putting on sunscreen

Whether you invest in a basic or intricate skincare routine, there is one thing that you should not miss—sunscreen. Sunscreen is necessary now, especially since the sun has become more vital than ever. But with so many sunscreen options available in the market today, how do you make the right choice?

Keep reading to check out our guide on picking the right sunscreen for your skin protection.

What Does Sunscreen Do for Your Skin?

We all know the dangers of getting sunburned, but the risks of the sun go beyond skin damage. The sun's rays can easily penetrate through the thin skin of your face and head, which is a more dangerous area to have sunburns.

When you use sunscreen, it goes on top of your skin. Most sunscreens are packed with skin-friendly ingredients to help skin cells regenerate and grow. Some sunscreens have antioxidants that can even help reduce the skin-aging effects of the sun.

What Are the Ingredients You Should Watch Out For?

There are several sunscreen ingredients that you should watch out for when picking out the sunscreen. To keep your skin safe, always look for the following:

  • Oxybenzone or Parsol 1789 - These are sunscreen filters that have been known to penetrate the skin, causing cell damage and irritation.
  • Retinyl Palmitate - This form of vitamin A is a skin-softening ingredient that helps keep skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. With that said, retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A linked to skin cancer.
  • Fragrance - Most sunscreens are infused with fragrant oils often derived from plants. You may want to avoid these ingredients if you have sensitive skin, as skin irritation or allergic reactions can occur.
  • Mineral Oil, Parabens, and Dyes -  These are other skin-sensitive ingredients that you should avoid.

What Sunscreen SPF Number Should You Pick?

Sun protection factor or SPF measures how well a sunscreen can protect against the sun's UV rays. Sunscreens with SPF between 15 and 50 are recommended for daily use. If you are going to go under the sun for several hours, you may want to pick sunscreens with a higher SPF.

Another factor that should be noted is that SPF protection is not permanent. The SPF protection of sunscreen can last for about two hours, depending on the strength of the UVB rays you will be exposed to. To keep your skin safe, always reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Is Sunscreen Enough to Protect Your Skin Outside?

If you rely on sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, it is not enough. Most sunscreens that are available in the market mainly protect against UVB rays. UVA rays can penetrate the ozone layer and cause collagen and elastin damage to the skin.

To protect your skin from the sun, you need sunscreen that protects you from not only the sun's UVB rays but also its UVA rays. 

Is There a Natural Alternative to Sunscreen?

Sunscreens are important, but using natural skincare also carries a lot of weight. There are sunscreens that are made from natural ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These natural ingredients are known to be safer and healthier for your skin. Rather than choosing a sunscreen with chemicals that can penetrate the skin, you may want to look for products that use these natural ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Your sun protection may seem like an afterthought, but it shouldn't be. To keep your skin safe and looking great, always use sunscreen every time you step out in the sun. With the right sunscreen, you can even help slow down signs of aging that are caused by the sun.
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