Summer is here and with it comes the risk of many skin problems caused by too much sun exposure. However, staying indoors and away from the sunlight is a big no-no when there are beaches, parties, travels, and other outdoor activities waiting to be enjoyed. To get the most out of summer, you need a sunblock that will protect your skin from damaging rays, all while letting you have unlimited, unrestricted fun.
The need for sunblock
A little bit of sunshine can do wonders for your body. In fact, exposure to the sun plays an important role in maintaining the durability of your bones. Yet the sun also emits ultraviolet (UV) rays which, after too much exposure, can cause skin conditions ranging from sun spots and painful sunburn down to deadly skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that one in five Americans can develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Sunscreens contain Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that protects the skin from harmful UV rays. This way, using sunscreen can minimize, if not downright prevent, the risk of developing adverse skin conditions.
Choosing the right sunblock
A visit to any store selling skin products would overwhelm you with the variety of available sun protection products. They come in different colors, scents, packaging, and even added benefits. So how do you choose which sunscreen to purchase? Here are some questions to guide you:
- Is it broad spectrum? The sun emits UVA and UVB rays. UVA penetrates deep into the skin, causing problems like the early onset of wrinkles. UVB burns the upper layers of the skin, leading to conditions like sunburns. Both cause skin cancer. Most sunscreens offer protection only from UVB rays, but broad spectrum ones protect you from UVA rays, too.
- Is its SPF high enough? Dermatologists recommend sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher. SPF 30 protects you from around 97% of UVB rays. If you feel compelled to spend extra on higher SPF, take note that SPF 100 protects you from 99% of UVB rays, just 2% higher than SPF 30.
- Is it hypoallergenic? If you have sensitive skin, this should be a primary concern. Some skin products contain scents, colors, extracts, and other ingredients that may irritate your skin. It’s best to look for products that are dermatologically tested even on sensitive skin.
- Does it contain parabens? These are chemicals that are used in many skin products and are linked to breast and other forms of cancer. You can opt for mineral-based sunscreens that are not absorbed by the skin and as such, are safer to use.
- Is it water-resistant? Swimming and sweating can remove the sunscreen you have applied on your skin, eliminating your protection from the sun. To avoid this, it’s best to get sunscreens that are water-resistant and won’t wash off while you’re having fun.
Summer is a time of fun, but it’s best to enjoy its perks without the risk of contracting any harmful skin condition. Sunscreens are specially formulated to offer protection from harmful UV rays, so you should use them as much as you can. Stay in the sun, and have fun!