Over time, exposure to sun causes age spots, freckles, deep lines and wrinkles and a rough, leathery texture that ages the skin, and at its worst, skin cancer.
What You Need To Know About Sunscreens
- There are two kinds of sunscreens -- physical and chemical.
- Chemical sunscreens have ingredients like Parsol 1789 that filter out UVA and UVB rays. The chemicals accounts for that "suncreen smell." People with sensitive skin sometimes find chemical sunscreens sting.
- Physical sunscreens coat your skin with minerals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to reflect all UV wavelenths. Physical sunscreens are more gentle and don't smell, but they also have drawbacks. The natural ones go on pasty. Physical sunscreens using nanoparticles go on clear and don't sting, but now there is some concern about whether the nanoparticles are penetrating into the body.
- As yet there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer, so you have to decide for yourself what sunscreen you're most comfortable with, what trade-offs your willing to make, and what Experiment with both chemical and physical sunscreens to find out what works best for you.
- SPF refers to the amount of time you can stay in the sun without burning. If you normally burn in ten minutes, SPF 15 means you can stay stay 150 minutes without burning (15 x 10 minutes).
- Wear a minimum of SPF 15 year-round on any skin exposed to the sun. Wear is every day, not just when you're planning to sit in the sun. This is because you got a lot of casual sun exposure just driving in your car or walking somewhere.
- Apply a chemical sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside.
- Pay attention to the expiration dates on sunscreens, and throw away sunscreens that are more than two years old. If your sunscreen doesn't have an expiration date, write the purchase date on the bottle.
- Don’t rely on sunscreens alone to protect your skin. Wear tightly woven clothing and a broad-brimmed hat, limit your time in the sun, and seek shade during the hottest hours of the day.