How to choose sunscreen?

Blog Enjoy having sun kissed glow? But do you know that sun damage is behind almost all of the signs of aging skin? You don’t need to totally stay away from it. Just need to play smart – apply sunscreen which suits your skin and needs!

What are Sunscreens?

Sunscreens are chemical agents that help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

In short, UVB rays cause burning and UVA rays cause aging skin. Both UVB and UVA rays cause cancer.

What is SPF?

SPF — or Sun Protection Factor — is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin.

Here's how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours. Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 blocks approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent; and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. And as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.

Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. However, if you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant sunscreen that holds together on your skin.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new sunscreen rules.

Here are the main points in the new FDA’s sunscreen rules:

  • Sunscreens may be labelled “broad-spectrum” if they provide protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  • Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher can state that they protect against skin cancer if used as directed with other sun protection measures.
  • Sunscreens with an SPF of 2-14 will be required to have a warning stating that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.
  • The terms “sunblock”, “sweatproof” and “waterproof” are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels.
  • A sunscreen may claim to be “water resistant”; however, the product must specify if it offers 40 minutes or 80 minutes of protection while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Sunscreens that are not water resistant must include a direction instructing consumers to use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
  • Sunscreens cannot claim to provide sun protection for more than two hours without reapplication.

Sun damage is behind almost all of the signs of aging skin such as wrinkles and age spots. To prevent damage to your skin from aging, be sure that sunscreen is your number one anti-aging skincare product!

(source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)

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