Whether you love it or love to hate it, sunscreen is a critical part of any skin care routine. This multitasking product helps shield your skin from harmful UV rays, fends off nasty sunburns, and protects against premature aging, so it’s a must-have in your beauty cabinet.
However, finding the right sunscreen is easier said than done. Figuring out what level of SPF coverage you need and what ingredients to look for can be baffling, so we consulted dermatology
Why is sunscreen so important?
“Sunscreen protects the skin from UV damage. UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer and lead to premature aging, wrinkles and sun spots. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lives, so it is important to incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine,” said dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank.
Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can clearly shield you from potentially dangerous UV rays, and as an added bonus, it can also keep your skin looking fab.
“Sun protection is your best strategy in keeping your skin youthful. Sun exposure contributes greatly to wrinkles, loss of firmness and brown spots,” saidDr. David Lortscher, dermatologist and CEO of Curology.
Of course, sunscreen alone can’t entirely protect you — you should also be mindful of seeking shade and wearing protective clothing — but it certainly is a vital element of your skin care routine.
How to pick the right facial sunscreen
So you’ve decided to get serious about sun care and are ready to find your perfect facial sunscreen. Now, the question is: How do you select the right one for you? When shopping for facial sunscreens, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do the ingredients fight back against powerful UV rays?
“Look for sunscreens that have ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to absorb rays and reflect them off the skin, as well as octocrylene (a moisturizing chemical sunscreen) and octisalate (an organic sunscreen that absorbs UVB rays) to maintain longevity of the product on the user,” said Dr. Howard Sobel, founder of Sobel Skin.
2. Are you selecting the optimal amount of protection for your lifestyle?
“When shopping for a sunscreen, the type of protection and SPF you choose will depend on the expected length of exposure. For everyday use, choose a product with an SPF of at least 30. For more prolonged exposure, especially if sweating or swimming, choose an SPF of at least 50, as well as one that is rated as water-resistant for 80 minutes (maximum rating allowed),” Banks said.
3. Will you actually wear it every single day?
“The key to choosing the best sunscreen is choosing one you’ll have no problem wearing every day. Special additional ingredients don’t matter if you don’t consistently apply sunscreen,” Lortscher said.
4. Do you want a physical or chemical sunscreen?
“Chemical sunscreens are chemicals that have been specifically designed to absorb and screen ultraviolet rays from the sun. Physical sunscreens, by contrast, utilize zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier, similar to a wall, to block the incoming ultraviolet rays. Both are good, but one advantage of the physical blocks is that they block the full spectrum of incoming rays, whereas the chemical sunscreens may only block a limited range,” Banks said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published two studies in the past year reporting that several active ingredients in chemical sunscreens (including avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate) could be absorbed into your bloodstream and possibly remain there for quite some time. The FDA says it’s currently seeking more information on chemical sunscreen ingredients, though it does note that “absorption does not equal risk” and it has not yet deemed the ingredients unsafe for use in sunscreen.
The FDA does recognize zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the two main ingredients used in mineral sunscreens, as safe and effective.
5. Will it irritate your skin?
“Look for non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog the pores,” Banks said. “In addition, those with more sensitive skin might do best to avoid chemical sunscreens.”
Article from : today health