How To Shop For Face Sunscreen
Youre not limited to a handful of sunscreen options for your face since there are sunblocks made for various skin types acne-prone, oily and dry and they come in formulas like lotions, creams and powders. Although spray sunscreens are relatively common, Lancer previously advised Shopping readers to only use spray sunscreens on hard-to-reach parts of the body instead of on the face because spray sunscreens can cause acne.
Whats The Difference Between Sunscreen And Sunblock And Which One Is Better
The words sunscreen and sunblock are used interchangeably, but sunscreen generally refers to lotion that protects your skin by a chemical process, while sunblock creates a physical barrier, usually with titanium and zinc particles, to literally block or reflect UV rays.
Compared with sunscreen, sunblock tends to be opaque and leave a white film on the skin.
So which to buy? The dermatologists I talked to said its really a matter of preference. Heres Linos: Choose something you like, because youll want to use it.
Sure Sunscreen Protects Me From The Sun But What About The Chemicals In It Are They Safe For My Health
The evidence we do have suggests sunscreen is generally safe, but theres still a lot we dont know about the long-term effects of sunscreen use.
There have been some concerns about the toxicity of products that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles, though little clarity on the precise dangers to human health.
Para-aminobenzoic acid -based sunscreens and products containing benzophenones can cause skin irritation including rashes and pimples in some people.
Most recently, a small 2019 study, published in JAMA, showed chemicals in sunscreen avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule absorb into the bloodstream when people lathered up four times per day for four days. And they did so at levels the Food and Drug Administration suggests require further safety testing. Again, that doesnt mean the chemicals are unsafe. But, according to an accompanying editorial co-authored by the former head of the FDA, we urgently need studies to understand whether it matters.
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Sunlight And Skin Cancer
More than three million Americans develop skin cancer each year . Most cases involve one of two disfiguring but rarely fatal forms of skin cancer basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Studies suggest that basal and squamous cell cancers are strongly related to UV exposure over a period of years.
Each year an estimated 91,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma, and 9,000 will die from it . Men have higher rates than women, and the American Cancer Society estimates that for 2021, about twice as many American men are expected to die from melanoma as women.
Melanoma is a complex disease with many unanswered questions, but sun exposure appears to play a role. One puzzling fact: Melanomas do not usually appear on parts of the body that get daily sun exposure.
Both UVA and UVB rays can cause melanoma. In the general population, there is a strong correlation between melanoma risk and how often a person has been sunburned, particularly during childhood .
The use of artificial tanning beds dramatically increases melanoma risk , and starting to use tanning beds before age 30 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent, according to calculations by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC. For this reason, in 2014, the FDA reclassified tanning beds to require new warnings stating that they can damage skin and shouldnt be used by anyone under age 18.
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil
This broad spectrum SPF is perfect for oily skin types, since it absorbs quickly, feels lightweight, and is noncomedogenic. Water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, it also contains peony root extract to diminish the appearance of pores, helping to perfect your skin before you go out. It also earns approval from the National Skin Cancer Foundation.
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Why Should I Use Sunscreen
Sunscreen reduces your overall UV exposure and lowers your risk of skin cancer and sun damage.
Other things to consider
- Your skin cancer risk factors: Your skin type and family history will determine the level of protection needed for you.
- : No matter your skin type, certain medications and disorders make your skin highly sensitive to the sun, raising your protection requirements.
- Skin conditions: You can choose from sunscreens for dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin and sensitive skin.
Live a sun-safe life
Keep in mind that while crucial, sunscreen alone is not enough. Seek the shade whenever possible, wear sun-safe clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, for a complete sun protection strategy.
How Can I Tell If My Sunscreen Is Expired
Like any other skincare product, sunscreen has an expiration date. If one is not listed on the product, write the date of purchase on the bottleit should maintain its original strength for at least three years, per the FDAs standards.
However, your sunscreen can actually go bad before this time, especially if it sits in the heat or direct light . Any changes in formulafunky smells, colors, or textureshould be your sign to toss it. Using an expired sunscreen is risky and can increase your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
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Sunscreen Rules For Your Protection
Sunscreen labels can be confusing and at times misleading. But the Foodand Drug Administration has rules in place to help you understandexactly what youre buying.
Summers on the horizon. Its time to ask yourself, Should I splurge on the SPF 100 to get extra protection? And, how much extra protection am I really getting?
