Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Choose Sunscreen

Sun Protection
It sure is fun to play outdoors, but be sure to wear proper sun protection. Choose the right kind of sunscreen for better protection.
Source: Photo by africa via Freedigitalphotos

It's summer already! Time to hit the beaches and have some outdoor fun. But beware of the sun. Don't forget one very crucial step to your skin regimen: applying sunscreen.
Sunscreen blocks the sun's harmful rays that damage the skin. Stores offer a wide range of sunscreen products and it might be confusing to us which products to choose. Here are some tips for choosing your sunscreen:

#1 Check if it has both UVA and UVB protection. Choose sunscreens that has UV broad spectrum labels. Studies have shown that both UVA and UVB are harmful to the skin and increase the risk for cancer. UVA have longer frequencies and penetrates deeper into your skin and causes tanning. UVB, on the other hand, affects the more superficial layer of the skin and causes sunburn and reddening.
NOTE: Effective by the summer of 2012, sunscreen manufacturers will be required to label their bottles with broad spectrum provided they offer protection for both UVA and UVB rays. Their products should also meet the minimum standard for UVA protection in order to have this claim.
#2 Choose Sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. According to the Skin Care Foundation, this number indicates how long it takes for UVB to redden your skin when the sunscreen is applied. Meaning, the higher the SPF, the longer it takes for your skin to redden. But it does not mean that having the highest SPF product available is the most effective protective measure against these rays. It is more efficient to use a minimum SPF product and reapply for every two hours or as necessary (if you sweat too much) rather than using a high SPF product and not reapply at all.
NOTE: Currently, there is no standard for measuring UVA protection. New FDA rules, however, require sunscreens with the broad spectrum label to indicate that a higher SPF rating (that is, higher UVB protection) will also mean a higher protection against UVA. Products without UVA protection will only indicate the SPF rating for UVB.
Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, 48-Gram 1.7 oz.Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, 48-Gram 1.7 oz.
Amazon Price: $24.59
List Price: $29.00
Eltamd UV Physical SPF 41, 85-GramEltamd UV Physical SPF 41, 85-Gram
Amazon Price: $22.59
List Price: $27.00
#3 Don't forget to look for a noncomedogenic label. Check if your facial sunscreen contains the label to avoid clogging pores. Other forms of sunscreens such as powder or aerosol spray are also available for people who want to have a less greasy feel. However, sunscreen creams are still preferable as it provides better coverage on the skin.
Amore Pacific Laneige Sun Block Triple SPF40 PA++ 70mlAmore Pacific Laneige Sun Block Triple SPF40 PA++ 70ml
Amazon Price: $26.99
List Price: $30.00
#4 Note that beauty products might have SPF too. Products such as foundation and lip gloss might contain SPF. Even some facial moisturizers offer sun protection. But take note, such products are categorized as cosmetic products, therefore, bypassing the inspection of food and drug authority. Sunscreens are considered medicines, undergoing strict regulations, thereby ensuring safety for the skin.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45 Twin Pack 3.0 Fl OzNeutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45 Twin Pack 3.0 Fl Oz
Amazon Price: $8.95
List Price: $14.99
KINeSYS  Sunscreen, SPF 30, Spray, Fragrance Free, 4-Ounce BottlesKINeSYS Sunscreen, SPF 30, Spray, Fragrance Free, 4-Ounce Bottles
Amazon Price: $13.60
List Price: $18.99
#5 Sunscreens can be physical, chemical, or both. Physical sunscreens act as the skin's shield by reflecting UV. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are some examples of physical sunscreen ingredients. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, absorb UV. They contain ingredients such as Avobenzone, Oxybenzone or Octocrylene. If you have sensitive skin, consider buying a physical sunscreen to avoid allergic reactions.
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