Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer means sunscreen - and lots of it!

With summer "unofficially" here and May Melanoma Awareness month almost over, it's an ideal time to discuss sun protection.

First, what does SPF stand for and what does it measure? SPF, or sun protection factor, measures protection against UV-B radiation, which is the ultraviolet radiation that typically causes sunburn. Typically, the degree of SPF can be used to measure the length of effectiveness. However, not only does UV radiation intensity vary through the day, but sweating or swimming throughout the day can decrease the amount of SPF you have on at any given moment.

Plus, conventional sunscreen oftentimes does not account for UV-A radiation, which accounts for most skin aging and damage, but does not cause the skin to redden or be burned. This is why you should always look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against BOTH UV-A and UV-B radiation. Plus, look for water-resistant sunscreens, which diminishes the chances that water activities or sweat will decrease protection.

1. Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF30. $16.99. continued use lightens and brightens skin; uses natural ingredients like soy to calm and soothe skin.

2. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF70. $10.99. clean, lightweight, and non-greasy; a great affordable option for face and body.

3. Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF40. $38.00. sheer, oil-free day cream that protects against sun damage, environmental stress, and fights wrinkles.

4. Josie Maran Protect Argan Oil SPF40+. $32.00. weightless lotion that is fast-absorbing and uses all natural ingredients; great for those with super sensitive skin.

5. Cellex-C Sun Care SPF30+. $38.00. uses vitamin C as its base ingredients; smooth, blendable, and doubles as a moisturizer.

6. Clinique SPF50. $19.00. solar-activated antioxidants that prevent visible damage; oil-free, anti-aging, and gentle enough for sensitive skin types.

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