Dermatologist in New York, NY explains what to look for in a safe and effective sunscreen
If you love having fun in the sun or your normal routine involves spending time outdoors, such as walking or biking to and from work, a high-quality sunscreen should be an essential part of your daily routine. Even moderate amounts of sun exposure add up over time, not only aging your skin but also increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. At SkinProvement Dermatology New York, Dr. Stephen Comite is dedicated to helping NY area residents take the best care of their skin. Read on to learn more about how to choose a safe and effective sunscreen for you and your family’s needs.
Key elements to look for in your sunscreen
When you are perusing the sunscreen aisle, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which type is best. Some of the most important items to look for are:
- A broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. While UV-B rays are the primary cause of sunburns, both types of rays can lead to burns, premature aging, and skin cancer, so it is important to use a sunscreen that provides protection against both.
- A high SPF. SPF stands for “sun protection factor”; it tells you how long it would take for the sun to cause a sunburn if you use the product as directed, in comparison to using no sunscreen. For example, in an ideal scenario, an SPF 30 sunscreen will protect your skin from sunburn for 30 times longer than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. There is some evidence favoring higher SPF’s so we now recommend using higher SPF’s like #100.
- Effective ingredients. We recommend sunscreens that include one or more of the following ingredients: Parsol 1789, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Helioplex, or Mexoryl.
The importance of applying enough, and re-applying frequently
Many people do not apply enough sunscreen when they put it on. A liberal application of one ounce— about the size of a shot glass—is necessary to provide the best protection. In addition, if you will be outdoors for an extended period of time, are sweating, or are enjoying water activities, it is essential to re-apply at the frequency stated on the sunscreen label (typically 40 to 80 minutes).
At SkinProvement Dermatology, we are always happy to answer your questions about how to protect your skin and keep it healthy, whether it is during summer fun in the sun or dry, cold winters. Give us a call today at (212) 933-9490!
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