Summer’s Here! Which sunscreen should I use?

School is out, camps are about to start and the official start of summer is here. Please protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV radiation.  Chronic exposure to UV rays can contribute to premature skin aging, including wrinkle formation and brown spots.  More worrisome, the body reacts to UV radiation by creating free radicals that can, over time, damage skin cells and ultimately lead to skin cancer.\

So, here are some suggestions for good, safe, sunscreens.

  1. Choose a mineral based sunscreen.  Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are mineral based and are not absorbed by the skin.  Chemical based sunscreens like octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone are absorbed by the skin, can be detected in blood weeks after use and may be endocrine disruptors.  
  2. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30-50.  It is unclear if over SPF 50 sunscreens provide better coverage and they may expose you to more chemicals.
  3. Use a lotion or stick rather than a spray.  Spray sunscreen have added chemicals and can be easily inhaled. Also, is it easy to accidentally miss an area with a spray.
  4. Reapply every 2-3 hours and after swimming or a brisk workout.
  5. Remember to schedule a full skin check even in the summer.  It saves lives.