Choosing the best sunscreen may quite be a challenge. There are several products promote in the market, and everyone advertises that their product is the best sunscreen. But how do you really consider the best type of sunscreen? Find out in this article.
Sun Versus You: What Are the Important Factors to Consider?
Going out and exposing your skin to the sunlight may be harmful if you are not careful. Thus, to be safe from the harmful rays, here are what you have to remember when you are out and basking under the sunlight:
- Avoid going out during peak hours. What considers peak hours are the time between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm whichever season it may be. If you go out and expose your skin to the sun, there is a high chance that your skin will be damaged by the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes from the sun.
- Protect your skin with clothing. You can wear anything that will protect your skin. It includes long sleeves shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen. Using sunscreen can minimize the damage sun rays can cause your skin. Thus, it is advised to apply sunscreen, and reapplying regularly is highly recommended.
Types of UV Light
UV lights have two types but both can harm your skin. They are as follows:
- UVA – too much exposure to UVA rays can cause you age spots and wrinkle your skin. As a result, your skin age prematurely.
- UVB – exposure to the rays of UVB can burn your skin.
Nevertheless, both kinds of UV light may cause you skin cancer if you are exposed too much of it.
But the best kind of sunscreen can protect you from any kind of UV light. A broad-spectrum sunscreen has the ability to guard your skin from UVA and UVB.
What is Sun Protection Factor?
Sun protection factor (SPF) indicates the amount of UVB protection a sunscreen can give you. Manufacturers compute it based on the length of time skin is burned and treated with sunscreen versus without sunscreen.
If you use a sunscreen with 30 SPF, it will better protect your skin compared with SPF of 15. However, SPF 30 sunscreen doesn’t mean that it has double protection. On the other hand, products with more than 50 SPF has a slight increase in protection against UV.
The only problem with sunscreen is the way it is applied. Oftentimes, the product is not applied thickly and thoroughly enough. Moreover, sweating condition, as well as swimming activity, can wash it off that even if it has high SPF, it is no longer effective when it is out of your skin.
Thus, looking for a broad-spectrum sunscreen is better than looking for a sunscreen with a high SPF.
Water-resistant refers to the longevity of SPF in your body. It means that even if you are sweating or swimming, your sunscreen’s SPF remains. And it lasts up to 40 minutes. Moreover, very water-resistant points to the SPF that remains up to 80 minutes.
What are the Ingredients in Sunscreen?
Knowing the ingredients of most sunscreen may help you identify which of them is the best. For instance, there are two types of filters that are used for sunscreen. The filters either absorb or reflect the UV rays and it depends on the type of sunscreen you choose:
- Organic. The UV radiation is absorbed if the filter included is organic. The filter then converts the radiation into a modicum heat. Organic sunscreens have benzophenones, salicylates, cinnamates, and PABA derivatives.
- Inorganic. Unlike organic sunscreen, inorganic reflects the UV radiation and scatter it as well. It may have the ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The good thing about inorganic sunscreens is they are less irritating compared with organic.
Some sunscreen products is a combination of the two filters. Moreover, they may include the following other ingredients:
- Insect repellent. Insect repellent is advised to apply every six hours. But in using a combination type of sunscreen, a sunscreen without insect repellent should be applied every after two hours when you are heavily sweating, after swimming, or when you are outdoors.
- Retinyl palmitate. It is retinol or a vitamin A in another form. It acts as an antioxidant that protects your skin against free radicals which can break your skin cells down and cause wrinkles. There is multiple research that advises that retinyl palmitate is safe for use.
Which Sunscreen Brand is the Best?
If you put in a match the brand of sunscreen and the amount you are using sunscreen, the brand will not be important if don’t use the sunscreen much. Thus, to find the best brand, look for a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and have more 30 SPF. Then, check for its expiration date.
Finally, choose a sunscreen that you like. If you are not fond of the sunscreen you are using, chances are you won’t use it consistently.
What is the Best Form of Sunscreen?
There are various forms of sunscreens from spray to lotion. In choosing one, you should know the advantage and disadvantage each of them. Consider these tips below:
- Creams – creams are best for dry skins.
- Lotions – the good thing about lotions are it is less greasy compared with creams. Most users preferred lotion when they need sun protection in a large area of their body.
- Gel – men may prefer this product than women as it works best on areas that are hairy. For example, the scalp or the man’s hairy chest.
- Stick – your eye areas should also be protected from the sun, and sticks are best for this use.
- Spray – this form is advantageous for parents as it is much easier to apply to children. However, the disadvantage of spray is not knowing how well you had applied. Thus, you have to apply an even coating and a generous amount. You may also consider applying cream or gel and just use a spray for reapplying. Moreover, remember not to breathe the sunscreen and not to apply near heat. Avoid application while smoking, even open flame.