What Is Sunscreen and How to Choose the Best Sunscreen?

What is sunscreen?

According to Wikipedia, sunscreen, also known as sunblock, sun cream or suntan lotion, is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thus help protect against sunburn.

How to choose the best sunscreen?

Sunscreens can be classified into physical sunscreens (reflect the sunlight) and chemical sunscreens (absorb the UV light) according to the mode of action.

Sunscreens are commonly rated and labeled with a sun protection factor (SPF) that measures the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin. Other rating systems indicate the degree of protection from non-burning UVA radiation.

It is suggested you choose sunscreens with following characteristics:

1. Broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum sunscreens for both UVB and UVA protection

You’d better choose broad-spectrum protection with following ingredients:

  • benzophenones (oxybenzone)
  • cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate)
  • sulisobenzone
  • salicylates
  • titanium dioxide
  • zinc oxide
  • avobenzone (Parsol 1789)
  • ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)

2. Water and sweat resistance
3. A brand you like
4. Kid-friendly sunscreen
5. Sunscreen for skin problems or allergies

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.