Getting Sunscreen Right
- Posted on: Jun 15 2017
Sunscreen. It’s something that you know you need. You may be careful to purchase a daily moisturizer that has SPF. You may spray up the kids when you arrive at the pool or lake for a day out. Many people are using sunscreen when they think of it. The problem is, cases of skin cancer are not declining very quickly. With 90% of diagnosed cases attributed to UV exposure, we see just how much we need to keep the conversation about sunscreen going.
Know Where to Start
Where many people start with their sunscreen purchase is with SPF. This term has been elevated to super-power status, but that can be confusing. SPF indicates how much light is filtered or blocked by a given product. SPF 30 filters 97% of the rays coming from your skin. SPF 50 filters 98%, and SPF 100, 99%. As you can see, higher doesn’t mean absolute protection. What equates to protection is finding the right broad spectrum sunscreen for you and using it appropriately.
What does your skin need?
- If you have dry skin, your sunscreen should have moisturizers such as dimethicone or lanolin oil to prevent irritation.
- If you have rosacea, allergies, or acne-prone skin, you may experience irritation from PABA or oxybenzone in sunscreen. If you are using topical or other medication for acne, your dermatologist should help you determine which sunscreen is right for you, as your medication could increase sun sensitivity.
- If you have very fair skin, you may want an SPF 50 product. What is really important is that your sunscreen protects from UVA and UVB light and that you reapply frequently.
- If you have very dark skin, you still need sunscreen. You may get by with SPF 15, but do need broad-spectrum and routine application.
- If you have mature skin, you may benefit from those moisturizing ingredients that pamper, such as lanolin oil. SPF 30 sunscreen, used daily, will help you decrease your risk of sun spots and skin cancer. If some places are hard to reach, use a spray-on product or get help from a loved one.
- Children have greater sensitivity to the chemical ingredients in sunscreen, including PABA and oxybenzone. They may be served better by physical sunscreen containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Is sunscreen a mystery to you? We are happy to help you manage the health of your skin with a thorough consultation and skin cancer screening. Call our Westerville office at (614)-895-0400.