Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to Choose The Right Sunscreen

How to Choose The Right Sunscreen

Dermatologists recommend sunscreen that has both a chemical and a physical block.

Knowing how to choose the right sunscreen is very important during the summer. Sunscreen blocks the harmful rays of the sun that can cause cancer, wrinkles and damage skin. It is very confusing at the drug store if you do not understand all of the industry lingo such as Helioplex, Avobenzene, Parsol 1784, and many others. Which one is best?

SUN PROTECTION FACTOR - Use SPF 30 or higher on your skin that is exposed to the sun. Use sunscreen on a daily basis. Dermatologist recommend an SPF rating of at least 30 or higher for most patients. 30 SPF is very high and each rating higher than that only gives you slightly more sun protection. Reapply as needed and at least every two hours or after coming out of the water. Consult your dermatologist for your specific skin care needs.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS - Use an active ingredient of 7% or higher. Although the specific active ingredient does not matter as long as it covers both UVA and UVB rays, it should be at least 7% on the active ingredient list. Dermatologists do not recommend Helioplex, Avobenzene or Parsol 1784 over an other active ingredients, they say that they are all similar enough. These are all just name brand active ingredients and they all protect in a similar manner.

PHYSICAL BLOCKER - Use a sunscreen that has a physical blocker in addition to the main active ingredient chemical blocker. Look on the active ingredient list and make sure that either zinc oxide or titanium oxide is listed. The quantity does not have to be 7% or more, that is not necessary. Zinc is not the solid white blocker that it was in the past, it now blends into the skin just like regular sunscreen.

It is very important that you find a sunscreen with all three of these requirements, 30 SPF or more, 7% of active ingredient or more and a physical blocker of zinc oxide or titanium oxide. None of the current spray on sunscreen meets this criteria. The three sunscreens that I have found are Solbar, Elta and Banana Boat Baby Tear Free.

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