Soleil SPF 30 Vs Soleil SPF 50: Your Guide to Choosing the Right Sunscreen
Sunscreen is important all year round, but it is much more important in the warm summer months, when you head outside more often, and you don’t wear a jacket or hat. Choosing the right sunscreen can help you protect and nourish your skin, as well as reduce your risk of skin cancer, and even prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Choosing the right sunscreen is important. You need one that is strong enough to protect you, one that has ingredients that will not dry or damage your skin. The following sunscreen tips—most of which came from the Skin Cancer Foundation—will help you choose the right product to protect your skin in a variety of situations or settings.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen
Sun Protection Factor
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a number that notes the amount of sun protection a product provides. This number can range from zero (for a tanning oil that offers no protection and that might even increase your risk of burning) to fifty or more (for a product that filters up to 98% of the sun’s harmful rays). According to the American Cancer Society, products with an SPF of under 15 can protect your skin from burning, but they do not offer protection from skin cancer or aging. For this reason, you should choose a sunscreen with a 30 SPF, or possibly higher, depending on your skin type, color and other factors.
A sunscreen labeled “Broad-Spectrum Protection” provides protection against two types of sunrays: UVA and UVB. All sunscreens protect against burning, but only those with UVA protection shield your body from skin cancer and aging. A broad-spectrum product will ensure your skin is protected from all types of damage, not just sunburn.
Sunscreens can resist water or sweat, but no sunscreen is completely waterproof. Those labeled “water resistant” can last for up to 80 minutes of swimming or working out, but all sunscreens should be reapplied frequently for continuous coverage.
What Sunscreen Do I Need?
The level of protection you choose depends on a variety of factors—you may even need to have both on hand for different uses and activities. The amount of sun exposure you receive on a regular basis, your skin type, and even your age can influence which version is right for you.
Should I Choose SPF 30 or SPF 50?
If you only go outside occasionally, which is described as “incidental exposure,” you can choose a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 30 for most occasions. This product will filter out the harmful UVA and UVB rays you encounter as you go about your day—protecting your skin from the sun. However, if you are heading to the beach or the pool, or if you are going to engage in an outside activity for more than 15 minutes, then a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 50 is your best bet. You should also make sure to reapply sunscreen more often if you are swimming or sweating.
Should I Choose Natural or Synthetic?
Like all health and beauty products, some sunscreens are better than others. Choosing a high-quality, natural sunscreen can help you avoid some of the chemicals found in commercial products, chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions to the skin. Chemicals such as PABA and oxybenzone are often found in commercial products and can irritate sensitive skin. A natural sunscreen allows you to prevent sun exposure without ending up with dry, irritated skin.
For People with Allergies, Acne and Rosacea
If you are prone to acne, rosacea, or allergies, avoiding sunscreen with added preservatives or synthetic fragrances can help prevent symptoms from arising. You should choose a high-quality product with broad-spectrum protection that is either fragrance free or scented with essential oils.
For People With Dry Skin
If you already have dry skin, choosing a sunscreen with natural and beneficial ingredients, such as jojoba oil or shea butter, can help pamper your skin while offering superior sun protection.
For People with Very Fair Skin
If you have very fair skin, opt for a higher protection SPF, even for “incidental exposure.”
For People with Very Dark Skin
You may not have the same level of risk as your pale-skinned counterparts, but opting to skip sunscreen altogether is a mistake. Sun exposure can still damage your skin, cause you to age more quickly, and increase your risk of cancer.
For People Who Want to Avoid Signs of Aging
If you are concerned about the aging effects of the sun, then using a powerful, natural sunscreen on your skin each day can help. The sun accelerates aging and makes you more susceptible to wrinkles and age spots at an early age. Protect and nourish your skin with a high SPF.
Using the right sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer, uncomfortable burns and even signs of aging. You can still get a healthy glow if you want one – just use a quality sunless tanner throughout the year and protect your skin with the right sunscreen when you go outdoors. Learning more about sunscreen can help you make an informed and proactive decision about your skin care and beauty regimen, and ensure you stay healthy and sun smart all year round.