With summer fast approaching, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s potentially harmful rays. With so many different types of sunscreen on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is going to be best for your body. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Chemical vs. physical
Sunscreens can be divided into two categories: physical and chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen creates a reflective layer on your skin that physically blocks the sun’s rays. It uses natural minerals and starts working right away. Chemical sunscreens penetrate your skin to make it less vulnerable to the sun. These sunscreens take about 20 minutes to work. There are many people who have concerns about the long-term health effects of putting chemical sunscreens in your body. There is also the potential for environmental damage when these chemicals are absorbed into the ocean.
Broad spectrum SPF
The sun produces two types of rays – UVA and UVB rays. Some sunscreens only protect against one or the other, leaving room for serious sun damage. Look for a sunscreen that is labeled with broad spectrum SPF protection, meaning that it protects against both. You should also make sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or higher. SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it is a relative measure of how long the sunscreen can protect you against UVB rays.
It’s also very important to make sure your sunscreen is water resistant if you are going in the pool or the ocean. Even just a quick dip can rub off sunscreens that aren’t waterproof, leaving you susceptible to burns. If you have sensitive skin, you should also look for a product made from gentle ingredients that isn’t going to further clog your pores.
By Natalia Lazar