How do you know what type of sunscreen to use while in Dubai? Here's what dermatologists recommend, according to your skin type
29 June 2021| Last updated on 15 August 2021
Block the burn the right way!
When it comes to daily skincare, there are quite a few things like toning, masking, and essence, that are optional. But there is one key step that shouldn't be discussed is the use of sunscreen.
By using sunscreens, we prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of getting skin cancer, and help prevent early signs of skin aging.
What to look out for in your sunscreen
When selecting a sunscreen, make sure the label says:
1. Broad spectrum:
Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection. The words "broad spectrum” mean that the sunscreen can protect your skin from both types of harmful UV rays — the UVA rays and the UVB rays.
UVA rays are the ones that prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, pigmentation; UVB rays cause sunburn. Overexposure to both can lead to skin cancer.
2. SPF 30 or higher:
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you select a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. SPF is a measure of how much UVB light sunscreen can filter out.
SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of UVB rays, SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, and SPF 100 about 99%. Unfortunately, no sunscreen protects you completely.
3 Water resistant:
Dermatologists also recommend that you look for the words "water resistant” which does not mean “waterproof.” No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof”.
If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating and after you need to reapply sun protection. Not all sunscreens offer water resistance.
How and when to apply sunscreen
Make it an important rule to apply enough sunscreen to any exposed area of skin every day. If you are applying sunscreen to your face, do not forget your neck and ears.
It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
It's also important to put a base coat of SPF 30 + a half hour before leaving the house and then reapplying every two hours. If you're swimming, it's a good rule of thumb to grab sunscreen every time you get out of the water.
Sunscreen usually rubs off when you towel yourself dry, so you will need to put more on.
A small recommendation when you are buying sunblock is to always take 2 pieces, keep one in the house and one in your bag, to be sure that you will not forget it.
How to pick the right sunscreen for your skin
In the market, there are two types of sunscreen available: physical/mineral and chemical/synthetic.
- Physical or mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and are best suited to those with skin sensitivities or inflamed skin.
- Chemical or synthetic sunscreens contain various synthetic ingredients, including oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone. They are generally more lightweight and better suited to melasma or pigmentation sufferers.
If you have acne or oily skin, choosing the sunscreen labeled as ‘non-comedogenic, oil-free’ means that it has been shown not to block pores.
For dry skin, look for moisturizers with sunscreen or sunscreens that contain hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or ceramides.
And as mentioned above, for sensitive skin choose physical or mineral sunscreen.
Remember, sunscreen cannot completely protect you from the sun so it's important to always reapply throughout the day, wear protective clothing (hats, sunglasses, clothing, etc.), and always seek shade.
If you have an allergy to some ingredients or you regularly take medicine, it's better to consult with your dermatologist regarding suitable sunscreen.
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