Choosing The Best Sunscreen


by Brandi Savitt – May 19, 2011


How Sun Lovers Should Protect Their Skin

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, a rite of passage that includes BBQ’s, swimming and sunburns!  The first two are tons of fun, but the third – not so much.  That’s why it’s super important to learn how to buy the right sunscreen – and how to ensure a high quality product without spending a fortune!

The Cause of Sun Damage

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a single overexposure to sunlight can result in painful sunburned skin.  To make matters worse, a bad burn when you’re young can lead to serious consequences later in life (Wish I had thought about this when we were slathering baby oil over ourselves in the 80s!) Long-term overexposure can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, freckles, age spots, dilated blood vessels, and changes in the texture of the skin that makes skin look older - and none of us want that!

What are UVA & UVB Anyway?

The invisible rays, known as ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), cause most of these problems, including suntan, sunburn and sun damage.  There is no “safe” ultraviolet (UV) light, and there is no such thing as a safe tan. UVB radiation affects the outer most layer of the skin and can’t penetrate through glass, but UVA rays affect the skin at a much deeper level, penetrate through glass, and can cause damage all year round.

Picking the Right Sunscreen

You want buy a sunscreen with broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.  According to Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields who are co-developers of Rodan + Fields Dermatologists, and the well known Proactive line, there are two kinds of sunscreen blockers that can protect you from UV rays: physical and chemical.

Physical Blockers

Physical blockers include ingredients like zinc oxide, (remember that white paste lifeguards used to wear on their noses?) and do exactly what their name implies.  They block or reflect the UV rays back out into the environment.  The problems with zinc is that it’s white and not a very good look for any of us, it gets everywhere and can ruin your clothes.  But luckily, technology is constantly advancing and there are better, more transparent forms of zinc on the market today.

Chemical Blockers

Chemical blockers are the latest technology and both doctors feel they are the future.  Chemical blockers include ingredients like avobenzone (Parsol® 1789) or Mexoryl®), and when combined with zinc oxide offer the best protection against UVA rays.

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4 Responses to “Choosing The Best Sunscreen”

  1. Eric says:

    In my honest opinion, the best sunscreen are the antioxidants and bioflavonoids found in fruits and vegetables. Love them! :)

  2. Jan says:

    The Southerners were right the whole time!

  3. Amy Saves says:

    i’m constantly telling my 10 yr old to put sunscreen on herself! she’s not as vigilant as i’d like her to be, but at least she knows that cancer is bad.

  4. BizSugar.com says:

    Choosing The Best Sunscreen…

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, a rite of passage that includes BBQ’s, swimming and sunburns! The first two are tons of fun, but the third – not so much. That’s why it’s super important to learn how to buy the right sunscreen – and how to e…

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