Summer is around the corner. With the season comes trips to the beach and long hours in the sun. As you’re enjoying your summer activities in the upcoming months, don’t neglect to protect your skin from the sun with the best facial sunscreen.
Sun damage causes wrinkles, accelerated aging, age spots, dark circles, and skin cancer. The purpose of a good sunscreen is to protect your skin from the sun and keep it looking healthy.
Not all sunscreens will provide your skin with the care and protection it needs. By understanding what the best facial sunscreen should do, how it works, and where to find it; you’ll be able to avoid sunburns and preserve your beautiful skin for many years to come.
What Should It Do?
The sun sends out two types of ultraviolet light: UVA and UVB. UVA rays can penetrate the layers of your skin and suppress your immune system; resulting in weaker skin, more skin problems, and wrinkles. UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin. If you get too much exposure to either of these ultraviolet rays, your chances of skin cancer and accelerated aging go way up.
The best facial sunscreen is supposed to protect you from harmful UV rays. Not only does this protection prevent sunburns, it prevents long-term skin problems and the signs of aging.
How Does It Work?
Every facial sunscreen has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This is the measure of how much the UVB rays will be deflected by the sunscreen. Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard for measuring protection from UVA rays yet. SPF compares the amount of time it takes for protected skin to burn versus the time it takes for unprotected skin to burn.
SPF numbers are actually not as easy to understand as some people think. Contrary to popular belief, the number is not an amount of time. Some people assume that SPF 30 is going to be twice as strong as SPF 15, but that’s not true either. According to Dr. James M. Spencer, SPF 15 blocks 94% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 45 blocks 98% of UVB rays.
If you use the right amount of a facial sunscreen, and apply it often, SPF 15 could be better for your skin than SPF 45. Higher SPF sunscreens have more chemicals and they don’t offer a significantly higher percentage of protection.
Which Ones are Best?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends facial sunscreens that use the following ingredients:
• Menthyl Anthranilate
• Octyl Methoxycinnamate
• Octyl Salicylate
You can easily find these ingredients in most facial sunscreens, and even in some eye creams.
Finding the Best Facial Sunscreen
As you’re shopping for the best facial sunscreen, look for one that protects your skin from UVB rays; and UVA rays if possible. Keep in mind that, if applied properly, an SPF 15 or SPF 30 sunscreen could be better for your skin than a higher SPF sunscreen. Look for sunscreens that use the recommended ingredients.
Have fun in the sun this summer, but take adequate measures to protect your skin, so you keep it looking young and beautiful!