Here in the Midwest, summer months mean sunburns! They don’t have to with the right sun protection. Ever since I started seeing my dermatologist on a regular basis, they really educated me on what ingredients need to be included when choosing the right sunscreen to be effective and to really ward off both the UVA and UVB rays that you get from the sun. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin. This is what causes wrinkling, premature aging(aka leather looking skin), and can also cause your immune system to be suppressed. UVB rays are what causes the actual burn on the outer layer of your skin, that can cause skin cancer.
There are also two different types of sunscreens, chemical & physical. Physical is the best when it comes to the two because it 1) protects you from both the UVA and UVB rays, 2)protects you right after you apply it, no need to wait, 3) Better for sensitive skin, 4) better for people who have rosacea, since it deflects heat, and 5) less likely to clog your pores than chemical sunscreens.
Chemical Vs Physical-
A Chemical sunscreen is one that contains ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate and Avobenzone, which cause a chemical reaction and change the UV rays into heat on your skin, then the skin releases that heat.
Some Cons of a chemical sunscreen are: 1) Clogging pores, 2) more frequent reapplication, 3) the higher the SPF protection, the greater chance of it causing irritation on sensitive skin, 4) you need to wait about 15-20 minutes for it to begin being effective, 5) due to the added heat on your skin, which can cause brown spots to begin appearing, 6) ingredients are rated the highest on toxicity results according to EWG(Environmental Working Group), linked to hormone disruptors that can damage cells leading to cancer and, 7) endocrine disruptors that cause endometriosis, early puberty, low sperm count and male infertility. All of these make you think twice before applying anything with these ingredients listed in them, especially your children!
Titanium Dioxide & Zinc Oxide-
The active ingredients listed on each container is the most important! You want to look for Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. These will protect you from both types of rays, giving you ultimate sun protection! You’ll see lotion-type, sunscreen sticks, sprays, and now even foam sunscreens! Most people(especially with kids) are going to buy whats most convenient to put on their child(such as the sprays and foam ones), because if your a parent, like myself,applying sunscreen to a child is like tackling a rabid animal. Its complete torture for both parties involved! I try to buy my children rash guard suits that have long sleeves that save me and them the headache of wrestling them to reapply!
Here are some I really like for my family(ones that say “children’s” or “baby” on them have gentler ingredients, and I wear these, myself, as well).
Stay on the look out for my favorite face sunscreens in an upcoming post!!!!