Woman running outdoors

A Runner's Reference For Sun Protection

You’re serious about your running routine.You’re at it every day. And you want to see some serious results. You want to look in the mirror and see those biceps bulging. You want to see those glutes flexing and those quads defined. What don’t you want to see? Sun damage.

Running is a great way to stay in shape, but if the terrain is your domain, you have to deal with the elements, and the sun is a large element. All those miles in the sun increases the risk of malignant melanoma and associated abnormalities. If you’re skipping the sun screen, here are some things your dermatologist may want to tell you.

Don’t Skimp on Protection
According to Amy Mc Clung, MD, sweating in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer. Even if you are starting in the dark hours of the morning or in cloudy weather, there is no reason to throw caution to the wind. The darkest days can always give way to sun, and you can also burn on an overcast day. McClung recommends a generous application of sunscreen, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses, regardless of how the weather looks when you set out.

Apply Sunscreen with a Heavy Hand
Before you start patting yourself on the back for applying the sunscreen, make sure you have plenty on. Brooke Jackson, MD, and once dermatologist for the Chicago Marathon, says that if you are using a cream or lotion formula, aim to apply enough of the stuff to fill a shot glass. That translates to about an ounce and a half, which means you should go through an eight ounce bottle in about two days.

Woman applying sunscreen

Don’t Get A Base Tan
If you’re thinking gradual exposure will protect you from sun burn or damage, Jackson would like you to think again. She warns that tans and burns are not buffers, but rather the body’s built in way of telling you you’ve had enough sun. “As a dermatologist,” she says, “when I see tanned skin, I see damaged skin. It doesn’t at all look healthy to me.”

Don’t Run Shirtless
Or in a very small top, sports bra, or similarly sized contraction. While it is tempting to disrobe in the heat, doing so will increase the surface area of skin exposed to the sun. Look for the “UPF” label on clothes, which indicates that the item has sun protection built in. Even if there is no label, Jackson says that even regular tanks and shorts can provide an SPF of about 8.

Don’t Omit Your Head and Lips
Scalps with thinning hair are very vulnerable to sun damage and are known to be the first area on which cancerous growths first appear. As Jackson points out, the spot can be particularly dangerous, because remaining hairs can conceal the appearance of cancers, making them easy to overlook.

Apply sunscreen to the top of your head, and, if you have a full head of hair, remember that your part is also a target for sun damage, and should be protected appropriately. A hat will provide even better protection than lotion, and can also help to shade your forehead and spare you from the possibility of getting irritating sunscreen in your eyes.

Don’t forget about your lips, which are also subject to burn. Give them a coating of sunscreen or use a lip balm with SPF and wear your shades to protect your eyes from cataracts and cancer.

So take special care if you are running and let us know what you do to keep your skin from burning. We wish you good luck and great skin.

Girl in hat at the beach

Sun Protection: Shade Vs. Sunblock

Sunblock talks a pretty good game. You may have heard of SPFs as high as 75, melt- in sunscreens, continuous sun comfort sprays and even melanin-inducing sunblocks and screens. But how can you be sure that all your sunscreen is really working? Did you apply enough? Did you miss any spots? It’s enough to make you think you’re better off just using your own methods of avoiding sun exposure, like just staying in the shade. Of course, the shade is a good option, it definitely cuts down on direct sunlight, but is it a better alternative than sunblock? Here are some things you should know before you give up on sun lotions altogether.

Shade
According to the National Skin Cancer foundation, the guideline is, if you can see the sunlight, seek the shade; but know that not all shade is created equally. You can spend hours in the shade and still receive quite a good amount of sun exposure. Indirect UV light is radiation that has been scattered in the atmosphere and bounced back by UV reflective surfaces, like sand and concrete. As a result, most of the UV light we get sitting under an umbrella or tree is indirect. Only when we are in deep shade, meaning we are unable to see the sky, can we be assured of complete protection.

Hats
Even if you wear a hat, you may only be getting minimal sun protection, especially on your neck, nose, and ears. Hats with all around broad brims angled downward provide the most comprehensive sun protection. Research shows that wearing a broad brimmed hat will provide sunblock protection comparable to a sunblock with and SPF of 5 for the nose, ears and neck, while baseball caps may offer the same for the nose, but little for the other parts of the face, like the cheeks and chin.

