Summer is approaching soon, time to throw a fresh bottle of sunscreen into that shopping cart. But here’s something you need to watch out for this summer… your sunscreens’ ingredient list and label. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are about three-quarter sunscreens out there in the market that don’t work as well as they claim to on their packaging. They either contain harmful ingredients or simply don’t contain the ingredients they promise to contain. So technically even people who stay well-stocked and dip themselves in sun block every morning, still don’t find themselves adequately protected.
Sprays, gels, sticks, lotions, there are so many different types out there, but are they all really doing their job? Let’s dive into that. Here is what you need to check before you buy your next bottle of sunscreen.
Is it Really “Broad Spectrum”?
Every other sunscreen out there screams broad spectrum on its packing, but what really is broad spectrum? The sun throws out two kinds of rays- UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause sunburns where as the UVA are the ones that age your skin. You need broad-spectrum protection to keep both kinds of UV rays away and guard against skin cancer.
15 or higher is ideally the best. The SPF factor decides how effective the sunscreen is in preventing sunburns caused by the UVB rays. For most of the population, SPF 15 is adequate, but people who have a family history of skin cancer or very fair skin should consider SPF 30 or higher. Remember, the FDA states that there is no is no such thing SPF 50+, thats all just a scam.
Just because you are dark skinned and have natural protection against the sun does not mean that you don’t need a sunscreen. Yes, it is true that darker skin has natural protection against burning, its a myth that you have a shield against skin cancer too. Every single person needs protection and sunscreens are what do that job. Use SPF 30 at least once daily (try twice please!) and thank us later.
There is absolutely no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen. In fact, companies have now been told to stop plastering such false claims on sun screening packaging. Most doctors say that no matter what you’re doing, swimming or sweating or are just out in the sun for a while, you must reapply your sunscreen every two hours!
So now that you know all this, make sure you apply your sunscreen every two hours if you’re out in the sun for the most part. And if that sounds like too much just remember to apply it once daily before you step out in the sun.