Posted on July 17 2017
While we now seem to understand and appreciate the benefits of daily usage of sunscreen - from anti ageing to skin health concerns like melanoma - choosing the right sunscreen seems to still be something of a minefield for some of us.
Here are 6 points to keep in mind while selecting an appropriate sunscreen .
KEEP AN EYE ON THE DATE:
Sunscreens lose their efficacy past their expiry date.Discard sunscreen that is past its expiration date. If you buy sunscreen that doesn't have an expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle and be sure to throw it out within three years. Also, discard sunscreen that has any obvious changes in colour or consistency. Keep in mind that if you use sunscreen generously and frequently, a bottle of sunscreen shouldn't last long
GO BRANDED (and EUROPEAN):
We recommend that you look for trusted name brands while selecting your sunscreen of choice. At MSM we prefer brands that are certified for the European market over the US market. Why is that - sunscreen manufacturers who make products for the market in Europe meet high standards for UVA protection, because they can pick and choose among seven ingredients that offer strong protection against UVA radiation. Some of these chemicals appear to offer significant performance advantages over the sunscreen chemicals the federal Food and Drug Administration permits in products sold on the American market.
NO ROOM FOR HARSH CHEMICALS:
Of course, it is impossible to find a sunscreen that has zero chemical content in it. However, be smart enough to stay away from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone. A common active-chemical ingredient, it penetrates the skin’s surface and helps absorb harmful UVA rays. If avobenzone is on the label, also look for ingredients such as octocrylene and octisalate, which stabilize avobenzone so that it remains effective longer. Actives like zinc oxide or titanium oxide are physical compounds. Rather than absorbing rays, they reflect them away from the skin. They’re a good choice for those with sensitive skin.
DEVELOP A BIAS TOWARDS GEL AND CREAM APPLICATION:
Spray and powder based sunscreens are fuss free when it comes to application, however, they can give rise to a number of health issues. Such sunscreens are mineral-based and contain nanoparticles. Nanoparticles cannot enter the skin when suspended in a cream or lotion, but could be ingested when you breathe. Therefore, stay safe and opt for a cream or gel based sunscreen based on your skin type.
MIND THE SPF:
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to the theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) scale is not linear. Sunscreen with SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays while SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays. The other thing to keep in mind is that SPF refers to UVB rays. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens that measure protection against UVB rays (SPF rating) as well as UVA rays (PA factor)
SWEAT PROOF AND WATER PROOF:
Depending on your activity for the day, choose a sunscreen that can stand against the strength of sweat and water. Whether you are hitting the beach, staying in a humid place or ready to dive in a swimming pool, your sunscreen must have the power to beat the strength of sweat and water from washing away the sunscreen on your skin.