Umbrella

Umbrellas
Unless your umbrella is very large, their UV protection is relatively low. Although the SPF of an umbrella can range for 3-106, the amount of UV light under the umbrella can be as high as 84% of that in direct sun. In other words, because so much UV light is reflected under the umbrella from the water, sand, and sky, an umbrella on the beach offers very little protection against the sun.

Trees
If you are looking to a tree to defend you from the sun, look for ones with large, rather than sparse spreads of foliage, and, if possible, choose a tree located near other trees or buildings and note factors that may decrease the amount of protection, such as reflective surfaces. Also note that the same tree will give less protection in the early and late parts of the day, when the diffuse UV rates are higher, than it will at midday, when the sun is directly overhead. Similarly, trees offer better protection on a sunny day than on a cloudy one, when indirect sunlight is greater.

Other Elements
Because you are never guaranteed full UV protection from shade alone, it is important to employ a comprehensive program for sun protection, including wearing clothing made of dark or bright colored tightly woven threads, hats, and sunglasses, and regularly using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. Be aware of sunscreens claiming higher than an SPF over 30. According to dermatologist James Spencer, an SPF 15 product will block approximately 94% of UV rays, while an SPF 30 blocks about 97%: and SPF 45 blocks about 98% and, “after that, it just gets silly.”

What do you think? Do you swear by your parasols or can you trust your sunblock? Let us know!

Woman using aloe vera to sooth sunburn

Soothing Sunburned Backs and Shoulders

Sun protection is always important but the face, neck and shoulders are crucial areas. Skin is thin near the tops of our bodies which also tend to be closest to the sun and receive the most exposure. The face and neck are also the most susceptible to two of the most common forms of cancer, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, people with melanoma of the head and neck are almost twice as likely to die from the disease as patients with melanomas on other parts of their bodies. So what is the best way to keep these parts of our bodies safe?

Hats are a great line of defense. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you wear a hat with a brim that extends three inches or more all the way around to shade the face, neck, ears and even the tops of the shoulders.

Sunglasses are also essential. Solar UVR can cause or contribute to conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, ocular melanomas and other skin cancers. Five to ten percent of all skin cancers arise on the eyelids. The SCF recommends looking for glasses that cover the eyes, eyelids and as much of the surrounding area as possible. They should come with a tag that verifies that they block 99-100 percent of all UV radiation.

Many sportswear manufacturers also offer a variety of high UPF staples including hoods, scarves, wraps, sarongs and caps. These will offer protection to the head, neck and shoulder area. They are designed to keep you cool, dry and sun safe during outdoor activities. Choose high UPF swimsuits that cover more skin like one piece suits that might offer protection to shoulders.

Many people forget about sun protection in cold weather venues, but ice and snow reflect about 80% of the sun’s UV light, doubling the intensity of exposure. Also, snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness. For optimum protection, go for hats made of high tech manmade materials that will keep you comfortable and sun protected. Wraparound sunglasses with UV protective cut glare will block most UVR.

Of course, sunscreen is always an important consideration for the face and neck area. “You might want to look for a sunscreen designed for the face since these products are formulated to suit the needs of different skin types,” explains Arielle Kauvar, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Many facial sunscreens are oil free which gives them a lighter feel. They are less likely to clog pores of those with oily or acne prone skin. These sunscreens are also easier to use under makeup. Beware of facial sunscreens with a strong scent since those are more likely to cause skin irritations. Also, avoid sunscreens for the face with high SPF as the higher levels of active ingredients will feel heavier on the skin. Products with SPF of 30 should offer a perfect balance of feeling lightweight on the skin while still offering the recommended amount of sunscreen protection.

Woman applying sunscreen

SPF 30 vs SPF 50

When you shop for sunscreens, you’ve probably noticed products available with SPFs ranging from 15 to 100. You would think an SPF of 100 would be more effective than one of 15, but it’s not as simple as that. So, what exactly do all these numbers mean?

SPF refers to a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays, but not UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburns while UVA rays are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both kinds of rays can contribute to skin cancer. The SPF rates measure the amount of time it would take for you to sunburn without sunscreen as opposed to the amount of time it would take you to burn with the sunscreen on. But Florida dermatologist. James M. Spencer, MD, explains, “SPF is not a consumer friendly number. It is logical for someone to think than an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15, but that’s not how it works.”

