Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to choose the Best Sunscreen lotion?

The hot weather of Summer cannot stop the people from moving out of house. But when you go out in sun, it is very essential to get adequate protection from sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays. Wearing Sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from the hazardous sun exposure effects like sunburn, premature lines, wrinkles, age spots, skin cancers, etc. It has been surveyed that one person dies every hour in the US due to skin cancer caused by overexposure to sun without adequate protection.

How to choose the Best Sunscreen lotion?

You can prevent all the hazardous sun exposure effects completely. All you have to do is to select and use an appropriate sunscreen product. But when it comes to opting for a sunscreen, it is not as simple as it used to be. To select an appropriate sunscreen product is a big deal because lots of brands with lots of varieties are available in the market. If you want to pick up the best suited Sunscreen to safely enjoy yourself in the sun, read on the article.

There are some criteria, which plays a significant role in making a correct sunscreen choice:
  • It should be Strong Enough.
  • It should provide Feel Good Effect when you apply on skin, thereby you will be inclined to re-apply it that is very important.
  • It must be Compatible with your facial and body skin type.
  • It must be free of Dangerous Ingredients.
First Criteria - Strong Enough Sunscreen

How to choose the strong enough sunscreen? The answer of this question splits in two parts because the damaging rays coming from the sun are of two types: Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet B rays (UVB).

The UVA rays exposure lead to the aging because they penetrate deeply into skin, causing wrinkles. Studies have shown that up to 90% of skin changes allied with aging are actually caused by lifetime exposure to UVA rays. The overexposure of UVA rays can lead to skin cancer.
  • So, how to opt for the sunscreen that can give you a protection against UVA rays?
Go for sunscreen that is marked with either ‘broad-spectrum protection’ or simply with ‘UVA protection’.

The UVB rays are known as burning rays and its exposure can cause sunburns and skin cancer. The effectiveness of sunscreen in protecting you against UVB rays can be rated by its SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value. The higher the value of SPF, the better protection against the detrimental UVB rays. The value of your sunscreen’s SPF will let you know that how longer you can stay out in the sun without sunburn. For instance, if a person normally begin to burn in 10 minutes, an SPF 15 will allow him/her to stay out in the sun 15 times longer (150 minutes) without sunburn.
  • So, how to opt for the right SPF sunscreen?
The SPF value on a sunscreen product ranges from as low as 2 to as high as 100. The dermatologists suggest wearing a sunscreen with SPF of between 15 and 30 for maximum protection. A sunscreen with SPF 15 provides 88% protection and a sunscreen with SPF 30 provides 95% protection from the burning rays. Does highest SPF value mean the best protection? No… a sunscreen with SPF 50 gives only 1% to 2% more protection than SPF 30. The dermatologists do not suggest wearing a sunscreen with SPF more than 30 because the benefit is only 3% to 4% more protection, but as the SPFs increase, the thickness of sunscreen also increases so it become less pleasant to apply on skin.
Neglect the sunscreen with SPF value above 50+; these labels are deceptive and may encourage you to stay out in the sun for too long. The higher SPF values often give a false sense of security to people because SPF is based only on UVB protection, which thwarts sunburn but does not protect against deeper tissue damage and premature aging.

Second Criteria - Feel Good Effect

When you purchase your sunscreen, keep in mind to opt for one that feels you good when you apply it on skin. This kind of sunscreen will incline you to re-apply it, which is very important for the utmost sun protection. Here, the role of SPF value comes once again. Increase in the number of SPF, increase in thickness, and the higher density make the sunscreen feel not as good. So as said above, opt for the sunscreen having SPF values between 15 and 30, because they have medium density that feels you good when you apply. So, it is better to reapply sunscreen 3, 4, 5 times a day, instead of applying a higher SPF sunscreen that is dense, less pleasant, and does not incline you to re-apply after the first use in the morning.

Third Criteria - Facial and Body Skin Compatibility

You must ensure that whether your sunscreen is compatible with your facial and body skin or not.
If your facial skin is oily or acne-prone, then it is very important to choose the sunscreen that cannot aggravate your acne. For that, go for the sunscreen which is labeled either oil-free or water-based.

For your body sunscreen, go for a lotion instead of cream. Lotion just spread more easily than the cream, so you will just more apt to re-apply it.

The children and babies have very sensitive skin, which can be irritated easily by the chemicals present in adult sunscreens. So, when you choose the sunscreen for your kids, bear in mind to avoid the one with para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzephenones like oxybenzone, dioxybenzone or sulisobenzone. You should go for the kid-friendly sunscreens that use the ingredients, which are less likely to irritate the skin such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They protect the skin of kids without being absorbed.

If your skin is sensitive or if you have skin conditions like rosacea, go for the sunscreens intended for children. If you have skin allergies or irritation, then avoid the products containing preservatives, fragrances or alcohol.

Fourth Criteria - Beware Of Dangerous Ingredients

Retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A): This ingredient may increase the risk of skin damage and cancer because it may cause a person to develop lesions and tumors faster when skin is exposed to the sun.

Oxybenzone: This ingredient is associated with hormone disruption and can lead to allergic reactions.

Some Other Valuable Tips:

Avoid the sunscreen products formulated in sprays or powders, because they can fill the air with tiny particles which are hazardous to inhale and can cause lung inflammation.

If you are going in the water or to be exercising, then you should go for a sunscreen that is resistant to water and sweat. There are two categories: Water Resistant sunscreen product provides protection for 40 minutes and Very Water Resistant sunscreen product provides protection for 80 minutes in the water. But keep in mind that sunscreens are never water-proof, so you will be required to re-apply them regularly if you are going out for a long time.

Overview of Best Sunscreen Criteria:
  • ‘Broad-spectrum protection’ or "UVA/UVB” protection
  • SPF value between 15 and 30
  • No SPF values above 50+
  • Good, stable sun protection
  • No sprays or powders
  • Water resistance
  • Free of Dangerous Ingredients: Retinyl palmitate and Oxybenzone
  • Look for mineral sun block ingredients like zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide


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