It is important to only purchase sunscreens that read "Broad-Spectrum" on the label, this will ensure protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Most sunscreens protect against UVB rays, which affect the top layer of the skin and are responsible for burning, but it is just as important to protect against UVA rays, which affect the lower layers of the skin and are responsible for aging. According to Christina Valentine, brand awareness and educational manager for Bare Escentuals and MD Formulations, you should lather up twenty minutes before sun exposure to ensure that it is fully absorbed into your skin. She also suggests re-applying your lotion every hour.
Look for sunscreens that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Popular antioxidants such as Green Tea, Co-Q10 and Vitamin C and E fight against free-radical damage, while botanicals such as cucumber and chamomile contain anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin exposed to the sun. We know there are hundreds of sunscreens to choose from so we decided to let you in on our top picks. No more excuses, it's time to start covering up!
Top Ten List:
- Neutrogena Ultra Soft Hydrating Sun block SPF 30 - $13.99 and is available in drugstores nationwide
- KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen SPF 30 - $14.00 visit www.kinesys.com or call 888-KINeSYS
- Hawaiian Tropic Ozone SPF 70 - $9.00 visit www.drugstore.com
- Coppertone Sport Sun block Continuous Spray SPF 30 - $11.00 available in drugstores nationwide
- Banana Boat Sensitive Skin Plus SPF 30 - $9.00 available at drugstores nationwide
- md formulations Total Protector 30 - $22.00 visit www.mdformulations.com
- Clarins Sun Care Cream Ultra Protection SPF 30 - $26.50 visit www.sephora.com
- NO-AD Ultra Sun Block Lotion SPF 30 - $8.00 visit www.drugstore.com
- Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer SPF 30 - $14.00 available at drugstores nationwide
- Almay Pure Tints Protective Lip Care SPF 25 in Nude - $5.00 visit www.drugstore.com
Sun Safety Tips:
Here are a few important tips for you from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. During these times the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is at its peak.
- When outdoors, use sunscreens rated with an SPF of 15 or higher. It's important to use sun block all year long and to apply them frequently.
- Teach your children good sun protection habits at an early age: The damage that leads to adult skin cancers starts in childhood.
- It is important to examine your skin head to toe at least once every three months. Also, visit your dermatologist regularly and report any irregular findings.
Recently, to combat these hidden dangers, The Skin Cancer Foundation expanded its Seal of Recommendation program. For more than two decades, the Foundation has granted the Seal to products containing SPF 15+ sunscreen that meet the highest standards for safety and effectiveness. Now, in recognition of the need for extra forms of sun protection, several other types of products have been awarded the Seal as well, including
- A UV- protective automobile window film
- A UV-protective residential window film
- A UV-blocking facemask
- A laundry product that can be added to detergent to increase UV protection in clothing
- Sunglasses that protect against UV and high-energy visible light
More than 200 products in the United States and some 20 abroad currently have qualified for the Seal. For a list of these products, call 1-800-SKIN-490, or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
The Skin Cancer FoundationBox 561, Dept. SR
New York, NY 10156