It’s that time of the year to soak in the sun! But hold on! Before you go out, make sure you have the safest and most effective sunscreen on. Here are some quick points about which sunscreens to buy, and which ones to ditch.
1. Avoid sunscreens higher than SPF 50.
Sunscreens higher than SPF 50 offer only marginally more sunburn protection. In fact, the UV light used in the laboratory to test SPF values are dramatically different than the conditions experienced in the real world. This means your SPF 100 in may only offer you SPF 37 value. This false sense of security will leave you in the sun hours long after the effect has gone.
2. Avoid spray sunscreens, and sunscreens with oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.
Spray sunscreens can be inhaled and leave uncovered areas. Oxybenzone can be absorbed into the skin to disrupt your hormones. Retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant that can reduce skin aging, but in contact with light it can promote skin cancer.
3. Apply sunscreen often and liberally, and make sure your sunscreen is protecting you from UVA AND UVB rays!
Interested in learning more? Here is some more reading!
Worst and best sunscreens
Also, stay in tune for natural sources of sunscreen!
Author: Sai Jurawanichkul, MS, LAc