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Which Type Of Sunscreen Is Right For You?

Posted on July 7, 2023 at 11:00 AM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists

Wearing sunscreen to protect your skin is a must for everyone, especially during the summer months.   However, with so many sunscreen options – from sprays to creams – how do you know which sunscreen is the best for your skin?

It is recommended that individuals wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 for basic protection. Some people, though, choose the type of sunscreen that is best for them based on factors such as ease of application and how well it covers their skin.  In this way, they’re more likely to apply and reapply it throughout the day.

Choosing a sunscreen that fits your daily routine

Your skin type and your skin care routine can also impact your decision on which type of sunscreen to use.  Common sunscreen types include:

  • Creams: If you have dry or more mature skin, you might prefer a cream, especially for your face, neck, and ears.
  • Lotions: Lotions tend to be a thinner substance than creams.  This makes them easier to apply on large areas of the body.
  • Mousses: Those who don’t like the heavy feeling of a cream or other such product may prefer a lightweight mousse. These absorb quickly and are easy to rub into the skin.
  • Gels: Gels are another lightweight option.  They work best in hairy areas like the scalp.  If your skin is sensitive or acne-prone, try a water-based gel.
  • Sticks: Sticks are very useful when applying sunscreen around the contours of the face, such as around the eyes and nose.  They’re also compact and easy to travel with.
  • Sprays: Most people prefer sunscreen in a spray form due to its ease in application.  However, it’s difficult to know just how well you’re applying the product to your body.  Use a generous amount and massage it into your skin for even coverage.
  • Water- and sweat-resistant: This kind of sunscreen is the ideal choice for outdoor and water-based activities.  “Water resistant” means that the SPF is maintained for up to 40 minutes while swimming or sweating.  The term “very water resistant” means that the sunscreen can maintain its SPF for up to 80 minutes.
  • Makeup or skin care – sunscreen hybrid: You’re less likely to apply your makeup or skin care serums in the same way you’d apply a tradition sunscreen, so even if you wear foundation or a serum with SPF, an additional layer (such as mineral finishing powder with SPF) is recommended.
How to apply sunscreen for the best coverage

It’s important to always read the product instructions and apply the recommended amount of sunscreen.  When used incorrectly, sunscreen provides far less protection, exposing the skin to the sun’s harmful rays.

Advice for properly applying sunscreen includes:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Apply your first coat of sunscreen to dry skin 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure
  • Use at least a tablespoon of sunscreen for the face and neck. Use an ounce of sunscreen for your body.
  • For the fullest coverage, consider using a base layer of cream, lotion, mousse, or gel and reapply with a spray.
  • Let your skin dry between applications.  If you’re using sunscreen on wet skin, it won’t penetrate as easily, which means it won’t be as effective.
  • Use sunscreen on all skin surfaces exposed to the sun, including your face, ears, scalp, front and back of neck, hands, and feet.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Reapply sunscreen to towel-dried skin immediately after swimming or heavy sweating, even if you’re using a water-resistant product.
  • Remember that sand, water, snow, and clouds can reflect UF rays.  Sunscreen helps to protect your skin year-round.
  • Apply sunscreen to children as young as 6 months old, and keep children in the shade as much as possible.
  • Always use sunscreen before its expiration date.

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