How to Choose the Right Sunscreen

By: Hannah Ropp   July 12, 2017
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While you may want to spend as much time as possible this summer soaking up the sun, you’ll want to protect your skin from dangerous ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet (UVA) rays have been shown to cause skin damage and even skin cancer.

According to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Gregg Guilfoyle, D.O. the best way to prevent sun damage is to wear sunscreen. But, he admits that finding the right one isn’t always easy.

Check out some of Dr. Guilfoyle’s tips below to make sure your skin is protected this summer.

  • Choose the Right SPF – For general skin maintenance use SPF 30 or higher, if you’ve had recent surgery use at least SPF 50. Above SPF 50 is not generally required
  • Look at the Ingredients – Ingredients to look for include zinc oxide, titanium oxide and natural oils like olive oil or peanut oil that help the sunscreen spread evenly. Also, make sure the sunscreen is labeled as broad spectrum.
  • Apply Properly – Sunscreen is only effective if it is applied properly. If you are only going to be out in the sun for a short amount of time, you can apply for 30 to 45 minutes in advance. If you are going to be out for a long period of time apply your sunscreen 45 minutes to an hour advance.
  • Water Resistant – If you are going to be exercising or in water, look for a sunscreen that is water-resistant. But, keep in mind that you may need to reapply more frequently.

In addition to sunscreen, Dr. Guilfoyle suggests some alternative ways to protect your skin like wearing a hat, staying out of the sun during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and making sure the rest of your body is covered in clothing.

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