When it comes to sunscreen, many of us grab the nearest bottle and slather it on before hitting the beach. Our skin is important to protect, so we should take the time to make sure we are choosing the best sunscreen to protect our outer layer. Here are some tips about sunscreen from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon:
- Make sure you apply it! 30 minutes before you go outside is best:
It's important to let sunscreen soak into your skin. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, or even if your makeup claims that it includes sun protection, you need to apply additional sunscreen. Since UV rays penetrate glass and are produced by fluorescent and halogen lights, sunscreen is beneficial indoor as well as outdoors.
UVA and UVB rays break down collagen and elastin levels. You need protection from both. Find a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” SPF, which indicates a higher level of protection from both UVA and UVB radiation.
Don't forget to apply the sun screen to often-neglected parts like hands and fingers, toes, ears, and nose.
- Sun protection should have a SPF of 30 or higher:
Levels above 50 SPF have no greater effect.
- Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide:
A physical blocking agent rather than chemical agents like parabens and PABA.
- Reapply sun block every 2 hours:
If you are exercising or in the water, use a water resistant sunscreen. After swimming or exercising extensively in the sun. Sun protection should be reapplied every 30 minutes to an hour. Even if the label says it is water resistant, reapply it at least every two hours. Remember there isn’t a sunscreen that is completely waterproof or sweat proof.
- The FDA stipulates that manufacturers cannot make claims that sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” or identify their products as “sunblocks”:
Also, sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately on application (for example, “instant protection”)
- Get new sun screen:
Don’t use what you have left over from last year, since sunscreen doesn’t last forever.
Dr. Singer is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, a member of EmpowHER's Medical Advisory Board and Clinical Professor of Surgery (Plastic) at University California, San Diego.
Dr. Singer has been engaged in private practice in the La Jolla area of San Diego since 1976 and is now an internationally recognized plastic surgeon.
Dr. Singer appears regularly on radio and television programs such as 'Larry King Live,' in national and local newspapers, and in national and international fashion, news, and health magazines. Dr. Singer has also been a resource for plastic surgery information to the Medical Board of California and the Congress of the United States.
For more information about Dr. Robert Singer please visit his website, www.RSingerMD.com