To protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays, apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every few hours. Here are the important facts.
What does UV mean? Before you select an effective sunscreen, you should know Ultraviolet (UV) radiation that affects the skin are classified as UVA and UVB.
What is UVA? UVA is the longest of the UV. It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and plays a major role in skin aging and wrinkling. Recent studies show it causes the development of skin cancer. UVA penetrates glass and clouds.
What is UVB? UVB is responsible for burning, tanning, accelerating the skin aging and also plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. UVB varies by season, location and time of day. The most intense amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10:00am and 4:00PM.
What is SPF? Sun Protection factor (SPF) measures the protection provided by a sunscreen against UVB. It is defined as the ratio of how long it takes for skin to redden with sunscreen compared to without sunscreen. Although the SPF ratings found on sunscreen packages apply mainly to UVB rays, many sunscreen manufacturers include ingredients that protect the skin from some UVA rays as well. Higher SPF numbers are preferable, but don’t let an inflated number lull you into a false sense of security, especially because an SPF measures protection only from UVB – not the more dangerous UVA rays.
What is Broad Spectrum? When choosing the right sunscreen select a product that provides “broad-spectrum” protection for both UVA and UVB. If you are going to the beach or pool make sure it is water-resistant and doesn’t wash off in the water. You want to have an SPF of 15 or higher.
What ingredients should my sunscreen contain? When choosing a sunscreen select one that contains ingredients known to filter UVA. These include:
- Mexoryl SX
- titanium dioxide
- zinc oxide.