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Tuesday, October 07, 2014 10:00 am

Selecting the Best Sun Screen Product

Selecting the Best Sunscreen Product
Remember: even toes need sunscreen
(Photo Credit: Victoria Kvilhaug)

With so many types of sunscreen products to choose from, how do you know which one is the best choice for you?  The key to finding the best sunscreen product is selecting one that is not only appropriate, but also acceptable.

This often involves some trial and error, sampling several products until you find the one you love. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating product acceptability. It’s very simple, if you don’t love the product, you won’t use it.

First, be sure to select a sunscreen product bearing a Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.  The Seal of Recommendation is a trustworthy guide to appropriate products offering sun protection for your anticipated activity and length of ultraviolet (sun) exposure. Use the embedded link to search for products bearing the Seal. Then read the product labels and compare.

Next, consider your natural skin coloring. Some products contain physical barriers such as, zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which tend to leave a bluish white film on the skin. This effect is more pronounced on darker skin tones, and you may prefer to avoid these ingredients if you find the look undesirable.

There are plenty of options in fragrance or fragrance-free products to please nearly everyone, especially those with sensitive skin. Additionally, there are products offering an array of “shimmer effects”, an appealing option for those of us who prefer a bit of “glam”.  😉
Another important and often overlooked consideration is the product feel. Sunscreen products vary in consistency and composition, resulting in varying levels of absorption and greasiness. Finding a product with an acceptable feel will encourage consistent and proper use. This is probably the single-most important consideration after SPF rating…really! You have to love how it feels on your skin to want to wear it.
It’s not unusual to find a variety of individual sunscreen product preferences among family members. So keep experimenting until everyone in your household finds a sunscreen product they love enough to use without a fuss. This will make outings safer, more enjoyable and less stressful for everyone!

Long, relaxing days at the beach 
(Photo credit: Kathleen Kvilhaug)

Finally, know how much sunscreen product to apply, and how often, to ensure full SPF protection. Here are some guidelines to help keep you protected from the harmful effects of sun exposure.
• Apply one (1) ounce of product with each application
• Begin initial application of product 30 minutes prior to sun exposure
• Reapply one (1) ounce of product every two hours, or immediately after swimming, exercising, or excessive sweating.
• Follow age-recommendation guidelines on product packaging
• Check with your doctor for children under six months of age