How to Choose a Sunscreen that Really Protects Your Skin

June 22, 2017 |

Woman sunscreenDoes your skin care regimen effectively protect you from sun damage, aging and hyperpigmentation?

With so many skin care products to choose from how do you know if you are protecting your skin well enough against sun damage?

Why You Need Protection from the Sun

Your skin pigment only has a limited degree of natural protection. The lighter your skin tone, the less natural protection you have against the sun. Similar to radio waves or microwaves, the sun’s rays are in a part of the light spectrum that we can’t see.

To really be protected, you need sunscreen that gives you protection from both UVA and UVB sunrays. UVB rays are the burning rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper in the skin, causing aging changes and skin cancers.

Sun protection factor (SPF) only protects you from UVB rays. Although your face might not be burned by the sun, without UVA protection, the “aging rays” are penetrating deeper into the skin causing aging changes and skin damage.

Choosing (& Using) the Right Sunscreen

  1. Protection: Use a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. These products are often designated “broad spectrum.
  2. Types: You have two defenses…physical and chemical sunscreens.
    • Physical sunscreens like Zinc and Titanium dioxide physically reflect the sunrays rays off your skin. Physical sunscreens give excellent protection from both UVA and UVB rays and will protect your skin from both burning and aging immediately after application.
    • Your sunscreen is a chemical sunscreen if it is anything other than zinc or titanium. Most have some SPF, which is only for UVB rays. For proper protection against UVA rays, look for a product that contains avobenzone.
  3. Application:
    • Apply Early – Chemical sunscreens, unlike physical sunscreens, will take at least 30 minutes to be absorbed properly to protect your skin. Be sure to apply it with enough time before sun exposure to allow proper absorption to ensure the best protection.
    • Apply Repeatedly – Regardless of whether your sunscreen is physical or chemical, and regardless of the SPF, it is imperative to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. The sun’s rays are getting stronger and the best way to prevent further damage is to consistently reapply throughout the day.

My Top Sunscreen Recommendations

Sun protection is part of every skin care program. My goal is to help you have beautiful skin every day for the rest of your life. While most commercially available sunscreens are effective (within the limitations that I have explained), I have selected a few for my patients that “go beyond ordinary protection.

  • Obagi NuDerm SPF50: a great broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen in an elegant matte finish.
  • ZO SkinHealth Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30: Using natural melanin, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide to provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, Oclipse is also used to smooth and prime skin for a more even makeup application.
  • ZO Medical Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50: A lightweight natural mineral sunscreen that offers a daily multi-defense system with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. This innovative formulation shields skin from high energy blue-violet light that has been shown to induce premature aging and hyperpigmentation.
  • Revision Intellishade Broadspectrum SPF45: an anti-aging tinted moisturizer/sunscreen with breakthrough peptides to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Glytone Body Lotion SPF15: a body lotion with both UVA and UVB protection. It hydrates and exfoliates even delicate skin.

My passion is helping you to have beautiful skin. I would be happy to talk to you and customize a skin care program that suits your skin’s needs and lifestyle. Call 704-542-8686 to schedule a personal appointment.

– Trish Canon, Esthetician at Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery

In addition to extensive Esthetician training, Trish Canon holds a BA in Communication Studies and a BS in Health Promotion and Kinesiology with emphasis in Nutrition and Fitness from UNCC and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Queens University. 

Trish provides outstanding skin care services and treatment plans. She has extensive training in several procedures including facials, silk peel and customized chemical peels. She also has experience with several different skin care lines and enjoys designing a skin care program that is perfect for you. Schedule an appointment with Trish at 704-754-8351.

Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim is more than a credentialed plastic surgeon. He is a sensitive and experienced professional whose focus is always to help his patient feel more beautiful and confident. Learn more about Dr. Ditesheim and read Dr. Ditesheim’s patient reviews.