Now that the sun is out, and the urge to be outside is nearly impossible to resist, you will most likely find yourself trying to figure out what sunscreen is right for your skin. In the last few years, there have been many updates and advances in sun-protection. Though the ingredients may be confusing at first, we will help to simplify it for you.
There are two parts of the spectrum of light that concern us when we talk about sun protection: Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B. Because overexposure to both UVA and UVB can cause a sunburn, increase your risk of skin cancer, and lead to premature aging of the skin, a proper sunscreen must block both types of rays.
Initially, sunblock ingredients were developed to block UVB light, only. These chemicals included PABA & Cinnamates. Since then, the importance of blocking UVA has been recognized, and other chemicals such as benzophenones and Parsol 1789 have been added to sunblock formulations. Now, broad spectrum sunscreens, which cover both UVA and UVB, are encouraged, in order to completely minimize the sun's hazards.
These chemical ingredients, that work by absorbing light, can irritate some people. Subsequently, chemical-free products have become available that contain small particles of transparent zinc oxide, much like the thicker form the lifeguards used to apply. Zinc Oxide work by reflecting UVA and UVB light.
One of the newest, most exciting additives is Mexoryl, developed by L'Oreal’s La Roche-Posay. A lightweight, non-irritating, broad spectrum additive, Mexoryl proves to work astoundingly well in protecting your skin from harmful ultra-violet rays.
Lastly, please apply your screen as directed on the label. Even if your sunscreen is waterproof, reapplication at least every two hours is necessary if you are in direct sunlight. Be sure to have at least an SPF 15, and find the type which feels best on your skin: spray, gel, cream or milk.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 40 Gel: A lightweight broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen, formulated with Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL. Also available as a waterproof Milk.