How Do You Choose the Best Sunscreen To Protect Against Sun Damage, Wrinkles & Skin Cancer?

By Darla Hadden PA-C

Choosing a sunscreen isn’t as simple as it used to be. Spring has arrived and it is finally time for fun in the sun! Sunscreen is the best way to protect yourself from sun damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer. There are several important differences when choosing a sunscreen, which will be discussed throughout the article.

A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high sun protection factor (SPF) which rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer-causing UV ray, ultraviolet B (UVB.) Research soon showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don’t cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into the skin and cause wrinkles. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime’s exposure to UVA rays.

For the best protection you’ll want a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects you from both UVA and UVB. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octyl methyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).  That’s just to name a few. The thing to remember is that some of these are chemical and some are minerals. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and mineral sunscreen stays on top of the skin. Mineral sunscreens tend to be better for children or people who have sensitive skin because they will not burn the eyes or irritate the skin.

If you’re going to be exercising or in the water, it’s worth getting a sunscreen resistant to water and sweat. The FDA defines water resistant sunscreen as meaning that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes
in the water.

My husband and I have two young sons and a lovable fur baby. We enjoy being outdoors and I needed an idea to keep our sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, snacks, and various other things readily available to “grab and go.” So I threw everything in one of my thirty-one bags and kept it by the door; it worked great for a day out and vacation! I’ve coined it the “Sun-protection Bag.” First, find a bag that is easy to grab and carry. Next, which is the fun part, is filling it with all of your favorite sun protection products. Here are some of my favorites: Sunglasses with UV protection, Hats, Variety of sunscreens, Lip Balm with sunscreen.

The team at Dermatologic Surgery Center provides expert care with exceptional service. DSC offers all of your dermatology needs, including; hair, skin and nails. Dermatologist and medical director, Dr. Jennifer Popovsky, also performs dermatologic surgeries, including MOHS Surgery. Amy, our aesthetics nurse, is our cosmetic specialist. She offers a variety of procedures and products. Call to schedule your consultation today.

Our growing team is dedicated to arming you with the tools and knowledge to keep your skin looking young and healthy. Contact us today to schedule a skin check and receive complimentary sunscreen samples to help you stay healthy in the sun.

Dermatologic Surgery Center of Northeast Ohio
1133 Medina Rd, Ste 100  •  Medina
330.239.4350  •