If everyone’s skin is different, then why do we try to protect it like it’s the same? Companies create makeup and skin care products designed to cater to different skin types. However, when it comes to sunscreen, people rarely research what they are buying, and which product will best protect their skin. Luckily for you, the American Academy of Dermatology released tons of tips and information that will help you choose a sun protection that will best guard your skin.
What to Buy
Sunscreen is typically sold in the forms of lotions, sticks and sprays. You will want to purchase something that is broad-spectrum, water-resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen must be applied every two hours, or after swimming and physical activity.
While lotions are recommended due to their full-coverage, sticks and sprays tend to be more convenient. A stick of sunscreen should be applied in four layers for maximum coverage. Rubbing it in after application ensures that an even layer has been covered. Spray sunscreen should be applied generously to your skin. Do not use a spray on a windy day to avoid inhaling the chemicals.
Types of Sunscreen
There are two different types of sunscreens available on the market: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens work like a shield, as they sit on the surface of the skin to deflect the sun’s rays. This type of sunscreen should be used by people with sensitive skin. Physical sunscreens will include ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Chemical sunscreens are designed to be applied easier to the skin. These products don’t leave the white residue that is frequent in physical sunscreens. Instead of reflecting the sun’s rays, chemical sunscreens absorb them. Ingredients like avobenzone, octisalate and homosalate are common in these products. The FDA has also issued a warning against sunscreen pills, which have been found to be ineffective.
Ingredients to Avoid
It’s very important to look at the ingredients in sun screen to see if it is suitable for your personal skin type. Recently, Hawaiian legislators banned the distribution of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. These ingredients are used in chemical sunscreens and have raised environmental concerns. The chemicals are also linked to the damage of marine life and coral reefs.
The FDA has yet to ban these chemicals, as they are still approved and considered safe for human use. In fact, according to American Academy of Dermatology President Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD, all of the active ingredients in U.S. sunscreens have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective for human use.. When one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point, the FDA is encouraging everyone to take the proper steps to protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays.