Summer is the time to enjoy the fine weather. It's also the time to engage in all the outdoor activities you've been looking forward to, especially swimming and spending time on the beach. Sadly, being outdoors for the better part of the day, exposed to the sun's rays can be damaging to your skin. The summer heat is brutal and can ruthlessly scathe your skin. Ultraviolet rays are responsible for various skin conditions that require special attention.
With this information in mind, you want to do all you can to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. One of the most crucial things is to ensure you wear good sunscreen during summer. All the exposed parts of your skin will benefit from a generous amount of sunscreen.
All sunscreens you find on the market aren't created equal and won't give the same results. This guide gives you five crucial tips for choosing the best sunscreen.
1. Understand Your Skin Type and Needs
The first thing you must do is understand your skin type before choosing sunscreen. If you continue to use a skin product that doesn't work for your skin type, you could do more harm than good. Matching a skin product to your skin type isn't always easy, but it pays off eventually.
Skin types fall into four primary categories. These are sensitive or acne-prone skin, oily skin, dry skin, and normal skin. Each type requires a different skincare regime.
100% mineral-based formulas with zinc oxide are gentle for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin types. Zinc oxide sunscreens contain properties that scatter the sun's rays and prevent them from penetrating the skin. That means that the potentially damaging UV radiation has no means of reaching the skin's cells. With brands that contain zinc oxide, it's not necessary to wait a few minutes after application before stepping outside.
For oily acne prone skin types, sunscreen with Eurol BT as a critical ingredient is an excellent choice. This ingredient is derived from Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf extract which has anti acne, anti aging, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
2. Broad-Spectrum Terms On Labels
A sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage will protect your skin better from sun damage. It should work effectively against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. These are the solar wavelengths with the potential to damage the skin.
UVA rays are more penetrative into the skin than UVB rays. They're the primary cause of fine lines, sagging skin, wrinkles, and other aging signs. UVB rays also tamper with the skin's upper surface and give way to sunburns.
3. A Sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor of More Than 30 is More Effective
It's also advisable to check the SPF of the sunscreen you buy. SPF measures how long you can stay in the sun before the UVB rays start to take a toll on your skin. Without sunscreen, your skin will begin to redden in approximately 20 minutes. With an SPF, it'll theoretically take 30 minutes longer for the skin to start burning.
The determination of SPF numbers undergoes a scientific process. It's ideal to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of more than 30 to stay safe. An SPF of 50 is more effective in preventing UVB radiations, blocking more than 97% of UVB rays. You may want to avoid products with an SPF of more than 50. They don't offer any extra protection and also attract a higher cost.
4. A High PA Rating Offers the Best Protection
A handful of sunscreen products come with a PA rating in addition to the SPF number. The rating is Protection Grade for UVA. It differs from SPF in that while SPF measures UVB protection, PA rating only measures UVA protection. The rating system works as follows:
- PA+ provides some level of UVA protection
- PA++ moderately protects you from the rays
- PA+++ is ideal for high UVA protection
- PA++++ is for extremely high UVA protection
The ratings directly correlate with how long your skin takes to tan. According to the FDA , tanning is one of the signs of the skin taking damage from the sun's exposure. The skin tries to release melanin to block the UV rays from further penetration into the skin. A good sunscreen with a high PA rating is your first line of defense when you're spending time outdoors.
5. A Good Sunscreen Has Water-Resistant or Sweat-Resistant Properties
People tend to sweat more in summer due to humid weather as the oil glands tend to become overactive. As you go for beach parties, you need sunscreen that can stay on your skin longer. Sunscreens with water-resistance and sweat-resistance properties do not wear off easily and remain effective against UV damage during outdoor activities.
When looking for these properties in a sunscreen, steer clear of those claiming to be 100% waterproof or sweat-resistant, as none is.
Other things to keep in mind when using sunscreen are:
- Apply enough quantity of sunscreen: Apply about two tablespoons of sunscreen to all the exposed parts of the body when in swimwear. If you use a sunscreen spray, spread it evenly throughout the entire body.
- Apply to all exposed parts: Sunscreen is for the face and other body parts like the neck, arms, legs, feet. The head would also benefit from the application if exposed to the sun.
- Reapplication is a must: Sunscreens start to lose effectiveness after a while, and that's why it's crucial to reapply after every two hours, especially after sweating or swimming.
- Wear sunglasses: Choose a good pair of sunglasses that deflect harmful rays to protect your eyes.
- Wear protective clothing: A wide-brimmed hat comes in handy to protect your skin as much as possible, even when you've applied sunscreen.
Sunscreen is critical in protecting your skin from the sun's harmful effects. When choosing the best product, several factors come into play, and they all call for careful consideration. The above list highlights some of the crucial considerations to make.
For this and more skincare information, Re’equil has all you need. Contact us with all your questions and concerns, and an expert will attend to you.