Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

Across the board, health and beauty experts agree that wearing sunscreen is the simplest way to achieve fresh and healthy-looking skin. It’s also the most effective way to preserve your youthful glow so sunscreen-shirking Millennials take note – it will save your skin!

Let’s address the wide variety of sunscreens on the market. While drugstores offer many products that may appeal to the bottom line, some of these low-quality options may do more damage than good. Speaking to a trained medical spa staff member is the best way to ensure you get the right product for your skin type and lifestyle. The end result will be a properly tailored skin care experience – something an over the counter drugstore product cannot provide.

Your first decision should be to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 to 50, which protects from HEV (high-energy violet), UVA and UVB rays. Broad-spectrum protection relies on chemical ingredients (called sunscreens) and physical ingredients (sunblocks) like benzophenones, cinnamates, sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, and ecamsule, which may sound intimidating, but offer excellent defense from the sun.  

Now you must decide whether you prefer a physical or chemical sunscreen. As suggested, a physical sunscreen will create a barrier between your skin and the sun, reflecting light away and protecting you from damaging rays. These types of sunscreens have improved dramatically since the days of white zinc oxide noses and blocky cheek streaks. Manufacturers like Tizo make a daily tinted face block with a mineral block sunscreen with an SPF of 40, which also lightly evens skin tone while offering a healthy dose of skin protection.

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays, changing the electromagnetic radiation effect, protecting the skin from damage, and soaking up the majority of damage before it can impair the skin. Both chemical and physical sunscreens are effective protection, so deciding on which type to use comes down to a personal choice but physical sunscreens are more often recommended at Derma Spa.

Whichever you choose, the amount applied has a direct impact on how effective the product will be, so don’t skimp when applying sunscreen – a healthy dollop spread well over your skin will do much more for you than a dab spread too thin. If the thickness of a physical sunscreen bothers you, try a more transparent chemical block, which tends to be less noticeable. It’s also critical to apply to oft-neglected areas like ears, neck, hands, and feet, and to do so before leaving the house or exposing your skin to the sun. Giving a product the time to work will prevent the damage caused by micro exposure between application and effectiveness of a product.

Derma Spa professionals can guide you on how much sunscreen should be applied per area and when to reapply. While cheaper brands require a healthy dollop of sunscreen to be effective, medical brands use less filler and require less to be effective.

Contact us to setup a complimentary skin care consultation to discuss your at home skin care routine and receive personalized tips from our professional skin care team.