Our experts agree: sunscreen labels can be confusing and at times misleading. But the Food and Drug Administration has rules in place to help you understand exactly what youre buying.
Sunscreen makers in the United States are required to use labels with simpler language.
And, thats good news for you because choosing the right sunscreen and applying it correctly can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer, says Saira George, M.D., a dermatologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Listed below are the important things you should be aware of.
Labels force manufacturers to be honest
Heres what the sunscreen labels must and must not tell you:
Sunblocks: Since no product completely shields you from the sun, sunscreens can no longer be labeled sunblocks.
Sun protection factor: A sun protection factor of 15 or more means a product lowers the risk of skin cancer and skin aging. Not so for SPFs from 2 to 14. They only help prevent sunburn at best. Sunscreen labels have to be clear about how much SPF they provide and whether they actually curb your risk of skin cancer and skin aging, or just help prevent sunburns.
What Type Of Sunscreen Should You Use
With so many choices, how do you pick a sunscreen thats right for you? The Skin Cancer Foundation believes that the best sunscreen is the one you are most likely to use, so long as it provides safe and effective protection, and is broad spectrum with an SPF 15 or higher. Learn about your options to make an informed choice that best suits your needs. The happier you are with your sunscreen, the more consistently youll use it.
Sunscreen includes active ingredients that help prevent the suns UV radiation from reaching your skin. Heres how the two types of sunscreen work for you:
Physical sunscreen ingredients block and scatter the rays before they penetrate your skin.
Chemical sunscreen ingredients absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin.
Are sunscreens safe?
While physical sunscreens may be less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical sunscreens, both types have been tested as safe and effective. In fact, many sun protection products available today combine both types of ingredients.
All active ingredients in sunscreen are chemically derived. Some people may think of physical sunscreens as more natural, or even organic, but theyre actually inorganic mineral compounds. The sunscreens many people call chemical are actually UV organic filters.
What does SPF mean?
No matter the SPF, reapplication every two hours is key. Sunscreen must also be reapplied immediately after swimming or sweating.
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Next Consider The Sun Protection Factor
SPF is a measure of how much UVB light a sunscreen can filter out. Dermatologists recommend using an SPF of at least 30, which Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dermatologist practicing in New York, calls “the magic number”. SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays. The ADA recommends an SPF of 30 or higher.
It’s important to apply enough sunscreen to any exposed area of skin every day. On days you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, say playing golf or at the beach or pool, Mudgil suggests putting a base coat of SPF 30 all over the body a half hour before leaving the house and then reapplying every two hours. If you’re swimming, Mudgil says it’s a good rule of thumb to grab the sunscreen every time you get out of the water.
Remember, no sunscreen can completely protect you from sun so it’s important to always reapply throughout the day, wear protective clothing and always seek shade.
Keep Spray Sunscreen Away From The Face
Children should not use spray sunscreen, which can irritate the lungs if inhaled, and adults shouldn’t spray it on their faces for the same reason. Sprays are also flammable, so stay away from the grill if you’re going to spray yourself. Wait until the sunscreen is dry. “And rub it in after spraying,” Garner adds, “in order to get the full SPF.”
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The Best Sunscreen For Oily Or Acne
Keeping your pores from getting clogged while at the same time making sure your skin is protected from harmful UV rays means that you probably want to look for a sunscreen created with acne-prone skin in mind. Look for sunscreens that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. Some are Elta MD UV Clear, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense, and Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion.
One And Only Sunscreen I Will Use On My Face
This is a terrific product and a must in a daily skincare routine. Many sunscreens leave skin white but this one offers a beautiful glow and one of the only products on the market that does not irritate my skin. I have never had a breakout using this product. I live in San Diego and wear this every day, seven days a week, even on cloudy days. I use minimal foundation for a full face of makeup and it always accompanies make-up products beautifully including powers and blushes. I highly recommend this product.
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How Long Does Sunscreen Last
Even if you slather on a large amount of sunscreen, it eventually breaks down and rubs off. The key is to apply early and often for the best protection.
The active ingredients in sunscreen need about 30 minutes to kick in, so give it time to work before going out, says Dr. Piliang. Reapply at least every two hours. And even if your sunscreen says its waterproof, always reapply after swimming and toweling off.
