Whether you’re headed to the beach for a day of summer fun or are just going to be out and about in the summer sun, the one thing you should never be without is a generoussupply of sunscreen.
However, with the tons of sun protection creams, lotions and brands available in the market, how does one choose a sunscreen that will give you optimum protection?
Here are some tips on how to choose the best sunscreen for your skin and lifestyle this summer:
Stay Smart with SPF
At the very basic level, SPF or Sun Protection Factor is what determines the level of protection that you will get from the sun’s harmful UVB rays. Rule of thumb: The higher the SPF, the better the protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum SPF of 15 for sun protection. However, you also need SPF protection against UVA rays, since they too can increase your risk of skin cancer.
Boost Sunscreen Power with Broad Spectrum
A broad spectrum sunscreen increases the sun protection power of sunscreens by shielding you from both UVA and UVB rays. While the SPF rating will give you an idea of the effectiveness of the sunscreen in blocking UVB rays, there is no rating as of yet to determine how good a sunscreen is at blocking UVA rays. As a result, you’ll have to read the ingredients. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, ingredients like oxybenzone, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide help provide UVA protection.
Water and Sweat Resistant Sunscreens are Super
If you lead an active lifestyle where you’ll be sweating a lot or exposed to water, choose a sunscreen that is resistant to both sweat and water. Remember, water resistant does not mean waterproof. So, a water resistant sunscreen will need to be reapplied after 40 minutes of being in the water.
Sunscreens for Sensitive Folks
Yes, adults with sensitive skin, babies and children will need special sunscreens to keep them sun safe. Kid-friendly sunscreens use gentler ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and can be easily used by adults with sensitive skin as well. Babies under 6 months should be kept out of the sun altogether, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Have YOU stocked up on sunscreen? How do you choose the best sunscreen for your kids and yourself?
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace medical advice. Please seek the opinion of a medical practitioner before trying or using any of the tips listed.
Photo Credit: Robert S.Donovan