HomeFacial Care7 Important Things to Consider When Buying Sunscreen

7 Important Things to Consider When Buying Sunscreen

It’s no secret that good sunscreen is a healthy skin essential all year long, but there’s a lot of information to keep track of when buying sunscreen. Sunscreen is not a one-size-fits-all, and there are so many kinds of sunscreen out there because different people may have different sunscreen needs. Some people may just need it for everyday wear, while others are looking for water-resistant or sweat-proof protection. Your skin type may also help to determine the best option.

Here’s how to ensure you find your next favorite sunscreen so you can get a safer dose of the sun.

1. Start with SPF 30, Go as High as 50

Both UVA and UVB rays can lead to skin cancer, plus UVA rays cause wrinkles and speed up signs of aging, and UVB rays cause sunburns. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a minimum of SPF 30, which protects against 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher SPFs are better for the fair skinned or those who burn easily, but keep in mind that improvements are minimal—SPF 15 provides 93% protection, so it’s not like 30 is “twice” as effective. The AAD recommends SPF 50 for the fair skinned or those who burn easily, but don’t insist upon maxing out your SPF. Why? “No sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays,” according to the Academy, and there’s actually no evidence that SPFs higher than 50 protect any better.

2. Know Your Sunscreen’s Key Ingredients

A quick look through the ingredients list can help ensure you have the quality and coverage you need. You’ll want to ensure you have both UVA and UVB protection, so look for the term “broad spectrum” in the label. Mineral (or physical) sunscreen works by using natural minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to reflect the sun’s rays from your skin. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens use chemical compounds like bemotrizinol, avobenzone and biscotizole—all of which provide broad-spectrum protection.

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