The simple Truth – about sunscreen
How to protect your skin just right
We all know the importance of using sunscreen before going outside, especially during summer. As we are right in the middle of the sun, beach and tanning marathons period, the suncream topic has boomed again, like every year. I grew up hating on my mother telling me to put cream at the beach – I guess the majority of kids and teenagers are like that. I loved laying out in the sun and getting this gold summer skin…the best feeling ever!
I get it now – sunscreen isn’t a punishment
Nonetheless, the older I get the more I realize how important it is to inform yourself and how bad it actually is to not use sunscreen. As I started looking into the right product I realized how much choice there is on the market (it’s a bit like when you need to buy a new mascara and you have in front of you 20 different variations and you don’t know which one to pick!). What I have learned from my own experience is that there are a lot of different opinions and a lot of bad products out there, but mineral sunscreens are the most effective form of UV protection. “Natural sunscreens, aka physical sunblocks, include zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide. These reflect the sun off the skin as well as create a blocking barrier,” says David Colbert, MD of New York Dermatology Group. However, not all minerals sunscreen products are safe. Just because a product contains mineral sunscreen ingredients doesn’t mean it is free from harmful ingredients, including chemical sunscreens. Having said so, there are some important points which I think should be addressed, to finally clarify some big questions and have a general safe behavior when it comes to expose our body to the sun.
1. Sunscreen should be used every day
People think they only get sun damage from laying on the beach. This is wrong because even when you are walking on the street outside your house, or if you’re inside by the window reading, you’re getting sun exposure. You have to wear sunscreen every single day of the year. Even if it’s a cloudy, snowy, rainy, winter day. In this way you are sure to be protected and reduce skin damages.
2. Physical sunscreen is safer than chemical sunscreen
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are often referred to as physical blockers. Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. They are often referred to as chemical or organic absorbers. Well, both are totally safe. That said, some derms recommend physical over chemical for the face—but not because chemical is unsafe but “because I believe mineral sunblock is superior”, said Dr. Mary Ruth Buchness, a New York-based dermatologist. 3.Any level of sunscreen is effective and important. Doctors say the higher the number, the more coverage. The only issue is a false sense of security—people think if they’re using a high-number SPF, +50 or more, they don’t need to reapply. But they do, every 80 minutes to be precise, in order to have a full protection.”says Dr. Buchness.