As the summer approaches, we all want to look our best and that might prompt you to head to your dermatologist. Perhaps you want a regular checkup, or perhaps you are looking for ways to look your healthiest and most youthful this summer. What may surprise you is that first piece of advice you’ll hear from any dermatologist focused on the health of your skin. The best dermatologists will all tell you that you need to make sure you’re using sunscreen every day.
Today, it’s easier than ever to incorporate sunscreens into your daily routine. In fact, there are many moisturizers that incorporate SPF and sun protection within their formula. What you may not know is that the FDA is actually about to regulate how sunscreen manufacturers communicate ingredients and the level of protection to the consumer, meaning you!
As of this year, 2012, when you read sunscreen packaging, you’ll be able to see what kind of sun protection you are getting. First, you’ll learn if the sunscreen protects you against UVA and UVB rays. This is called broad spectrum protection. What many consumers don’t know is that sunscreens can protect you from getting a sun burn, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting true protection from the sun. The SPF rating will be readily available, but you want to make sure you are getting broad spectrum protection and a sunscreen that will help prevent skin cancer and premature aging. Additionally, sunscreens should not promote being “water proof” or “sweat proof” because this is erroneous information. What you will see is a level of water resistance, so you know how long you can go between applications.
The type of sunscreen you choose is also something to consider. Whether you choose cream, gel or spray, you should consider your application. Creams, especially those with zinc, offer excellent protection from the sun, when applied properly. Gels are excellent for areas of the body with hair – like the scalp or the male chest. Spray sunscreen is easy to apply and convenient, but you do need to make sure that you apply it liberally and thoroughly and that you don’t inhale the sunscreen.
If you visit your dermatologist, be sure to ask for their recommendation for sunscreenss. They may actually even sell sunscreen in their dermatology practice. But not matter what you do, remember to wear your sunscreen and be an educated consumer!