How To Choose Your Sunscreen?

Posted for Skin Care On September 17, 2008

I need sunscreen only in summer!

That what my teenage cousin declared as she tossed away her bottle of sunscreen this fall.

Sadly, that something most people perceive too.

Sunscreens are synonymous with summer! But that is no reason to think that they are only needed in summer. The sun is sharper during the summer months and milder during winters. But mind it, the ingredients are the same. Sunlight at any time contains ultraviolet rays within that continue to damage your skin be it summer or be it winter.

Here are some tips to choose the right sunscreen for you:

Sun care is essential. It is an integral part of your basic skin care regimen. And sun care is not restricted to any season. As essential as it is in the sunny months of the year, so it is for the winter months. But then again the type of sun care required is different from person to person. The sun care products that you decide to use should cater to specific skin types like normal skin, dry skin, oily skin, combination skin or sensitive skin.

Here are some key points that you should consider while selecting your sun care product or sunscreens:

Sun Protection Factor
The SPF of a sunscreen is the deciding factor of selection. SPF gives an indication about how powerful the sunscreen is. A sunscreen protects you from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun that causes sunburn and also create greater risks of skin cancer. Make sure the sunscreen you choose has avobenzone (Parsol-1789), Mexoryl, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide so that you are protected from all the UVA and UVB radiations of the sun.

Lasting Time
How long the effect of a sunscreen lasts is different from one product to another. Some sun-care products break down due to prolonged exposure to UV light while others continue to fight it longer. Mexoryl, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are some of the ingredients that do not break down when exposed to the UV rays of sunlight, and thus protect you all day long.

Staying power
There are certain sun screen agents that cling to the skin longer than the others. And if you are one of those who do plenty of outdoor exercise and running around or have to travel in the sunlight for long periods, this is a very important factor that you should consider while purchasing sun care products. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are two agents that stay on the skin for longer periods. However some sun care products that contain these two elements tend to look pale on the skin. Therefore, make sure your sunscreen contains ultramicronized titanium or zinc. These agents are finer in nature and are transparent to light but still function appropriately.

Types of Sun Care products

Sun care products are available in a variety of forms like sunscreen creams, lotions, gels and even sprays. Creams are best suited for smooth and normal skins. These products are usually prepared using water resistant formulas so inspite of all the sweating and swimming you do stay on to protect your skin.

Always consider the cosmetic quality of the sunscreen before you start using it. If you follow a good sun care regimen, you can really slow down the skin aging process and even reverse the damage already done.

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