5 tips for choosing sunscreen
Choosing the right sunscreen can feel overwhelming, especially with all of the different options on the market. My advice is to keep it simple, and look for a few key indicators that will help to reduce premature aging and protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Choose between SPF 30 and 50
The higher the SPF does not necessarily mean the better it is at protecting your skin. According to the FDA, high SPF provides people with a false sense of security when it comes to sun protection. Aim for between SPF 30 and 50 with broad-spectrum coverage.
Avoid aerosol sunscreen
It’s no secret that aerosol sunscreen wreaks havoc on the environment (think of all the chemicals that pollute our air). Additionally, it’s easy to inhale the chemicals of aerosol sunscreen, which can be detrimental to your overall health and wellness. Opt for sunscreen lotion versus aerosol spray.
Look for UVA and UVB protection
UVA rays are those that can penetrate into the dermis and potentially lead to premature aging, while UVB rays are those that can burn the superficial layers of the skin. Make sure you get a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Look for sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide
Although these sunscreens are less opaque than regular sunscreen, they create a physical block from the sun and are natural minerals from the earth. These ingredients are FDA approved and provide sunscreen with a natural SPF.
Watch out for oxybenzone
The EWG reported that oxybenzone “is one of the most commonly used sunscreen active ingredients, found in more than 60 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens.” It’s been known to disrupt the endocrine system, and is also harmful for children due to the high absorption and bioaccumulation.
Once you’ve determined which sunscreen is right for you, make sure to apply it to your skin at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure.