Let’s face it, sunscreen is not optional anymore. 1 in 50 people will develop melanoma (the most serious skin cancer) in their lifetime. And we spend more time pursuing outdoor activities than any other generation.
But not all sunscreens are created equally. There are two basic types of ingredients and they work very differently:
- Physical sunscreens – these are made with minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They work by bouncing UVA and UVB rays off the surface of the skin. These may also be tinted to blend with the skin tone. These types sit on top of the skin to do their job.
- Chemical sunscreens – these are made with chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. They work by diffusing the sun’s rays under the surface of the skin. These are designed to sink into the skin to work.
So let's find out, is your sunscreen causing brown spots? Lets dive in….
When exposed to the sun’s rays, the chemical sunscreen that has penetrated the skin neutralizes the UVA and UVB radiation. Free radicals are produced, and these excite the pigment producing cells that form brown spots. Additionally, once that reaction occurs, that molecule of sunscreen is destroyed. So in about 90 minutes of exposure, you are no longer protected. That's why you need to be weary pf sunscreens that damage your skin!
You don’t have to spend a fortune on specialty brands to safeguard yourself. But if you want the best bang for the buck and the most effective defense against sun damage, research suggests physical sunscreens are the better choice. Look for zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide on the ingredient label. Remember that you should be using about one ounce of product to cover your entire body. That’s about a shotglass full. Many companies offer a tinted version for the face, and a non-tinted version for the body and for men. If you currently have sun spots, come in and see our IPL expert here in Boca Raton! And remember: never forget your sunscreen!