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Choosing the Best Sunscreen Ingredients


Sunscreen is essential in today's fight against harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. Without adequate sunscreen, skin is left to the damaging effects of the radiation from the sun. When it comes to leading an outdoor, active lifestyle, it is essential to ensure that your skin is protected whenever you are outside. Protecting the body and skin from the dangerous and harmful UV rays is imperative to preventing premature aging, damage to the skin, spots, freckles, and various skin cancers. When choosing a Sunscreen you should always check the SPF factor and ensure that the product that you choose has a SPF that is high enough to protect you adequately from the sun.

Sunscreens work to prevent the harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin. There are two main types of radiation, UVA and UVB radiation. It is important that your sunscreen has the necessary ingredients to protect the skin from both of these radiations. This is achieved through various ingredients that compose the sunscreen. The two basic ingredients that every sunscreen should have are called, Chemical Blocks and Physical Blocks. Chemical blocks prevent sunlight from penetrating the sunscreen block and entering the skin. Chemical blocks are also absorbed into the skin. Physical blocks are not absorbed into the skin. When sunlight hits the physical block, it is reflected and bounces away from the skin. Some of the ingredients contained in chemical sunblock designed to prevent UVB radiation include:

  • Cinnamates
  • OMC (Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
  •  Ethylhexyl p-Methoxycinnamate
  • Salicylates
  • OCS (Octyl Salicytate)
  • Homomenthyl Salicylate
  • Triethanolamine
  • PABA (Para Aminobenzoic Acid)
  • Padimate O
  • Padimate A
  • Glyceryl Aminobenzoate
  • Octyl Dimethyl Paba
  • Octocrylene
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Titanium Oxide

The ingredients that are used to absorb UVA radiation include:

  • Benzoophenones
  • Oxybenzone
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Avobenzone

When choosing sunscreen, you will want to make sure that the product you select protects from both UVA and UVB radiation. It is important to realize that there is no sunscreen that will provide 100% protection from harmful UV rays. It should also be reapplied after swimming or exercise.

SPF is also a key component to ensure that you are taking the best precautions available to prevent skin damage and cancer. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and the number of SPF that you choose determines how long you can remain in the sun without getting burned. First, you need to determine how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned. This may be 10, 15, or 20 minutes depending upon your skin tone, complexion, and skin composition. The SPF you select will enable you to remain in the sun without getting burned for your natural SPF multiplied by the number on the sunscreen. For example, if you have selected an SPF of 10, and your natural SPF is 15, then you would be able to stay in the sun for at least 150 minutes before you begin to burn. By choosing your sunscreen carefully and ensuring that it has the SPF that you need, you can make sure that your fun in the sun will not be impeded by sunburn. More on how does sunscreen work.