Everyone knows that sunscreens are helpful in preventing skin cancer, but with so many on the market, how do you pick one that is effective? While no sunscreen protects you completely, you should make sure that you pick a product that provides “broad spectrum” protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Physical sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are made of natural ingredients found on the earth and are said to “block”, “absorb’, or “scatter” UV rays so that they do not penetrate the skin.
You also want to select a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or above. The SPF is the level of protection against UVB rays. SPF 30 will filter out about 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 will filter 98%. Conversely, an SPF 15 will only filter 93%. So, for best results, reapplication is recommended every 2 hours or more frequently. Please be sure to read the product label regarding water resistance and be sure to reapply as directed, especially after swimming or sweating.
You should also know that sunscreen should be used year round. The rays from the sun can be dangerous, even in winter months. Protect yourself.