It’s getting to be that time of year again when short sleeves, sandals and open windows are replacing sweaters, jeans and boots, and with this change comes a need to start thinking about the one health and beauty product everyone needs: sunscreen. Available in dozens of different formulas, scents and as many price points, the beginning of the warmer weather is a good time for a sunscreen refresher.
Organic sunscreen. Not always a reference to organic ingredients (although you can buy organically formulated organic sunscreens), an organic sunscreen is a sunscreen that works by creating a barrier which reflects the sun’s rays away or off of the skin. Sometimes called a physical sunscreen, this type of product is typically made with zinc oxide (think the white patch on life guard’s noses) or titanium oxide, and offers safe protection against sun damage for anyone wishing to avoid chemical sunscreens, or who has sensitive skin.
A few good options to try include:
- Topix Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen Cream SPF 50
- Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+
- Badger SPF 34 Baby Sunscreen
- Aubrey Organics Sunscreen for Active Lifestyles SPF 25
Chemical Sunscreens refer to sun protection products which use a chemical ingredient, such as octocrylene, oxybenzone or octyl methoxycinnamate to help absorb harmful UV rays and prevent them from damaging skin cells. Unlike the past when sunblock was thick or tacky on the skin, today’s formulas offer multiple benefits for all skin types: ultra sheer, oil-free, tinted – sky’s the limit!
- Neutrogena Sport Face Sunblock Lotion SPF 70+
- Kiehl’s Vital Sun Protection Lotion SPF 30
- Coppertone Sunblock Lotion Oil Free SPF 15
- Bullfrog Marathon Mist Continuous Spray SPF 50
Hybrid sunblocks. Hybrids combine the best of both – chemical and organic ingredients – into one formula, and offer those people who want the benefits of both an easy way to fill the bill.
Hybrid (Chemical + Organic)
- SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 40
- Kiss My Face Sunspray Lotion SPF 30
- Clarins Sunscreen Cream High Protection SPF 30
Whatever kind of sunscreen you prefer to wear, follow three simple rules for sun-safety:
- Apply enough. For the average adult, a shot glass worth of sunblock is considered the starting point.
- Don’t forget your ears, back of the hands and bottoms of the feet, especially if you are planning on sun bathing for an extended period of time.
- Wear sunglasses, a hat and seek out the shade of a tree or umbrella periodically to give your skin a chance to recover.
- And bonus number four – don’t overdo it. Skin cells are delicate and for most of the US, summertime sunshine is intense. Sunblock is only as good as the effort you put into using it.