Spencer further explains that SPF 15 will block about 94% of UVB rays while an SPF 30 blocks 97% and an SPF 45 blocks about 98%. “After that it just gets silly,” says Spencer. Doctors like Farah Ahmed, general counsel for the cosmetics industry group Personal Care Products Council, tends to agree, but adds that high SPF products may protect better against long term skin damage and exposure related skin cancers. Generally, an SPF of 30 is recommended.

Dr. Steven Q Wang, MD and director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, points out ways in which using sunscreens with a higher SPF can even have negative effects. Since SPF protects against UVB rays only, and UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, individuals may not burn while using these sunscreens. However, this does not mean they are not susceptible to damage from UVA rays which cause premature aging. To these lengths, Europe and Australia have adopted UVA testing guidelines and measurement standards and capped the SPF of sunscreens at 50. The U.S. Food and Drug Association may follow suit.

Resveralife-spf-30-vs-spf-50-spf-50-spf50

Wang also points out that people who are wearing an SPF of 50 or higher, may adopt a false sense of security and may stay out in the sun longer. They may not make wise choices like seeking shade or wearing sun protective clothing. Sun damage can take place even if skin is not becoming tan or reddening.

No matter what produce you choose, water resistant sunscreen should be applied liberally a half hour before you go outdoors and should be reapplied every two hours or after you are swimming or sweating. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less likely to wash off and effectively protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid avobenzone products which are not stable and oxybenzone, which is absorbed into your skin and has demonstrated to be a hormone disruptor.

So, what’s your number? Let us know in the comments section below!

Woman holding sunscreen

Save Your Skin From the Sun

Don’t leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage this summer! Follow these simple steps to keep your skin safe, so the only thing you have to worry about this summer is finding a good chair at the pool and an ice cold beverage.

Layer
Don’t expect your makeup to serve as your only protection! Use a moisturizer with SPF 30 as well as a foundation or tinted moisturizer with sun protection. Also, give your moisturizer some time to really sink into the skin before you move on to your primer- you don’t want to risk wiping off your protection when you move on to the next step of your routine!

Reapply
Most sunscreens will only protect your skin for a few hours- especially if you are at the pool or the beach! You should reapply your SPF a few times a day- or every 80 minutes if you are swimming or sweating. Read the label on the bottle to figure out exactly how often it is suggested to reapply for each brand of sunscreen or moisturizer. Don’t forget to throw a bottle of sunscreen, or a setting spray with SPF, in your bag before you leave the house to ensure your skin will be protected all day long!

Don’t Forget your Eyes!
Even if you use a moisturizer with SPF religiously, you may be neglecting some of your most sensitive skin- the areas around your eyes. Some kinds of sunscreen can sting your eyes, so try to find an eye cream or concealer formulated with SPF to protect those peepers!

Woman wearing sunglasses

Accessorize
Always getting those painful sunburns where your hair is parted? Try throwing on a cute, wide brim hat next time you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. Oversized sunglasses are also a trendy way to protect your eyes from sun damage. Mix up your looks this summer with cool accessories, and protect your skin at the same time!

Don’t Stop at Your Face
While wearing sunscreen on your face every day is important, we tend to spend more time outside during the warmer months, so extending our sunscreen coverage is essential. Applying sunscreen to your ears, neck, chest, shoulders, and hands can do a lot to help protect your skin from sun damage. It doesn’t take long for the stronger summer sun to harm your skin, so adding these extra steps to your morning routine will help you remember to do this every day!

Limit Sun Exposure
We’ve all heard this tip, and no one likes to follow it, but whenever possible, it is best to limit your sun exposure during peak hours. Taking a lunch break inside while the sun is highest in the sky (and using this time to reapply your sunscreen) can help decrease your chances of getting burnt. We hate to say it, but less sun is always better for your skin’s health.
No need to skip out on all of the fun outdoor activities that summer brings, but don’t forget to protect your skin first!

Woman squinting at laptop

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines?

Beauty is surrounded by many rules, guidelines and myths and it can be daunting to keep up with everything that you are or are not supposed to be doing to and for your skin. If you’ve ever heard that squinting your eyes can cause fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve heard correctly. This is one beauty myth that is absolutely true. Keep reading to find out why squinting causes more fine lines and wrinkles and what you can do to prevent additional wrinkles under and around your eyes.

