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Buying the Best: Sunscreen

Why do we need sunscreen?

Ultraviolet rays (UV) can be very harmful to your body. Sunscreen protects you in two ways: displacement and absorption, which displace or absorb the UV rays before they can reach the skin.

In the past, all you had to do was look out for a sunscreen that has a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This measures the effectiveness of sunscreen protection against one type of cancer, UV rays; and ultraviolet B (UVB) SPF shields you against UVB only.

However, studies have demonstrated that the exposure to Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) can enhance the risk of having skin cancer. UVAs penetrate deep down your skin and leaves you with wrinkles but not sunburn. The Environment Protection Agency believes that an estimated 90% of skin problems that are ageing related is direct effects of the long exposure to the harmful effects of UVA.

How to choose the best sunscreen for you:

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

A broad spectrum sunscreen might just be what you need for your protection against ultraviolet rays, or you might want to go the multi-spectrum protection that shields you against UVB and UVA.

Broad spectrum is composed of the some chemicals like benzophenones (oxybenzone).

How much SPF it has

The SPF measures the sunscreen’s effectiveness in preventing UV rays from reaching your skin. For example, if your normal burning rate takes 10 minutes, the SPF multiples that by a factor of 15, which mean before you experience sunburn, you would have expended 150 minutes.

Having an SPF 15 is safe for a vast number of individuals, but for some sensitive skins or a family that has a history of skin cancer, or lupus condition that increases the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight should opt for SPF 30, which provides stronger protection.

Note that the higher the SPF number, the lower the benefits. An SPF 30 does not necessarily mean twice as much stronger than SPF15. The filtration of UVB is just a little difference between SPF 15 and 30—SPF filters just about 93%, while SPF 30 filters 97%.

What is it made of?

As there are no standard procedures to rate the shielding of UVA rays by sunscreens, you must pay attention to ingredients. Look for sunscreen with certain constituents like titanium oxides or compounds likes zinc oxides.

Also, getting a sunscreen that’s resistant to water and body fluids is very important if you’ll be doing some workouts or swimming.

Is it suitable for your kids?

Because of the sensitive nature of babies and children’s skins, it’s advisable not to use adult sunscreens that contain certain chemicals like dioxybenzone. These chemicals cause irritation to kids’ skin unlike the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Sunscreens with ingredients like titanium dioxide will in most cases not cause any form of skin irritation for kids. These ingredients offer protection for baby’s skin without any absorption.

Sunscreens with an SPF 15 or above will be quite suitable for 6-months old babies or older while babies under the age of 6-months should be kept totally away from the sun according to American Academy of Pediatrics.

Do you have skin problems or allergies?

Skin sensitive people or people suffering from conditions such as rosacea should also look for milder sunscreen. With skin problems or allergies, try to avoid sunscreen that contains alcohol, fragrance, or any kind of preservatives. Those with for oily or dry skin should look for sunscreen which can moisturize as well as protect. Try out different sunscreens and compare the results.

Wearing Sunscreen Properly

Now that you’ve chosen the sunscreen you want, you need to make sure to put it on properly for maximum benefit.

  • Ensure the application of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going under the sun.
  • Women can use a 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) for application under makeup to ensure coverage of the whole body. Research studies prove that a whole lot of people don’t get to use them adequately and as such get 10% to 25% of the entire benefits.
  • Certain parts of the body can easily be neglected during application. The tip of the ear, the back of the leg, your feet and so on, even a bald spot if you have one should have sunscreen applied.
  • Lip balms that shield against UV rays can be applied to the lip and also regular reapplication for protection.
  • Make sure to reapply the sunscreen about two hours after the initial application because the effectiveness of sunscreen decreases with time. If you’re sweating profusely or you’re getting wet, apply it more often.
  • Sunscreens should not be worn only on hot and sunny days, but whenever you are out. On less sunny days, close to 80% of UV rays still passes through the cloud and make it down to earth. Even when the winter comes calling, the sun’s rays have the capacity to cause harmful effects on your skin.

Sunscreen doesn’t provide perfect protection

A lot of people seem to think that sunscreen offers 100% protection against UV rays. However, that’s not true. No matter how high the SPF or how heavily you apply it on, you can never get 100% protection from the sun. Even with sunscreen, people should avoid exposing themselves to too much sun rays to reduce their chances of getting skin cancer and other skin related issues.

In addition to sunscreen, you should also take the following precautions:

  • Your clothes may not be as protective as you’d want. The average cotton T- shirt has only a meager SPF 4. Look for clothing that has “UV protection” on their label. Dark and thick clothing also offers a bit of protection.
  • Keep yourself under the shade whenever possible
  • Put on sunglasses
  • Stay indoors when the UV radiation are at their peak, which is usually between the hours of 10am to 4pm
  • Wearing a broad brimmed hat is a good protection measure

Finding the best product:

Now that you know how to find a good sunscreen, here’s a few options for you to choose from. If you don’t like any of the products below, you can search for more types of sunscreen here at 100comments.

Banana Boat Sport SPF110

Banana Boat Sunscreen, Sport SPF 110 Lotion delivers our highest level of lotion protection for any sport activity. This advanced formula protects skin from sunburn and long-term skin damage by providing long-lasting UVA/UVB protection.

Syahirah UV Whitening Sunblock SPF50

Syahirah UV White 2X Whitening Sunblock SPF50 helps brighten and whiten skin 2 times faster and more effectively. It is also suitable to be used as sunscreen, protect against UVA and UVB throughout the day. The non-greasy texture helps to keep your skin moisture, radiant and protected.

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA+++

Suitable for face and body application, it contains aqua micro capsules which has UV absorbing ingredients to provide strong, long-lasting double block yet with light and cool “water-like” fresh feeling. Non-sticky and non-greasy, it spreads and absorbs by the skin easily. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and mix citrus essence as moisturizing ingredients to keep skin hydrated. Non sticky and non greasy, it is so comfortable for everyday use.


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