The sun is essential to good health, however unprotected exposure can cause premature skin aging and skin cancer. More than 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed each year with skin cancer. It is very important to protect your skin every day with a good quality physical sunscreen.
Physical Sunscreens Versus Chemical Sunscreens
It is important to know the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens.
A physical sunscreen contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide blocks the widest spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. These ingredients work by deflecting the suns rays away from the skin.
A chemical sunscreen contains such ingredients as Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Homosalate, and Octinoxate. They work like a sponge, absorbing the sun’s rays instead of deflecting them.
We recommend a sunscreen that includes physical ingredients, has an SPF of 30 or higher, provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and has water resistance for 40 to 80 minutes.
What are UVA and UVB rays?
UVA rays (or aging rays) can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass.
UVB rays (or burning rays) are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass.
A Few of Our Favorite Sunscreens
Dr. Flanagan has selected sunscreens that she feels are the very best for the health of your skin.
EltaMD UV Elements SPF 44
We love this sunscreen because it is a 100% physical sunscreen in a tinted, moisturizing base. It includes both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the two best ingredients to protect your skin. It also has hyaluronic acid which hydrates your skin, and it is water resistant for 40 minutes. Because it is tinted, it is great for the face, and can be worn alone or under makeup.
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
This sunscreen comes in both tinted and untinted formulations, and is great for skin types prone to acne, rosacea,, and hyperpigmentation. It helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts and discoloration. It includes three key ingredients that promote skin health- vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid.
EltaMD UV Pure SPF 47
The Pure sunscreen contains only the physical active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and is perfect for all skin types. It is also water resistant for 80 minutes, giving you full body protection from the UVA and UVB rays.
Blue Lizard Sensitive and Blue Lizard Baby
Ideal for all skin types and perfect for the lake or the beach, these head to toe sunscreens do not contain any chemical sunscreens and provide true broad-spectrum protection from 97% of the sun’s burning rays.
Sources: www.aad.org, www.eltamd.com, www.bluelizard.net