School's almost out for summer which means lots of time outside and a little time for sunscreen education. It's always good to know your sunscreen terminology to help protect yourself and your family from sun damaged skin, sunburn, and possibly even skin cancer. Sunscreens offer additional protection to hats, clothing, sunglasses and shade when working or playing outdoors.
SPF. Sun Protection Factor. This is an estimated amount of time that you could stay out in the sun without getting sunburned. For example, SPF 30 could allow you to stay outside 30 times longer than with no sunscreen at all. This does not take into account however the skin of the person that is using the sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends only using sunscreen with a rating of 30 or above.
Water resistant sunscreen not wash off immediately when you sweat or get wet. Most sunscreens will offer a 40 or 80 minute water resistance before you need to reapply. Keep it handy in your bag at the pool or on your person if you are exercising or working outside.
Broad Spectrum. Sunscreen that is broad spectrum protects from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the dominant tanning rays that age the skin over time causing wrinkling. They can also be culprits in basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas especially in those that have used tanning beds in their youth. UVB rays are the burning rays that cause the skin to redden. UVB rays are predominant between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Chemical Sunscreen. This type of sunscreen absorbs the sun's rays. The two main active ingredients in chemical sunscreen are oxybenzone or avobenzene.
Physical Sunscreen (also sometimes called mineral or barrier). This type of sunscreen deflects the rays of the sun. The primary ingredients in physical sunscreens are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
There is also a type of sunscreen that has both chemical and physical components to protect you from the sun's rays.
The AAD also recommends picking out your insect repellant and sunscreen separately.
What to do when picking out a sunscreen. Make sure to read the label and verify the expiration date. This shouldn't be an issue, but you should not use sunscreen past it's expiration as the protection factor will be compromised. Choose SPF 30 or above and see if you can get a tester. Sunscreens come with different smells and consistencies and some rub in better than others. It's good to find a brand you like and stick with it. Don't forget the lip and face protection. Sunscreen can be used on both skin, face and lips, but sunscreen tubes specifically for the lips will last longer. There are also options of sprays versus lotions. If you choose a spray, spray into the hand to apply to your face.
D&H has sunscreens at 10% off during May. Here are just a few...
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen. 30+ Sensitive, 50+ Face, and Baby. Blue Lizard has a combination facial sunscreen (Octinoxate 5.5% and Zinc Oxide 8.0%) as well as physical sunscreens (Titanium Dioxide 5% and Zine Oxide 10%). There are no parabens or fragrances in this sunscreen and is dermatologist recommended. http://www.bluelizard.net/products/sunscreen-sensitive-5oz
Vanicream Sunscreen Sport. Broad Spectrum SPF 35. This is a combination sunscreen (Oxtinoxate 2.8% and Zinc Oxide 11%). It is water resistant for 80 minutes and non-comedogenic. Vanicream is free of dyes, lanolin, fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde and other preservatives. This sunscreen is also dermatologist recommended. https://www.psico.com/product/vanicream-sunscreen-sport/
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Stick. SPF 60. 100% naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients. Fragrance free and water resistant for 80 minutes. Dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin and has been accepted by the National Eczema Association. http://www.neutrogena.com/product/pure+-+free-+baby+sunscreen+stick+broad+spectrum+spf+60.do