leathery texture. You can thank Magda from the movie, “There’s Something about Mary”, for the visual.
UVB (Burning) rays damage the outer layers of your skin and are attributed to painful sunburns and play a key role in the development of skin cancer. Sunscreens with both UVA and UVB coverage, offer the best protection.
Chemical vs Physical: Physical or mineral sunscreens (made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sit on the top of the skin allowing UV rays to deflect. Chemical sunscreens however, (made with ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone) work by absorbing the rays. Physical sunscreens are safe for all skin types, especially If you’re sensitive or acne-prone. Plus they are better for the environment (think reef-safe!)
Application: Even if you may not be taking a dip, water-resistant sunscreen will stay on longer and is more resilient if you’re sweating. Select an SPF of at least 30 or higher and always be sure to rub in well!
Still not sure what to pick? You can always consult with your physician or skin care provider for recommendations. Let’s stay protected and don’t forget to reapply!!