How to Choose the Right Sunscreen: Finger Lakes Dermatology’s Guide

With the summer months fast approaching, it’s essential to consider protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. However, with the vast selection of sunscreen options available, deciding on the best one can be daunting. In this blog post, Finger Lakes Dermatology provides a comprehensive guide to selecting the ideal sunscreen, including UVA and UVB protection, SPF levels, and non-toxic ingredients. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of sunscreen and how to choose the most suitable one for your skin.

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Choose Sunscreen With UVA And UVB Protection

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sunscreen is a must-have if you want to keep your skin healthy, young-looking, and protected. Finger Lakes Dermatology has put together this guide on choosing the right sunscreen to help you select the right sunscreen for your needs.

When selecting a sunscreen, it’s important to understand the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). SPF measures how long you can stay in direct sunlight before burning begins. Generally speaking, an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for adequate protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Look for formulas with broad spectrum protection that provide both UVA and UVB defense. Avoid labels such as “waterproof” or “all day protection,” as these products are not regulated by the FDA and should not be accepted as providing adequate protection against harmful UV rays.

If you plan on spending extended periods of time outdoors or in water activities such as swimming or surfing, be sure to select a water-resistant product that will last even when exposed to sweat or water for long periods of time. When choosing a product according to your skin type, look for ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are especially beneficial for sensitive skin types and can provide additional protection against sunburns caused by reflecting off sand or water surfaces.

Check The SPF Level For Effective Protection

When selecting a sunscreen, it is important to understand SPF and how it works. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the higher the number, the greater the protection against UVA and UVB rays. Finger Lakes Dermatology recommends selecting a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and one that is labeled as “broad spectrum” to ensure protection from both types of rays. Additionally, look for water-resistant products that won’t wash off easily while swimming or sweating. For sensitive skin, physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are recommended over chemical sunscreens. For those prone to breakouts, seek out oil-free and non-comedogenic formulas.

These same tips apply to kids who will be spending time outdoors this summer season. Make sure to apply an SPF 30 sunscreen 15 minutes prior to going outside and reapply every two hours, wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and hats with wide brims, sunglasses with UV protection, and seek shade during peak hours. And always remember to reapply frequently for maximum effectiveness. For personalized advice, consult with a dermatologist at Finger Lakes Dermatology.

How SPF Levels Protect Skin From UV Damage

When it comes to protecting your skin from UV damage, understanding SPF levels and how to choose the right sunscreen is key. Sunscreens are designed to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause sunburns as well as long-term damage, such as premature aging and skin cancer. Finger Lakes Dermatology’s guide will help you understand different SPF levels, the benefits of UVA/UVB protection, key ingredients in sunscreens, and more so that you can make an informed decision for the best possible protection for your skin.

First things first: check the SPF of sunscreen to determine its level of protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Look for “Broad Spectrum” on the label indicating that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Generally speaking, a minimum SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for optimal protection against damaging UV radiation; however, there are also higher SPFs available if desired. It’s important to apply sunscreen generously and evenly over all exposed areas 15-20 minutes before heading outside. This gives time for the sunscreen to set onto your skin so it can effectively protect you when exposed to direct sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light.

When shopping around for sunscreens, look out for key ingredients like zinc oxide, which helps provide broad-spectrum coverage, while titanium dioxide reflects UV radiation away from the body surface. Also, look out for antioxidants such as Vitamin C or E since they help fight off free radicals, which cause further damage when combined with the effects of sunlight exposure.

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Look Out For Nontoxic Ingredients

When protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, it’s crucial to have the right sunscreen. However, with the extensive range of products available, it can be challenging to determine which type of sunscreen is perfect for you. At Finger Lakes Dermatology, we recognize the importance of selecting the ideal sunscreen, and we have created this guide to aid in making an informed decision.

Let’s start by understanding the various kinds of sunscreens and their benefits. There are two primary categories of sunscreens: physical blockers, also known as mineral sunscreens, and chemical blockers, also recognized as chemical sunscreens. Physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide work by reflecting UV rays away from your skin, whereas chemical blockers like avobenzone absorb UV radiation.

When choosing a sunscreen, it’s essential to look for the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating on the label. SPF determines how effectively a sunscreen protects your skin from UVB radiation and must be at least 30 or higher for optimal protection against UVA, UVB, and infrared radiation exposure.

When selecting a non-toxic ingredient in a sunscreen product, opt for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these physical blockers provide long-lasting protection without causing any irritation. Chemical agents such as oxybenzone can cause irritation if used frequently, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Furthermore, make sure to use water-resistant formulas if engaging in outdoor activities like swimming or playing sports since they last longer when exposed to water than regular formulas.

To Wrap Up

Selecting the right sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. This guide, provided by Finger Lakes Dermatology, offers a comprehensive explanation of what to look for in a sunscreen, including UVA and UVB protection, SPF levels, and non-toxic ingredients. Whenever possible, choose sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for sensitive skin types and water-resistant products for water activities such as swimming or surfing. By taking necessary precautions and selecting an appropriate SPF tailored specifically to your individual needs, you can ensure maximum value from each day spent under sunny skies. For personalized advice on choosing the best sunscreen for your skin type, consult with one of our dermatologists today!


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Regi is a writer, journalist, and editor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Guardian, The Week, Salon, The Daily Beast, VICE, and The Hairpin, among others. She is currently working on two novels.

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