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March 18, 2015 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

How to Choose and Apply Your Sunscreen

By WebforKate More Blogs by This Author

Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential to good skin care. Wearing proper sunscreen any time you are outdoors will help you avoid painful and possibly debilitating sunburns and sun poisoning as well as long-term sun damage that requires the help of a dermatologist or cosmetic specialist. With so many different brands of sunscreen, choosing one can be difficult. It can be overwhelming when confronted with the long aisle of dozens of types of sunscreens, so here is a short guide to help you choose and apply your sunscreen.

Sunscreen prevents dangerous UV rays from harming your skin. Some sunscreens scatter the light and reflect it away from your body, while others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin. Many people assume that a high sun protection factor (SPF) means you will be safe from all UV rays. However, SPF refers only to the blockage of UVB rays. While they don’t cause sunburn, UVA rays can also cause damage to your skin, causing wrinkles and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Considering this, make sure you choose a sunscreen that protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Since the SPF of a sunscreen will not inform you of whether a sunscreen will shield you from UVA rays, you must look at the ingredients—choose a sunscreen that has any one of the following:ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.

Applying your sunscreen correctly is just as important as choosing the right one. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen if you plan on exercising or going into water. Even water-resistant sunscreens need regular reapplication—many sunburns occur when people apply sunscreen once and then forget to reapply or assume they will continue to be protected. Apply your sunscreen anywhere your skin will be exposed to sunlight or reflected sunlight, and reapply at least every two hours. Remember, the sun doesn’t have to be out to be dangerous, so apply sunscreen any time you are outdoors. Ensure you’re using your sunscreen effectively and you can keep your skin healthy and protected all year long!

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2 Comments

  • Great advice to choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Another way you can tell is if the sunscreen says "broad spectrum" on the label. The US Food and Drug Administration only allows sunscreens that protect against both types of UV rays (our sunscreens are an example) to be labeled that way.

  • I didn't know to look for these ingrdients: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. to make sure I was getting the right protection. I will start looking now.

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