The sun gives off two types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin and are most dangerous between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to REI. UVA rays are dangerous because they damage your immune system and they can affect you during any daylight hour, even if it’s cloudy. Choose a sunscreen that blocks both types of rays. Look for one labeled “broad-spectrum.”
The SPF, or sun-protection factor, of a given sunscreen tells you how effectively it blocks UVB rays. For instance, according to REI, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will block about 93 percent of UVB rays, while an SPF 30 sunscreen will block about 97 percent. The lowest SPF you should choose is 15, but higher is better. Opt for an SPF of at least 30 for better protection; fair-skinned people should choose SPF 50 sunscreen.
Reading the ingredients label on a package of sunscreen can tell you whether it offers all the protection you need. Look for sunscreen that includes ingredients such as avobenzone, cinoxate, octyl salicylate, oxybenzone or sulisobenzone. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may also choose from a variety of sunscreens that are marketed as natural or inorganic. These sunscreens should include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and these sunscreens can be just as effective as any other type.
If your lifestyle ever takes you into the water, choose a type of sunscreen labeled as water-proof or water-resistant. These types of sunscreen are also best if you exercise outdoors, since they can stay in place even when you sweat. While water-resistant sunscreens don’t contain different protective ingredients, they do contain ingredients that help the sunscreen stay on your skin. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen that comes in the form of cream or lotion, since spray-on varieties may be less effective.
Tag : Suncreens