Skin Care 101

Sunscreen is the most important part of any summer skin care routine, so here are some tips to help you choose the right one.

When buying sunscreen, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays that can damage your skin. The SPF number tells you how much UVB protection the sunscreen offers; SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97%.

In terms of texture, choose a sunscreen that feels good on your skin and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy or sticky. It can be tempting to go for the highest SPF possible, but remember that higher numbers don’t always mean better protection. Very high SPFs (60+) may offer slightly better protection than lower ones, but not enough to make a big difference.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne breakouts, avoid sunscreens with fragrances or oil bases. These often irritate sensitive skin. Many sunscreens contain chemical ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin, so look for mineral-based sunscreens (such as zinc oxide), which block UV rays while being gentler on your skin.


There’s a lot to consider when you’re shopping for sunscreen. We asked the pros which ingredients to look for, which ones to avoid and more.

We all know the drill: Apply sunscreen liberally and often, starting at birth. But with so many sunscreens to choose from it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your family.

How do you know if it’s safe? Will it work on sensitive skin? Which ones are best for babies? If these questions sound familiar, you’re not alone; we asked a few experts for their take on what to look for in a sunscreen and how to use it without fail.

What kind of sunscreen should I buy?

Dr. Jennifer Beecker, a dermatologist at Toronto’s Beecker Dermatology Centre, recommends looking for sunscreens with zinc or titanium dioxide as active ingredients. “They offer excellent protection against UVA rays, have less potential to irritate sensitive skin, are less likely to clog pores (which can lead to acne breakouts) and don’t burn eyes when applied near them (a common problem with chemical sunscreens). They also offer broader spectrum protection than any other sunscreen ingredient available

Sunscreen is an essential part of any skin care regimen, and should be applied every morning as the last step in your routine (after moisturizer, color corrector, sunscreen, and makeup). It’s important to know that not all sunscreens are created equal.

The FDA requires that all sunscreens must pass a test to determine their SPF. It’s also required that they provide protection against UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburn). However, there is no such requirement for UVA rays—those pesky guys that contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. The same goes for ingredients. Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose everything on the label, so it can be hard to know exactly what you’re putting on your face.

Before purchasing a sunscreen, check the label for broad spectrum protection (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays), a high SPF number (at least 30), and natural ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These will block the most rays without irritating your skin or causing breakouts. And keep in mind that higher SPF numbers don’t necessarily mean better protection—an SPF 50 only filters 98 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 100 filters 99 percent.

A good sunscreen is a skin care essential, but with so many products on the market it’s hard to know which one to choose. Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know about product labels, UVA and UVB protection, and the best sunscreen for your skin type.

What’s in a Name?

All sunscreens are not created equal, and the names of different products can be confusing. The FDA defines three types of sunblocks: sunscreen agents – or active ingredients – that absorb ultraviolet (UV) light; sunscreens that reflect UV rays; and products that combine absorption and reflection. Of these three types, only sunscreens have been FDA approved as over-the-counter drugs. Sunblocks may be labeled as either sunblocks or sunscreens, but true sunblock products may no longer be marketed as “sunblock,” since manufacturers are restricted from using this term unless their product blocks all wavelengths of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

SPF Rating: What Do Those Numbers Mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. An SPF number represents how long it would take you to get a sunburn with specific sunscreen applied, versus how long it would take you to get a burn without any protection at all. For example

In this article, I’ll go over the basics of sunscreen: what it does, what ingredients you should look for/avoid, and how to use it.

How does sunscreen work?

Sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays so that they don’t penetrate your skin. The active ingredients are chemicals (organic and inorganic) that absorb ultraviolet light. These are called ‘sunscreen agents’. Examples include padimate O, cinnamates, benzophenones and salicylates.

Organic ingredients tend to absorb UV light very well across the whole range of UV wavelengths (UVB and UVA), while inorganic ingredients tend to be better at blocking shorter wavelengths (UVB). In general organic ingredients are thought to be more effective at protecting against UVA.

What’s in sunscreen?

There are two types of sunscreen: physical blockers and chemical absorbers. Physical blockers reflect or scatter the sun’s rays; chemical absorbers absorb the sun’s rays before they reach your skin. Mineral-based sunscreens use physical blockers as active ingredients (eg zinc oxide) whereas chemical sunscreens use chemical absorbers (eg oxybenzone). Some sunscreens contain both types of active ingredient to give broader spectrum protection with less

Sunscreens provide a vital layer of protection against sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. But with so many options out there, which one is right for you? For starters, it’s important to understand the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens.

Mineral Sunscreen: Mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These sunscreens work by sitting on top of your skin and deflecting UV rays. Mineral sunscreen can be used by people with all skin types, including those with sensitive skin types that are prone to acne and rosacea. Though mineral sunscreen used to have a bad rap for leaving a white film on the skin, that’s no longer true—most brands now make mineral sunscreen that goes on clear without clogging pores or irritating the skin.

Chemical Sunscreen: Chemical sunscreen contains compounds like oxybenzone or avobenzone. These compounds absorb UV rays before they reach your body and convert them into heat, which is then released from your body. Chemical sunscreen absorbs quickly into the skin and tends to feel lighter than mineral sunscreen, making it a good choice for daily use under makeup. It may also be easier to find chemical sunscreen that is water-resistant and offers broad spectrum protection (UVB and U

Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the damages of UV-rays. The goal of applying sunscreen is to make sure you don’t get sunburned, with the most common method being to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun, and then re-apply it every 2-3 hours.

Here are a few tips on how to choose and how to use sunscreen:

1) Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA- and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30.

2) Apply a good amount of sunscreen, making sure that you cover all exposed areas of skin.

3) Re-apply after getting in the water or sweating heavily.

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