A guide to choosing the perfect sunscreen

Beach accessories/ iStock

Summer is almost here. Can you hear the beach calling? The thought of a sexy bikini, sandals, and beach sand can be quiet enticing.

But we know a perfect day at the beach can turn into a disaster if one doesn’t protect their skin from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays, which can cause skin cancer and wrinkles.

To avoid this, it’s important to apply sunscreen. With so many on the market, it can be hard to pick the perfect one. So let us guide you on choosing the perfect sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, not just for the beach, but throughout summer.

Good sunscreen must have SPF 15 or higher. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures how well a sunscreen will protect the skin from UVB rays, which can cause skin reddening and sunburn.

SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, but you need to apply it at least 15 minutes before heading outdoors. You also need to put on at least 2mg/cm2 of skin and reapply it every two hours to ensure maximum protection.

But for those who are sun-sensitive, suffer from skin cancer, or are even at high risk of developing skin cancer, dermatologists advise they use SPF 30 or above.

The good thing is that even children aged above six months can use sunscreen with SPF 15.

Another important thing to note when deciding on a sunscreen is the ingredients.

Sunscreen needs to have one of the following ingredients; ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. These ingredients offer protection against ultraviolet light which can cause some skin cancers.

If you are going to swim or exercise, choose a sunscreen that is resistant to water and sweat, but remember that the SPF level stays effective for approximately an hour. So you will still need to apply the sunscreen after about an hour of getting out of water.

Please note that sunscreen doesn’t offer 100% protection from the sun. So wear a hat, carry an umbrella, and sit in shade to ensure that you offer your skin more protection.

Disclaimer: Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.

Image courtesy of iStock/ KristinaJovanovic