How To Select The Best Sunscreen For The Summer Of 2015
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers. The most prevalent reason for developing this condition is exposure to the sun without protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A statistic that shocks many people is the difference in amount of skin cancer diagnoses between men and women. Young men, aged 15-39 years old, are 55 percent more likely than young women in the same age group to be diagnosed with skin cancer. Some experts attribute this to women more frequently using sunscreen to help prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun exposure. Regardless of the reason, it is important for both men and women to educate themselves upon the importance of sunscreen and how to select the most effective formula for their personal needs.
The Importance of Sunscreen
Most doctors agree that sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage. Although a painful sunburn appears to heal up within a matter of weeks, the truth is that it can cause irreparable damage to your skin’s health. When a sunburn occurs, it’s actually radiation damage from excessive exposure to UV rays. When your skin is burned, the UV rays cause free-radical formation which damages the skin’s DNA structure. Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, this can clearly cause serious damage to your health. Sunscreen acts as a sort of armor against the sun, because the compounds found in sunscreen absorb, scatter and reflect harmful rays, effectively stopping UV particles from penetrating your skin.
However, sunscreen must contain enough of these compounds to form an appropriate barrier against the sun. This protection is referred to as the sun protection factor, or SPF. Higher SPF levels mean fewer harmful rays are able to be absorbed into your skin. Most medical professionals recommend that everyone should wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen, while those who have had previous issues with skin cancer may want to consider a higher level of protection.
What Are the Most Effective Sunscreen Ingredients?
It’s important to pick a sunscreen that contains highly effective SPF ingredients such as:
Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide
These FDA-approved ingredients offer broad-range protection, meaning that they shield your skin from the full spectrum of harmful UV rays.
When using sunscreen, it’s important to:
Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure to allow proper absorption
Choose a water-resistant formula
Apply to all exposed skin areas
Reapply approximately every 2 hours to remain protected, or immediately following excessive moisture exposure