While we at Dermatology Consultants offer a variety of products and treatments to help minimize brown spots, sun damage and wrinkles, we know the best way to treat sun damage is by preventing it with a top-quality sunscreen. Use of the proper sun protection reduces your risk of skin cancer, slows the formation of wrinkles and minimizes the aging effects of sun damage.
There are many brands of facial sunscreen and all-purpose sunscreen to choose from, and there’s also a lot of confusing information about how well each one protects your skin. Almost any sunscreen is better than none when it comes to preventing sun damage like brown spots and sunburn, whether it’s an expensive brand or one you purchased from the grocery store. So you can forget the hype and look for a few specific features to ensure that you get the best protection against sun damage.
- Look for a sunscreen that says “Broad Spectrum” on the bottle. This ensures that you’re protected against both ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB). Both types of ultraviolet light raise your risk of skin cancer, and both cause sun damage that can age you prematurely.
- Choose sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in the range of 30 to 50. This SPF range already blocks at least 95% of UVB. Higher SPF numbers may cost more, but they don’t provide much additional protection.
- Choose a sunscreen made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These help protect you from sun damage with a built-in shield made up of metal nano-particles that actually reflect light away from your skin.
- Choose a formula that feels best on your skin and that you’re willing to use. Facial sunscreen should be used daily, and when you plan to be outside an all-over sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours—more if you’re sweating or in the water.
Sunscreen to Maintain Skin Tone and Texture
Many facial sunscreens are formulated to be sheer, matte and weightless so they won’t interfere with your makeup. Other brands may have a light tint to help even your skin tone and texture while you wear them, or moisturizers for dry skin that offer a light plumping effect. Water-resistant varieties cling better to your skin when you’re wet, so don’t hesitate to use a facial sunscreen every day and a more comprehensive, water-resistant formula when you’re swimming or participating in outdoor activities where you may sweat.
People with acne-prone skin or oily skin often worry about using a sunscreen that feels thick, oily or heavy. It’s important to find a sunscreen that you’re comfortable wearing every day that won’t aggravate your skin problems, so look for oil-free and non-comedogenic varieties. Keep in mind that most facial sunscreens are specially designed to keep from clogging pores or making existing acne worse.
The right sunscreen can moisturize and nourish your skin while protecting it from sun damage and the effects of aging like wrinkles and brown spots that are worsened with unprotected sun exposure.