Travel: How to Pick the Right Sunscreen

There's still plenty of beach time left, so get it in while you can.
And remember when you are packing, don't forget the sunscreen.

Although it's the middle of summer (and you should have been using it all along), here's some tips to help chose the right one for you.


Understanding Sunscreen Labels
Thanks to tighter regulations and enforcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Americans can make informed decisions about how they protect themselves and their families from the sun. The FDA created new regulations for simple-to-understand sunscreen labels that require manufacturers to provide testing data to back up any protection claim they make.
Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or lower must carry a warning that reads, "Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging."
Products have to be realistic in their claims. Sunscreens may no longer claim instant protection or protection that lasts longer than two hours without reapplying. These new regulations mean you get the protection on the label if you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
No sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers can no longer make this false claim. The fact is that sunscreen has to be reapplied regularly. New labels will tell consumers specifically how often to reapply when swimming or sweating. The FDA allows claims of water resistance of either 40 or 80 minutes based on the results of detailed water resistance testing.
Any claims that a sunscreen is broad spectrum must be backed up by testing. To be considered broad spectrum, a sunscreen must block both UVB and UVA rays. While all sunscreen products block UVB rays and provide some protection from sunburn, broad spectrum sunscreens block UVA rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Products that are not broad spectrum must now carry the same warning label as sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or lower.

Spray or Cream?
The type of sunscreen you use depends of your preference. Sprays and gels are easier to apply to areas covered in hair, like the scalp or a man’s chest. Sprays are also popular for applying to children, but care should be taken to avoid breathing in the product fumes. Cream is a good choice for people with dry skin and around the face.
No matter what type of sunscreen you choose, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully and use an even and generous coating.
Sunscreen for Children
The Mayo Clinic says that you can use sunscreen on children as young as 6 months of age. Infants under the age of 6 months should be kept in the shade, away from harmful UV rays.
Children may require more frequent reapplications of sunscreen, depending on their activity level. Playing in sand or rolling on the ground can remove sunscreen more quickly.

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1 comment :

  1. I've always wondered about sunscreen for children...

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