What Is The Best Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is not JUST sunscreen. There are two main ways that sunscreen can shield you from the sun’s UV cancer-causing rays:
- Scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body
- Absorbing UV rays before they reach you
Previously, choosing a good sunscreen just meant you chose one with a high SPF and called it good. BUT, we have had new discoveries. The Sun Protection Factor was designed to block UVB rays. But, now we know that there is another form of harmful rays known as UVA.
Now some people get hung up on which factor to protect yourself from! LISTEN — they’re BOTH bad!!!!! UVB rays cause SUNBURN and UVA rays cause WRINKLES. So obviously we want to protect against BOTH. DUH.
This means that we need to be looking for BROAD-spectrum sunscreen.
The SPF that protects against UVB is the number you see on the sunscreen, like SPF 15. This number means that if you normally burn in 10 minutes, it will instead take you 150 minutes (10×15) to burn with the sunscreen applied.
Looking for UVA coverage, however, isn’t quite as straightforward. You must rely on ingredient label reading. To ensure that you are getting UVA protection, look for at least one of the following in the ingredients:
- titanium dioxide
- sulisobenzone (protects against both!)
- zinc oxide
- mexoryl (the newest FDA-approved ingredient can be found in Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen)
How do you know what sunscreen brand is the best for you?
I was shocked a few years ago when I found out that the ingredients in my sunscreen were actually CONTRIBUTING to skin cancer. My sunscreen had a retinol product in it! Are you kidding me?! The number one piece of advice you receive on retinol is to avoid the sun!!! Anyway, since then I have been extremely cautious of my sunscreen.
Here are some things to look out for when choosing a sunscreen:
-use any sunscreen brand whose ingredients includes retinyl palmitate, retinol, vitamin A, oxybenzone, octinoxate, or octocrylene
-use sunscreen with ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone (protects against both!), zinc oxide, avobenzone and/or Mexoryl.
-look for products that are fragrance free for your face
My personal favorite, hands down, is EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46. In addition to it protecting against BOTH UVA and UVB rays, it’s also gentle enough for acne prone skin, as well as those prone to rosacea and hyperpigmentation! It seems like they made it just for me 😉
DID YOU KNOW:
The higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit? SPF 30 (filters out 97% of UVB) isn’t twice as strong as SPF 15 (filters out 93% of UVB).
No sunscreen is really waterproof! They can only be water resistant, and only up to 40 minutes on average. You MUST reapply every 3 hours and after swimming or sweating!
You need a tablespoon size of sunscreen lotion for your face and a shot glass size for every exposed body part.
In addition to picking the best sunscreen, it is important to USE it correctly, too! Make sure that as soon as you are not going to be outside anymore you wash it off! (Don’t forget to follow up a long day with a good night time skin care regimen!)
I hope this helps you beat the battle of what sunscreen you should choose! 🙂 Happy sunning.