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Unfortunately, squinting really does lead to more fine lines and wrinkles. When you squint, whether you’re trying to watch TV, read your book and check emails on your computer, you are contributing to more fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. Dawn Davis, M.D, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says “…when you squint the muscles around your eyes grow stronger, and it’s kind of like a workout; therefore, the overlying skin will wrinkle.”

How to Prevent Wrinkles
The skin under and around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face, so it is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. While you can never prevent all wrinkles, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to keep yourself from squinting as often and causing more fine lines than necessary.

  • Get an Annual Eye Exam – Often, squinting is a response to not being able to see properly and visiting your optometrist once a year is an excellent way to make sure that your vision is in check. Your optometrist will be able to provide you with prescription glasses, sunglasses or contacts so that you can see clearly without having to squint.
  • The Sun – You’re probably excited about how close spring is because you can bask in warm weather and sunlight, but the sun is another primary cause of squinting. You can prevent squinting due to the sun by wearing sunglasses and hats to keep the sun out of your eyes.
  • Move Away From the Screen – Computers are amazing and you probably can’t imagine your life without one, but they can be quite hard on your eyes. Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City, New York suggests that you sit about 1.5 to 2 inches away from your computer screen to help prevent eye strain. Additionally, you should take two to three quick breaks away from your computer screen every hour to give your eyes time to rest, according to New York City based dermatologist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky.

Squinting does indeed cause fine lines and wrinkles, but you can fight back against them by making the above lifestyle changes. To most effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles under and around your eyes, you should combine the above advice with a high-quality anti-aging eye cream. Put on your glasses and step away from the computer once in awhile to reduce the amount of time you spend squinting, and ultimately to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Woman applying sunscreen

Protect Your Skin from UV Rays and Chemicals with Safer Sunscreen

Wearing sun protection everyday is crucial if you want to age gracefully and keep your skin healthy. However, you might be leery of using a sunblock every single day due to the potential damage they may cause. There are those who believe that sunscreen does more harm than good due to the chemicals it contains being absorbed into the skin. But, you may not have to choose between no sun protection and sunscreens that penetrate the skin. Researchers at Yale University have developed a sunscreen that remains on the surface of the skin, making sun protection safe and simple.

What are Sunscreens and How do They Work?
Sunscreens are products that combine various ingredients for the purpose of preventing UV rays from reaching your skin. There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are primarily responsible for causing visible burns, while UVA rays cause deeper skin damage, leading to signs of premature aging such as wrinkly or saggy skin.

Sunscreens use SPF (sun protection factor) to indicate how well a sunscreen protects your skin against damage from UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF serves as a guide for how long you can safely expose yourself to the sun after applying sunscreen. “Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours.”

Woman holding sunscreen bottle

What is “Safer” Sunscreen?
There is some general concern that sunscreens may actually do more harm than good. Some claim that the use of sunscreen creates a vitamin D deficiency, though many dermatologists do not believe this to be true. The other concern regarding sunscreen is that the chemicals within the sunscreen are absorbed into the skin thus entering the bloodstream and having deleterious effects. Nano particles that are designed to reflect or absorb cancer-causing UV rays may cause hormonal problems if they enter into the bloodstream, and some believe that this actually increases the risk of skin cancer. The dilemma becomes determining whether sunscreen protects against or encourages skin cancer.

Researchers at Yale University set out to address the problem chemical absorption and have created a sunblock that uses nano particles that are bio-adhesive. This means that rather than sink into your skin, sunblock remains on the surface of your skin. To make this possible, researchers at Yale developed nano particles with a surface that is rich in aldehyde groups. Aldehyde groups are what allow these nano particles to stick to the skin, not penetrate beneath it. Michael Girardi, co-author of this study, explained the motive for the research and the results stating, “commercial chemical sunblock is protective against the direct hazards of ultraviolet damage of DNA, but might not be against the indirect ones. In fact, the indirect damage was worse when we used the commercial sunblock.”

What are the Benefits of “Safer” Sunscreen?
If larger particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used in sunblock, they do prevent the product from sinking into the skin. However, many people won’t use these sunblocks because they are a very opaque white color. With the new Yale sunblock, there are nano particles (which makes the sunscreen transparent) that merely stick to the skin’s surface as opposed to going deeper. Major benefits of this new sunblock are:

  1. Does not penetrate into the skin or enter the bloodstream
  2. Is waterproof
  3. Is transparent.

When you protect yourself from ultraviolet light, you maintain healthy, youthful skin. With this promising development from Yale University, you can wear your sunblock each day without worrying about any damage that the chemicals may do to your body. Add sunscreen to your daily routine and apply about 20 minutes before heading out the door. Use about one ounce (the size of a standard shot glass) of the product and if you are going to be in the sun constantly, reapply every two hours or after immersing yourself in water.

Skin care terms

Skin Care Terms Defined

With the number of skin care and beauty products available, it is super easy to get confused and bewildered by wording on the labels. Cosmetic products make claims that are nothing short of miraculous, and if you aren’t sure what the skin care terms mean, buying these products can lead to wasted money and headaches. Here, we’ve rounded up 15 of the most common skin care terms and defined them so you won’t feel lost or frustrated the next time you need skin care products.

Acne
Acne is the term used to describe a blemish or pimple on the skin. Acne can occur at any age and is most commonly found in people with oily skin types. Severe acne may cause cysts or abscesses.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Naturally occurring acids found primarily in cane sugar and citrus fruits. Types of AHAs include citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and pyruvic acid. Often used as exfoliating agents due to their ability to loosen skin cells on the surface of the skin. AHAs also help to retain moisture in the skin.

Antioxidant
Substances that fight free-radicals. Antioxidants counteract free-radicals by bonding to the damaging compounds into non-damaging compounds. They also may turn damaging compounds into cell-repairing compounds. Antioxidants are also an important factor in new collagen growth.

Barrier/Barrier Function
A paper-thin layer at the top of the skin that is responsible for protective functions. Barrier function refers to the skin’s ability to prevent penetration by microorganisms and chemicals that may cause damage or circulate into the bloodstream. This skin also reduces the amount of water lost.

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
More commonly referred to as salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acids are used primarily to treat acne. BHAs have antimicrobial features and can penetrate into pores. Because BHAs can penetrate pores, it exfoliates both surface skin and the inside of pores.

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen/Sun Protection
A sunscreen or sun protection product labeled as broad spectrum means that it contains active ingredients that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrated into deeper layers of the skin than UVB rays, making them more likely to cause premature aging. UVB rays are responsible for visible burns.

Comedogenic
A skin care product that includes one or more ingredients known to increase the accumulation of dead skin cells within follicles. This leads to the formation of blackheads and general acne flare-ups.

Dermatologically Tested
Products that have undergone clinical laboratory tests conducted of an independent or third-party dermatologist.

Exfoliants
Skin care products designed to break down the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Free Radicals
Created when oxygen produces by-products during normal cellular metabolism. The reactive oxygen “steals” electrons from proteins, DNA and the membranes of cells resulting in damaged tissue.

Hypoallergenic
Describes products that were tested by third-party clinical laboratories and were shown to not create new allergic reactions.

Non-Acnegenic
Products that do not cause acne. Non-comedogenic refers to products that do not cause the pores to become clogged.

Sebum
Oil that is produced by glands in the middle layer of skin.

Sun Protection Factor
Numbers that refer to the effectiveness of a sunscreen to protect against UVB rays. To determine what SPF if appropriate, take the number of minutes it takes to burn without sunscreen and multiply it by the SPF factor. The result indicates the maximum amount of time for sun exposure before it must be reapplied.

Toxins
Substances that are irritating or poisonous and that lead to breakouts.

With these terms defined, your next trip to the beauty counter won’t be confusing or exasperating. You can pick your products with confidence that you know what they are and how they may affect your skin.

Woman reading while on a vacation.

Don't Skip Good Habits on Vacation

You pay good attention to your health by eating well, exercising and taking great care of your skin. However, once you are taken out of your normal environment and are free of rigid schedules while on vacation, it can be so difficult to maintain your good habits. The following tips will help you stay on track during your vacation.

Woman jogging in a beach.

Live Well
Exercise may be the very last thing that you want to do but if you continue to exercise while on vacation, it makes getting back to your regular routine so much easier. If you have an entire gym routine that relies on equipment, you may find that you have to wait until you get back home to do everything you normally do. The great thing about vacation is that you likely are excited to spend time exploring your destination. Rather than hopping on a bus or into a cab, walk as much as possible. This benefits you in two ways; you are maintaining regular exercise and you will almost certainly find shops or eateries that you would otherwise miss and pass right by. Additionally, if you end up making purchases, carrying your items home can count as a bit of strength training. Another way to add a bit of movement into your day is to always opt for taking the stairs. Elevators and escalators are so tempting, but walking up and down stairs will burn calories and help you stay fit. If you feel really motivated to workout, you can always look up hotels with fitness equipment and stay there or search for a local place to workout such as a yoga studio.

Dishes served in a fine dining restaurant.

Eat Well
One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating and going to a new place is often culinary bliss. You should definitely be looking for food and drinks that are unique to the region you are in, but be careful not to overindulge. Rather than ordering full sizes of rich and heavy dishes, order a half size or try several small plates of appetizers. Same goes for dessert, when possible of course. Sampling allows you to try all of the local flavors without feeling super guilty and making it hard to go back to a healthy diet at home. However, in the event that you do indulge your food cravings (new foods are so fun and exciting!) you can always put in a little bit of extra walking.

Woman sunbathing in a beach

Look Well 
Taking good care of your skin is extra important on vacation as methods of travel can remove moisture from your skin (specifically airplane travel) and new environmental concerns may upset your skin as well. The first thing you need to remember is to always apply your sunscreen. Not only are UV rays incredibly harmful to your health, but getting a bad sunburn on vacation is never fun. Next, keep your skin care routine as close to normal as possible. Take travel sizes of your normal cleanser, toner, exfoliant and moisturizer. Never go to bed with your makeup on and add in a bit of extra moisturizer.

Vacation definitely is a time to let loose and enjoy yourself, but you also should practice your good habits while having fun. Remember to always stay well hydrated, particularly in the heat and don’t forget the sunscreen. Have a great time relaxing and enjoying new experiences while sticking with your good habits.

Sunscreen on woman's shoulder outdoors

Are You Wearing the Right Sun Protection?

You know you need to protect yourself from the sun and harmful UV rays. You know to apply sunscreen before you head outside and even to reapply often or after being in water. But is the sun protection you are using right for you? Check out Resveralife’s guide below on how to be sure you are wearing the most effective sun protection possible.

Little girl wearing a hat and sunglasses holding a sunscreen bottle in a beach.

Kids
You need to keep the entire family protected, especially your little ones. Children have more reactive, sensitive skin than adults, so the type of sun protection you choose for them should be suitable for sensitive skin types. Kids tend to tolerate physical sunscreens better than they do chemical sunscreens as chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients like PABA and oxybenzone which have been associated with irritation.

Woman wearing a hat applying sunscreen.

Acne Prone Skin
Acne is a common problem and many people believe that sunscreens tend to increase blemishes and breakouts. The first thing to check in your sun protection, like any other skin care product for acne prone skin, is that it is free from unnecessary preservatives and fragrances. Some sunscreens are available in gel formulas that may suit acne or oily prone skin better than a traditional liquid. Just as with children, the most frequently cited aggravating active ingredients in sun care products are PABAs and oxybenzone. Physical sunscreens tend to work well for people who suffer from acne. If you are opposed to the thick white cast these can leave, look for a chemical sunscreen with salicylates or ecamsule. Note that if you are on a prescription medication for acne, it is best to consult with your doctor because some of these medications increase sensitivity to the sun.

Woman applying sunscreen on her hands.

Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, look for a sunscreen that contains moisturizer or a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Many cosmetic and skin care companies now make day creams with an SPF in them already. Sunscreens that contain moisturizing ingredients such as lanolin, oils and dimethicones (silicone) tend to be appropriate for dry skin. Formulations of sunscreens with added moisture are often marketed as creams, lotions or even ointments.

If you are already using a sunscreen that is perfect for your skin type and your needs, that is awesome. However, dermatologists and skin care experts warn that even if you have the perfect sunscreen, not wearing enough renders the protection virtually useless. As a general rule you should be applying an ounce of sunscreen every single time you plan on getting sun exposure. If you are just covering your face, use about the size of a silver dollar to ensure proper coverage. Sunscreen has a shelf life of one to two years, so if you have a bottle from last year it is probably safe to use. Remember that the most effective sunscreen is the one that you apply every day and that you use the proper amount of. If using a chemical sunscreen, apply the product 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow time for it to absorb. Once out in the sun, reapply your sunscreen (with a full ounce of product) every two hours or more often if you have been swimming.