Yes, I know, you wear your best sunscreen faithfully whenever you are out in the sun.
But what about the rest of the time when it’s snowing, raining, cloudy or just going to and from work.
Just as much damage is being done. It is best to treat sun protection as a skin care item.
What you probably don't understand, it is not the UVB rays that are so damaging but the UVA. These are the aging rays also known as the cancer rays.
I want you to do this little test. Look at some part of your body that never sees daylight.
How does it compare to the skin on your face?
Are you surprised to see how the environment has taken its toll on your skin?
I’ll bet you are thinking those wrinkles come from dry skin. The sun’s UVA rays are the primary cause of premature aging. They break down collagen and because the rays penetrate the skin so much deeper than the UVB rays they are responsible for photo-aging and melanomas.
Finding the Best Sunscreen
Knowing how to choose sunscreen has become more challenging in the past few years.
Most of you have probably shopped based on the SPF factor.
Unfortunately SPF only tells you how long you can stay exposed to UVA/UVB. It doesn’t tell you if the product has the necessary ingredients to protect you against UVA and UVB.
What is SPF?
It has been my experience that most women think that because the SPF number is bigger they are getting better protection. Well, in fact it is really only a measure to see how long you can stay exposed without having to reapply..
If you are out in the sun and your skin gets pink in about 15 minutes, SPF 15 multiplies that by a factor of 15, allowing you to stay out 225 minutes before burning. SPF 30 is not more effective than SPF15. It only means you can stay out twice as long. Ingredients determine the quality of protection. That is why you should always have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide listed in the active ingredients.
All sunscreens will have UVB protection but not necessarily UVA.
The sunscreen that is considered to be the best is one with broad-spectrum protection for UVA and UVB.
Ingredients to look for are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and Mexoryl.
You also want to make sure that these are listed under the active ingredients on the product.
Using Sunscreen Effectively
The best sunscreen in the world is useless unless you use it correctly.
Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. Use a generous amount and don’t skimp.
Reapply frequently especially after being in the water.
The FDA states a water resistant sunscreen is one where the SPF level is effective after 40 minutes in the water and a waterproof sunscreen has 80 minutes.
If you have sensitive skin, rosacea or allergies choose sunscreens without chemicals. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and make sure your check for the expiration date. Old product loses effectiveness and can cause irritations.
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