What SPF Sunscreen You Should Be Using?
Summertime is here and with it brings lots of fun outdoor activities! This means more time spent in the awesome and brilliant sunshine with your family and friends. Camping, fishing, sports, swimming, gardening, vacations, walks in the park, and more are all part of the summer plan.
Getting ready for vacation or that beach outing? You have your beach towel, drinks, pool floats, and last but not least you grab your big old bottle of sunscreen out of the medicine cabinet and you are ready to go.
But wait, have you checked your sunscreen product out to make sure they are the right kind to protect you from the sun?
You may already know that the sun provides us with great benefits such as it increases our Vitamin D, lowers our cholesterol, improves blood pressure, increases oxygen content in the blood, helps with depression, and more. But the dangers to the skin from the sun’s rays and exposure to them are very real if you are not properly protected.
Too much sun and not enough or the right kind of sunscreen protection can cause a whole bunch of issues you don’t want. Like skin deterioration, premature aging, skin loses its elasticity, dry skin, rashes, sunburn, and skin cancer. Most concerning is that statistically about 1 out of 5 people in the United States will have some type of skin cancer sometime in their life.
Each person’s skin is different though and depending on your tone, type, and more, not all sun care products will protect you equally. Being up to speed on knowing which products for your skin is best for you is important to your overall health and well being. So let’s get started on breaking it down to the basics.
What is your Complexions type?
Your complexion is defined as the natural color, appearance or texture of your skin; usually referring to the color of the skin on your face. Typically complexions range from very fair to very dark and are affected by the sun as follows:
Very fair=almost always will burn and will never get tan
Fair=burns easily and will tan very little
Light=Burns are moderate. Can tan.
Medium=Burns are light. Tans are good.
Dark=Will hardly ever burn. Tans a lot.
Very Dark=Never burns but can become very pigmented.
How much sun will you be getting?
Only spending just a little time outside? In and out of the car for a few minutes, sitting in a garden to read a book, or just playing with your kids at the park in the evening as the sun goes down? You are still getting those sun’s rays.
Doing an all day outing to the beach, park, or other outdoor events? You will need all day protection.
Swimming is another activity that will mean using a sunscreen designed to be waterproof or sweatproof.
When making your choice things to consider:
Use a sunscreen with a broad spectrum or full spectrum.
The right SPF is a key factor in protection. If you have very fair skin, family history of skin cancer, or take medications that make you more sensitive to the sun or are just going to be out in the sun over a long time, you will want a higher SPF. Below is a chart with recommended SPF:
Children’s skin is more sensitive so try to avoid the use of sunscreen products with PABA and oxybenzone and instead try those with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which seem to be typically better handled by young skin types.
Skin allergies, acne, rosacea, or other health conditions? Avoid products with fragrance and preservatives, alcohol, PABA, and oxybenzone. For dry skin, find a sunscreen with moisturizers and oils.
Have skin cancer or melasma? Use a product with SPF of 30 plus. Reapply your sunscreen often.
For the elderly look for spray on screens that will be easier to apply than lotions or creams.
When making these sun care product choices carefully and with some research, you will have a great time in the sun with less worry.