Things to know about Sunscreen and Protecting Your Skin

Given all the new options, it can be hard to know which sunscreen to use.

Comparing the many different ones is confusing and complicated. Even more crucial is using it correctly. Here is a list of facts:

  • Sunscreens are designed to shield you from the sun’s dangerous rays. These are ultraviolet rays (UV). They do this in 2 ways. Some work by scattering the light and reflect it away from your body. Others will absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin.
  • You used to be able to just choose a sunscreen that had a high SPF, this rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer causing UV ray Ultraviolet B (UVB).
  • Now research shows that UVA rays also increase the risk of skin cancer. These rays do not burn your skin but they age it and cause wrinkles. 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime of exposure to UVA rays.
  • The Broad Spectrum sunscreens give multi-spectrum protection for both UVA and UVB protection. (See sheet for ingredients.)
  • UVA protection: look for these ingredients: Ecamsule blocks UVA titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. New techniques have created lotions that will not make you look pale or white.
  • Water and sweat resistant: no sunscreen is water-proof. This simply means that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water and very water resistant means it holds after 80 minutes of swimming. You still need to reapply them regularly if you are in and out of the water for extended time.
  • Children younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun altogether. Older children should use a SPF of 15 or higher and one recommended for them. Ones for adults can have chemicals that are too harsh for their skin.
  • Persons with rosacea should use the sunscreens designed for children. Avoid the sunscreens with alcohol as they can be too harsh.


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