How To Avoid Too Much Sun
Getting some sun exposure is vital for good health because it helps your body create vitamin D. There are multiple ways to get vitamin D, but your best bet is to get it from standing in thesun or eatingvitamin D-rich foods. In fact, sitting in the sun unexposed for about 10 minutes helps your body create roughly 10,000 units of natural vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease depression, osteoporosis and many other ailments, so its important to get enough. Like almost anything, though, you can get too much of a good thing and want to make sure you avoid sunburns.
You should consider sunscreen your last resort to prevent sunburns, though. In fact, theres no clear evidence that using sunscreens actually prevents skin cancer including in the best sunscreens and some ingredients may actually fuel skin cancer.
Avoiding overexposure during peak sunlight hours, use sunglasses, and sun-protective hats and clothing . These things reduce your risk of burns without sunscreen.
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How To Protect Your Skin
The American Cancer Society recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30. It is very important to read the label on sunscreen to know that is it both broad-spectrum and water-resistant. Reading the label will also tell you how often to re-apply the sunscreen based on how water-resistant it is. Some need to be re-applied as often as every 40 minutes, and after swimming or sweating.
- Cover up: When you are out in the sun, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
- Seek shade: Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.
Best Spray On Sunscreen For Men
If you’re lazy and the act of blending a sunscreen on your face just isn’t appealing, fear notuse a spray. This one, from Soleil Toujours, comes in a micro spritz that is so easy that you only need to spray it twice, set it, and forget it. There are more pressing things to dolike actually enjoying the outdoors.
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Does Everyone Need Sunscreen
An estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime, with most caused by the suns ultraviolet rays.
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that using a sunscreen every day with a minimum sun protection factor of 15 may reduce the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by approximately 40% and melanoma by 50%.
The American Academy of Dermatologists states that anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender, or skin tone. The Fitzpatrick skin typing system is a useful way to determine skin type and its associated risk of developing skin cancer.
How Safe Is Your Sunscreen
The American Cancer Society recommends the use of sunscreen as one way to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. UV rays from the sun and from tanning beds and lamps damage the skin and can cause skin cancer. But some health groups, consumer groups, and environmental groups have raised concerns over ingredients found in some sunscreens and their potential effects on people and nature.
Len Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, recommends people buy and use sunscreens that are sold and marketed in the US because of limited information about the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens produced in other countries. Each person should make an individual decision thats most appropriate for themselves, says Lichtenfeld. But the experts who have looked at the data have concluded that the potential risk of not using sunscreen far outweighs the risks of using sunscreen. Lichtenfeld, who has had skin cancer himself, says he uses sunscreen on his face every day.
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Rodan + Fields Reverse Brightening Defense Fluid Lotion Broad Spectrum Spf 50
Dark spots and dullness wont stand a chance against this brightening formula. It contains the brands exclusive patented RF3 Antioxidant Complex that helps skin stand up to environmental triggers that lead to discoloration, as well as licorice extract to brighten. $40, rodanandfields.com
Sun Bum Face Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 45
Courtesy of Sun Bum
What To Keep In Mind This Summer
Before you step out into the sun, you might be planning to apply your favorite self-tanner. And while self-tanners are safe to use, it’s best to not mistake their purpose. “Remember that they do give a false sense of security as they do not provide a ‘base tan’ and most do not have sunscreen in them,” Wattenberg says. “Consider them a short term makeup that washes off over time.”
And whether it’s a cool day or warm day and the sun is still out, it’s important to use lots of sunscreen with Wattenberg’s recommended minimum of SPF 30. Protecting your skin is key to preventing sunburn. But if you do get a burn, you probably have what you need right in your home.
Wattenberg recommends mixing equal parts cold water and cold milk to create a cool compress, soaking in milk’s anti-inflammatory properties. You can also apply a little over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and a fragrant-free moisturizer. If you’re a little swollen, Advil or Aleve will help. And don’t forget to drink a ton of water, as sunburns cause dehydration.
There are a lot of sunscreens out there, but Wattenberg has outlined the best sunscreens for a variety of needs.
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Sunlight And Skin Damage
In addition to skin cancer, exposure to sunlight including both UVA and UVB rays is associated with damage to skin cells and DNA, and to advanced skin aging. To prevent skin damage and skin cancers effectively, American sunscreens should provide better UVA protection. This wont happen in all products until the FDA sets higher standards for UVA protection and approves modern sunscreen ingredients with superior UVA filtering and stability.
In the absence of truly protective regulations, consumers are in the worst possible position likely to think their sunscreen is providing more protection than it is, then staying out in the sun longer, thereby increasing their risk of skin cancer and skin damage.