4 key factors when choosing a sunscreen
Sunscreens are barriers that are applied to the skin to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It can be available in a variety of forms: creams, lotions, oils, sprays, sticks and even powders. So with all these kinds to choose from, it can be challenging to decide on the right one.
Here are 4 things to look for when shopping for sunscreen:
Broad spectrum – Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as it helps fight against the full range of UVA and UVB rays of the sun.
UVB rays are responsible for burning the superficial layers of the skin, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and cause more long-term harm.with a minimum of SPF 30.
Water resistant – Choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant if you’re heading out for a swim or sweating heavily.
These sunscreens are specially formulated to stick to your skin even after it’s wet, but be sure to reapply every 90 minutes or after you toweled off.
SPF 30 or higher – Choose a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, which is the minimum recommended level of protection for all skin types from Health Canada.
SPF 30 blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. So those extra 20 points of an SPF 50 only protect you 1% more compared to an SPF 30.
- Mineral vs chemical – We recommend a mineral sunscreen based on the testimonials of our clients and our own personal experience.
Chemical sunscreens work like a sponge: it absorbs UV rays and diffuses it over a large area. Common active ingredients are oxybenzoate, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
Mineral sunscreens work like a shield: it sits on top of your skin and deflects UV rays away from your body. The active ingredients in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
How to store your sunscreen
When storing your sunscreen, it’s important not to leave it in direct sunlight or places that can reach high temperatures, like in a hot car. Extended exposure to extreme heat will cause the protective ingredients in sunscreens to break down and weaken their effectiveness.
If your sunscreen is expired, throw it out. It might be tempting to use your expired bottle of sunscreen from last season, but its effectiveness will have deteriorated and won’t provide you the protection you need.
Want to know how to apply sunscreen? Want a sunscreen recommendation as a hairier guy?
Check out our Sunscreen Guide here for everything you need to know about using sunscreen.