Have you noticed that choosing a sunscreen has become very complicated? It use to be that the biggest choice was which SPF to choose. Now there's sprays and lotions, sport versions, no fragrance, baby and kids versions, water resistant, etc., etc., combined with choice of SPF, and mixed messages about which chemicals to use or stay away from. It's enough to make you just want to stay inside!
Well, not really. So here's some tips and tools to help you make sense of the sunscreen aisle so you can get to the pool, beach or garden party and enjoy the start of summer.
Guide to Sunscreens from the Environmental Working Group
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says to look for these 3 things on any sunscreen
- "Broad Spectrum" - blocks UVA & UVB
- SPF 30 or higher
- "Water Resistant"
- When in doubt choose a lotion, rather than a spray to ensure adequate SPF coverage according to AAD fellow, Dr. Lauren Ploch
- How to Apply
- Remember that sunscreen is only helpful if you use it. So choose one that you like the feel / smell of and apply religiously
- Try to apply your sunscreen before going outside. Ideally, 15 minutes before to let soak and provide optimal protection
- Shake your sunscreen before applying to ensure the active ingredients are blended
- Toss out old sunscreen. Just like medications, many sunscreens now have expiration dates so check them and discard if they're pass their prime.
Happy start of summer!
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