Choosing The Right Sunscreen

If you know me, then you know that I am a sun protection warrior; in addition to causing premature aging, too much sun exposure can lead to cancer- the big C. So when I read this guest post I knew I had to share. Please enjoy and remember to practice safe sun!

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) multiplies the amount of time you can normally spend in the sun without any protection (a threshold known as the Minimal Erythermal Dose) by a specific numerical amount.  The SPF protection that you require is determined by how quickly you burn, and how long you intend to stay out in the sun. The Minimal Erythermal Dose varies greatly from person to person depending on the amount of melanin in their skin. If you’re very fair and can spend 10 minutes in the sun without burning, applying an SPF of 30 will increase that amount of time to 300 minutes. The higher the SPF, the longer you are protected.

However, it is important to note that the strength of the sun varies during the day, so you should always overestimate the level of coverage you need to ensure that you are well protected. Between 11am and 3pm the sun is at its highest point, meaning its rays are at their most intense. You should ideally avoid the sun completely during those times but, of course, this isn’t always possible. Instead, aim to cover up as much as possible when you’re out and about and liberally apply your sunscreen to exposed areas.

SPF sunscreen is incredibly important to use as it provides an essential shield from the two-fold damaging effects of the sun. UVA rays are responsible for hastening the aging process by attacking the collagen and elastin fibers which give skin its youthful plumpness. UVB rays are the ones that most of us are familiar with. While beneficial in small doses thanks to the fact that they promote the generation of Vitamin D in the body, UVB rays are also responsible for sunburn and can be attributed to skin cancer.

So it’s clear that applying the right protection is important – now it’s time to choose the type of sunscreen you’d prefer. Depending on your skin type there is a wealth of different textures to choose from, the most conventional being a lotion. There are also gels, serums, oils, creams and milks available on the market in a variety of different formats, from pour-on, to spray, to stick. If, for example, you have dry skin and you tend to be in a rush before heading out, then a moisturizing lotion sunscreen in a spray format with let you quickly spritz your sun protection while infusing lasting hydration.

Protecting babies and children in the sun is imperative. When selecting an appropriate sunscreen for a youngster, it is important to choose a comfortable formula with a very high SPF so that delicate skin is well protected. Opt for an SPF of 35 or above no matter their skin tone and reapply frequently. It is also important to choose a formula that won’t irritate the skin or feel too heavy, as uncomfortable formulas can discourage your child from wanting to wear it. If you can, opt for a spray, a mousse, or a milk that will sink into skin without a trace.

Now you’re ready for some safe fun in the sun!