How To Choose Right Sunscreen-Tips

Many of you will be spending hours in the sun in the months ahead. Sadly this year, more than a million of you will also learn that you have skin cancer.We all know sun blocks can work to prevent burns and disease, but how do you pick the right one?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the SPF number, the better protection against the sun's harmful UVB rays. The SPF number lets you know how much longer you can stay out of the sun without burning. For example, if it takes 15 minutes for a person to burn, an SPF 15 will allow them to stay out in the sun 15 times longer without burning.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing an SPF of 15 or higher for maximum protection. SPF is available in levels from 2 to 60. Does highest mean the best protection? Not necessarily. An SPF of 50 only provides 1% to 2% more protection than an SPF 30.
The sunscreens have two types of ingredients that work together to block the sun. First there are the chemical blocks that organic compound chemicals absorbed by the skin, which nullify the sun's reaction on skin. Then there are the physical blocks that sit on skin's surface and act as barriers that either absorb the rays or deflect it back.

When buying a sunscreen look for ingredients like benzophenones, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, salicylates, cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), mexoryl etc.

Types :

1). UVA and UVB Protection

The label of the sunscreen will indicate the UVA or UVB protection.

UVA rays are responsible for the aging effect of the sun; however, overexposure to UVA rays can cause skin cancer.

UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer.

Choose a product that states, "UVA/UVB," protection or has "broad spectrum" protectant.

2). Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

If you are looking for a sunscreen to use while in the water, choose a sunscreen that is "waterproof" or "water resistant."

"Waterproof" sunscreen should provide protection in the water for 80 minutes, while "water resistant" provides only 40 minutes of protection.

How To Choose The Right Sunscreen

1. Know the difference between a sunscreen and a sunblock. A sunscreen is any product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or less. An SPF of 15 means it will take 15 times longer for you to burn with the sunscreen than without. A sunblock has an SPF of 30 or more.

2. Use a sunblock with SPF 30 or higher if you're fair-skinned, at high altitude, near the equator or outside on a hot, sunny day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Protect your kids, too: Over the course of their life, most of the sun's damage to their skin will happen before they're 18. Lighter-skinned people need more protection.

3. Make sure that your sunscreen is labeled "broad spectrum" to protect against both UVA (ultraviolet-A) and UVB (ultraviolet-B) rays. Ultraviolet radiation at high doses increases your risk of basal-cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

4. Know what protection you're getting. A sunscreen with SPF 15 gives you 94 to 95 percent UVB coverage; SPF 28 bumps you up to about 96 percent coverage.

5. Buy zinc oxide or titanium oxide (or dioxide) to protect your ears, nose and lips if you're in the sun for prolonged periods daily. These opaque, chemical-free sunblocks are ideal for sensitive skin. A new product called Z-Cote offers zinc-oxide protection that's transparent, so you can avoid the white-nosed lifeguard look
6. Get water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen if you'll be swimming or sweating.

7. Look for PABA-free, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic sunscreen if you're allergic to certain skin products. Do a test patch on your skin to confirm whether a sunscreen is truly allergy-free.

8. Select a sunscreen that is noncomedogenic, which means it won't block pores, if you're prone to breaking out.

9. Choose between lotions, gels, ointments, wax sticks and sprays based on your personal preference. Wax sticks are handy for lips. Sprays get the job done quickly on squirmy kids.

10. Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes prior to exposure. Most people need at least 1 oz. of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, to cover their body. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you get wet or sweat profusely.

· Avoid extended periods of sun exposure between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun's rays are at their strongest.
· Apply sun protection at least every two hours, more often if you've gone swimming, exercised or toweled off.
· Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas including the lips and ears.
· Don a wide brimmed, tightly woven hat to further shield your face and eyes.
· Choose sunglasses with UV protection. Generously-sized wraparounds are the best choice.
· You should apply sunscreen even on cloudy days. The UV rays are not blocked by clouds. Note that snow, water and ice all reflect the sun's harmful UV (ultra violet) rays.
· Discard the sunscreens that have expired. Over the time, the effectiveness of sunscreen diminishes.
· Wash sunscreens/cream at the end of the day.

Pick your Type

There are various types of sunscreens available that match different skin types of the users. "It is very important for you to pick the right sunscreen that is meant for your skin type. Using the wrong type of sun protection cream may lead to rashes, allergies and even pimples," informs Kochhar.

So if you have oily skin or combination skin type, then pick up gel sun protection formula. If you have dry skin, then look for a lotion formula that hydrates and protects your skin. If your skin is sensitive then pick sunscreens with PABA and benzophenones but no alcohol.

American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. With the stress on natural products there are some natural sunscreens available but Kochhar who herself has a natural range says that sunscreens with only natural ingredients do not offer sun protection for a long time. However some of the popular natural ingredients that go into making a sunscreen include Aloe gel, sandalwood, oil of wintergreen etc.

Sunscreen for your Face

If you’re looking for ways to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, you might also try an anti-aging formula that helps give skin a boost and leaves it smooth and glowing. Murad Age-Proof Suncare is ideal for active lifestyles and is made with a collagen-strengthening formula. This type of sunscreen is ideal for mature skin, or skin that is showing the signs of premature aging.
If you have scars or sensitive skin patches that require extra attention, make sure you’re applying extra SPF lotion or cream to these areas. Look for coverage of at least an SPF 30 to ensure scars or existing burns don’t undergo further damage from the sun’s rays.

Sunscreen for your Lips

Making sure you have the right level of sunscreen for each body part is essential for staying healthy and looking your best all summer long. Your lips tend to get chapped and dry from too much sun exposure, so it’s generally a good idea to wear lip balm, gloss or lipstick with an SPF of 15 or above. If you can’t find makeup infused with SPF, there are lip protectants and balms available that can be applied under or over your favorite lip shade for extra protection.

Sunscreen for your Hair

When you want to protect your scalp
from the sun’s rays, try an SPF-infused leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioners and scalp treatments can help protect the delicate skin of your scalp and reduce the risk of sun damage. A leave-in conditioner brushed into your hair can be the finishing touch to your routine before you head outdoors!
In order to play it safe in the sun:
• Don’t rely on SPF rating to guide you.
• Avoid sunscreens with Vitamin A.
• Look for Zinc and Titanium Dioxide – two chemicals that will make for a safe sunscreen

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