There's no shortage of sunscreen available, especially during the summer months. What makes each one different? Why would you choose a $5 bottle over a $60 bottle?
Before you go and buy any run-of-the-mill sunscreen off a shelf, look for a product that goes above and beyond your expectations and get more anti-aging protection for your hard-earned money. I like to call these key formulations sun care as opposed to sunscreen; they simply offer more benefits for the skin.
SPF rating, broad spectrum protection and the type of active ingredients are all important factors to consider. First and foremost, consider SPF 30 your gold standard for coverage. Note: a 15 rating blocks about 94% of the sun's rays, a 30 blocks about 97% and a 45 blocks about 98%. No sunscreen product available offers 100% protection.
Second, look on the label for "broad spectrum" protection against UV-A and UV-B rays. Not all sunscreens offer protection against both forms of UV radiation. The FDA has some valuable information for further learning about sunscreen requirements and limitations.
Aging Skin: Humectants (ceramides, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, urea) and emolllients (squalene, lanolin, palmitates) keep the skin moisturized and help prevent dehydration from the environment. Finding a sunscreen with these ingredients and added antioxidants like green tea and chamomile can help maintain collagen integrity and prevent inflammation.
Acne: To prevent breakouts, avoid emollients (squalene, lanolin, palmitates, coconut) and opt for a formula with color, like Advanced Shades to help mask redness and prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Dehydration: Environmental exposure can dry the skin and cause dehydration, increasing the look of fine lines. Look for a formulation with humectants. The most notable is hyaluronic acid because it provides your skin with optimal hydration, which improves barrier function and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Hyperpigmentation: Radiation and heat also stimulate the process of melanogenesis that results in hyperpigmentation, uneven tone and age spots. Look for added anti-inflammatory and melanin suppression ingredients like licorice root found in Sun Protectant Lotion. It contains a compound called glabridin, a natural brightening agent. Using a tinted sunscreen, like Advanced Shades, can help conceal uneven skin tone.
Rosacea: UV radiation and heat trigger inflammation, increasing your risk of capillary damage and sensitivity. Use a sunscreen with added antioxidants (green tea, calendula, chamomile) because they offer anti-inflammatory support for your skin. Avoid synthetic fragrances and dyes.
Sensitivity: Avoid synthetic fragrances and dyes. Look for a sunscreen that's hypoallergenic to prevent any skin reactions.
Sunburn Alert: If you notice your skin reacting to the sun exposure more quickly with a burn and redness, you may be experiencing photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to UV rays).
Hydroxy acids and retinoids are used in night creams, serums and professional peels. They're wonderful at rejuvenating the skin, but can also increase your risk of sunburn and photosensitivity because they remove the very superficial layers of skin that help protect younger cells. Protect your rejuvenated skin and maintain results by wearing sunscreen daily. When outdoors for a long period of time, follow the American Cancer Society's "Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap" campaign for cancer prevention.
There is also a significant list of OTC and prescription drugs that increase photosensitivity: certain antibiotics, ibuprofen, diuretics, hypoglycemics, antifungals, fragrances and more. If you are concerned that your medication may increase your sensitivity, consult with your physician.
Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts, Sun Protectant Lotion and Advanced Shades sun care products are made in small batches to ensure optimal protection and exceptional performance. My clients at the Skin Rejuvenation Clinique are loving them because they're great for the whole family to use during sporting events, day-tripping or vacation (sun and ski) trips.
Ask your aesthetician for a sample of each to find the one right for your skin.