What Everyone Should Know About Sunscreen

What Everyone Should Know About Sunscreen

One of the top pieces of advice that dermatologists share with their patients is to use sunscreen every day. However, many patients fail to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, and they raise their risk of developing skin cancer as a result. In addition to following your doctor’s guidelines to apply sunscreen daily, you should also know these key facts about this type of sun protection. 

Mineral sunscreens may be less effective than chemical sunscreens.

Chemical sunscreens are absorbed through the skin where they absorb UV rays. Mineral sunscreens, also called natural sunscreens, with active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide sit on the surface of the skin and reflect UV rays instead. While both can protect the skin, you are more likely to get lasting protection with chemical sunscreen varieties. 

Most people underapply sunscreen. 

With every type of sunscreen, people tend to underapply. For full coverage on the face and body, you need about one ounce (or a full shot glass) of sunscreen. You also need to reapply throughout the day when you’re outdoors for extended periods—even if it is cloudy outside. It’s also best to avoid spray-on sunscreen, as the coverage does not tend to be as complete or thorough as with sunblock lotion. 

SPF ratings can be misleading. 

When it comes to SPF, most people assume that more is better. However, protection beyond about 50 SPF is not guaranteed, so stick to 30-50 SPF for your sunscreen. To increase effectiveness, apply exactly according to the product’s instructions. 

Sunscreen is not only your first line of defense against skin cancer, but it can help you fight common signs of aging like wrinkles and sunspots. To fight back against existing age-related damage to your skin, call Aesthetica Med Spa at the Dermatology Center of Steamboat Springs at (970) 871-4811. They provide services including dermal fillers, chemical peels, and intense pulsed light therapy to help you look your best.