Skin safety: what sunscreen should you be using?

Avoiding the sun at peak hours, wearing sun protective clothing, and using sunscreen, all contribute to keeping your skin safe. But what about when it comes to choosing sunscreen? With so many choices available, it can be a little overwhelming. According to Dermatologists at the Mayo Clinic (2021) to maximize your sun protection, here are some factors you should consider before making your choice.

Broad-spectrum and SPF sunscreen

First, you’ll want to make sure to choose a sunscreen that blocks out harmful UV light. There are two types of UV light —UVA and UVB. Both are dangerous and can cause damage to your skin. UVA rays can cause premature aging of your skin, and cause wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays can cause sunburn, and exposure to both can cause skin cancer. Ensure you choose a higher quality sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB light.

The second factor to consider is what is the SPF (Sun protection factor). SPF is a measurement that indicates how much the sunscreen will protect against UVB rays and is calculated by how long it takes for the skin to burn with sunscreen compared to without sunscreen. The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and to reapply it more than once, as sweating or swimming can wash it off.

Cream, lotion, spray, stick… which one?

Based on your skin type, and where you are applying the sunscreen, there are different formulations of sunscreen available. There are pros and cons to each type of application:

  • Lotions: best for large areas such as back, legs and arms, application is thinner and not as greasy
  • Creams: preferred for face, especially if you have dry skin
  • Sticks: great for applying sunscreen around the eyes
  • Gels: works best areas close to the hairline like scalp and chest
  • Sprays: easy to use on children, but make sure to check the wind direction before spraying!

Organic, mineral-based or combo sunscreens

Sunscreens may also be combined with other products such as insect repellent and cosmetics (i.e. moisturizers, cosmetics, and aftershaves). Organic options on the market include chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and then absorbs UV rays, converts the rays into heat, and releases them from the body. Inorganic, or mineral-based sunscreens, allow the UV light to penetrate the skin, then the filters reflect and scatter radiation.

Whatever sunscreen product you choose, make sure to check the expiry date before using and remember to apply 15 minutes before sun exposure.

Sunscreen products at INLIV

INLIV is proud to partner with exclusive brands that support your overall health and wellbeing.

EltaMD UV Physical, our current product of the month, is a physical nonchemical tinted sun block that is oil-free, water resistant, with an SPF of 41. All physical blocks are to be applied at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. This allows enough time for the product to absorb leaving the protective physical barrier on top of your skin. INLIV also carries Vivier Sheer SPF 45, a pharmaceutical grade sunscreen, which uses both physical and chemical blocks for extensive sun protection. Another lightweight option we carry is Alumier Clear Sheid SPF 42, this product is a soothing and hydrating sunscreen that uses a physical block to protect you from the sun and it’s noncomedogenic so it will not clog your pores in the summer heat.

When spending any amount of time in the sunlight, remember to apply your sunscreen to protect your skin’s long-term health. Not just during the summer months, but year-round making sure to protect your skin can help protect against premature aging and wrinkles.

Call Allie at 403.648.2137 for more information about products at INLIV.

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