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Understanding Sunscreens

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

There is no beauty side of tanning: fry now and pay later. The best prevention from the wrath of sun damage is to avoid overexposure to the sun and tanning beds, wear protective clothing, hats, sun glasses, and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily with an SPF of at least 15 in winter and 30 to 50 in summer.

Here are some tips:

  • Look for those key words on the product label: UVA/UVB broad spectrum.
  • The two most effective UV blockers are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are great for any skin type, including the most sensitive skin with rosacea or eczema.
  • Self tanners are not protective against sunrays; they develop color on the skin's surface via a chemical reaction.
  • Makeup with SPF, usually 8 or 15 might not offer enough protection and a sunscreen product with at least SPF 30 has to be applied underneath.
  • The sunscreens have to be applied liberally, uniformly and frequently (every 2 hours when outdoors, even on cloudy days).
  • The SPF number does not represent a specific length of time, it represents a variable duration- the time it takes for skin to turn pink.
  • Water proof versus water resistant: there is no such a thing as water proof, only water resistant and keep reapplying it, when you come out of water and even when not swimming or sweating. Just remember: most important is to use enough product and to reapply it often enough.
  • There are sunscreens designed for the face and for the body, don't use a body sunscreen on face, it will clog your pores.
  • At Belleza we have sunscreens for all skin types from moisturizing sunscreens for dry skin, to oil free sunscreens for oily skin, to tinted physical sunscreens for rosacea and sensitive skin.
  • We also offer Jane Iredale mineral makeup with SPF 20.
  • And for those that still like some color on their skin but don't want to be in sun, we offer Fantasy Tan for sunless airbrushed tanning

Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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