How Safe and Effective Is Your Sunscreen


Finding the sunscreen with all the right things in it might be easier than ever, but reading the label is still important to protect yourself from burns.

A study found that the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that most sunscreen products are sold in major retail stores and on their website in the United States

offer broad spectrum protection, have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and are waterproof.


The study also found some facts about the sunscreens sold in the country.

* About 8 out of 10 sunscreens sold actually have the recommended sun protection factor of 30 or higher.

* Almost 9 out of 10 sunscreens have been tested for broad spectrum protection, meaning they can block both UV-A (UVA) and UV-B (UVB) rays. UVA rays tend to penetrate deep into the skin and are likely to cause skin to age earlier than it should, while UVB rays are the main contributor to sunburn. However, both are responsible for skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.


* More than three quarters of the tested products show a water resistance of around 40 to 80 minutes.

Tips for buying a safe and effective sunscreen


While teens and young adults are curious about finding the right sunscreen, older adults often neglect its importance.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for the right sunscreen.


1. Look for broadband protection

There are some sunscreens that prevent sunburn but not other types of skin damage. Make sure the one you choose offers broadband protection.

There are some sunscreens that prevent sunburn but not other types of skin damage. Make sure the one you choose offers broadband protection.


2. Not in the mood for high SPF levels

Any product with more than SPF 50 can make you stay in the sun for too long. Even if your skin doesn’t burn, it can be damaged. Opt for the SPF range between 15 and 50.

Choose a sunscreen based on your skin color, your tone, and your time out of cloud cover. Make sure you repeat yourself often.

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3. Don’t fall for extra vitamin A

Taking vitamin A in foods is good for health, but applying it to the skin might not be the best idea.

According to government data from 2018, lesions and tumors develop earlier on skin covered with creams rich in vitamin A. The vitamin is also known as retinol or retinyl palmitate.

Vitamin A is found in about 12 percent of all sunscreens tested. Be sure to avoid skin or lip products labeled with retinol, retinyl palmitate, or vitamin A.

Oxybenzone is a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and tends to disrupt the endocrine system.

Opt for sunscreens with Mexoryl SX, zinc oxide, or 3 percent avobenzone, as they tend to protect skin from the harmful UVA rays.

5. Don’t look for insect repellents

If you want a bug repellent, buy it separately and apply before sunscreen.

Other tips

1# Reapply sunscreen often

Sunscreen chemicals melt with sweat in the sun, rub or wash off on clothes and towels.

1# Don’t spray

Aerosols cloud the air with tiny particles that can enter the lungs through breathing and severely damage respiratory health.

3# Men neglect sun safety at their peril

In 2015, more than twice as many men as women died from melanoma in the United States. Melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in pigment-containing cells called melanocytes.

According to a survey, 48 percent of men compared to 68 percent of women say they regularly avoid the sun.

When it comes to older adults, they should speak to their doctor or a dermatologist to recommend a more appropriate type of sunscreen for their aging skin with different needs than younger people.

Taking care of skin during the golden years can be challenging when a person is dealing with several other health issues.

However, families may consider going professional respite care. Mississauga Families should determine the type of care their loved ones need to maintain skin and general well-being.

4 important things to remember

1. What is SPF apart from the sun protection factor?

SPF is the level of protection against sunburn that a sunscreen product offers.

It measures the amount of UV (ultraviolet) radiation it can withstand to cause a sunburn when a person wears sunscreen, compared to the amount of UV radiation it takes to cause a burn when one person not wearing it.

It is said that the higher the number, the more protection it offers against sunburn.

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Most importantly, many people assume that a higher SPF increases the time you can stay in the sun and indicates how effective a sunscreen can be in protecting your skin from cancer.

The SPF level only refers to the UVB protection factor, but not to UVA.

2. What active ingredients should a sunscreen have?

The active ingredients are responsible for protection from the sun. However, some are actually better than others.

Active ingredients in a sunscreen include octinoxate, avobenzone, oxybenzone, PABA, or octisalate, or you may need to reconsider your choice of sunscreen.

Among the additives, many penetrate the skin and are said to disrupt the endocrine system, while some can also cause ecological problems.

Instead of the ingredients above, look for a sunscreen with active ingredients like Titanium Oxide or Zinc Oxide, and if a product has both, it’s a bonus! These active ingredients are natural and dermatologically safe for the skin and the environment.

Is a sunscreen actually water-repellent, waterproof or waterproof?

If your sunscreen claims to be water repellent, it actually isn’t!

If it’s waterproof or water-repellent, you can assume that the sunscreen is actually waterproof, which means it needs to be reapplied every 80 to 90 minutes or immediately after wiping your face with a towel or cloth after a shower, sweating or swimming. A new application is mandatory!

The packaging of a sunscreen should have an expiration date. If there’s no expiration date, use your senses to see if it looks, feels, or smells anything odd.

Expired products not only contain bacteria, their active ingredients also become less effective.

If your sunscreen has expired or is suspected to have expired, it is always best to remove it.

When shopping for a sunscreen, keep these important facts in mind to keep your skin and its health in optimal condition.

Marina Torres works as a content writer at Home Care Assistance in Mississauga. From a young age she has a passion for writing and loves to write about how life can be made more enjoyable by being aware of the fact that there are different challenges that come with life. That’s why she decided to write and works with the agency.


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