It’s that time of year again when we need to stock up on safe and effective sunscreen for the entire family. Sure, you may take preventive measures and use a daily moisturizer with mineral sunscreens. And that’s great. But I am talking serious sun protection for the pool, beach, ball field, or backyard.
We know that mineral sunscreens are not only safer than the chemical versions, but also provide better protection. Mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) form a physical barrier on the skin, blocking out UVA and UVB rays. This is important because UVA rays are the ones that reach the lower layers of skin, causing long term damage.
As a matter of fact, Europe recently upped their standards for sun protection to provide better UVA defense. And many US sunscreen makers are following suit. In the past consumers have been led to believe that the higher the SPF the better, though this is misleading. Most experts believe that anything over 40 is unnecessary. To protect your skin most effectively it is important to: Use chemical-free mineral sunscreens, follow the SPF guidelines, apply properly and often.
To calculate your SPF follow these guidelines:
- Fair skin – can stay in the sun 10 minutes before burning
- Olive skin – can stay in the sun 15 minutes before burning
- Dark skin – can stay in the sun 20 minutes before burning
Now multiply SPF by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun before burning. For example: (SPF) 20 x 10 (Fair skin) = 200 minutes (amount of time you can stay in the sun before burning if you have Fair skin and use an SPF of 20).
In the past few years mineral sunscreens have come a long way. But the common complaints among users of mineral sunscreens were the white film they leave on skin and the greasiness.
Well, there are many new sunscreens to try this year and I have been sampling lots of them. The good news is; we no longer have to put up with white, greasy skin in the name of effective protection. Read on….
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Image: kirikiri at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license