Are you noticing that with the summer months that you have dark spots and uneven skin tone? Sun-damage always will get darker in the summer months due to sun-exposure. Most sun-damage comes from time spent outside without sun protection at a young age and is compounded by sun burns. It takes years for sun-damage to eventually emerge to the top layer of the skin and needless to say takes awhile to try and even out after sun-damage has appeared.
If you have children one of the best things you can do is making sure that they have sunscreen on at all times when playing outside or at the pool. If you have children under one year check with your pediatrician before using sun-screen. Many sunscreens may be too harsh for a baby’s skin. If you start getting your child used to wearing sunscreen this promotes good skin sense for the future. This practice will not only save their skin from damage later in life but will help prevent skin cancer. The majority of skin cancers are directly related to UV exposure.
The FDA recently changed guidelines on sunscreens that will go into effect in the early part of 2012. Sunscreens will now have star rating and specific requirements for sunscreen touting waterproof. This may make sunscreens easier to determine which one is right for you and your family. There are so many brands to choose from including products that contain physical and chemical ingredients. The best sunscreen is one that contains a physical block. This means an ingredient called Zinc. Physical sunscreen means that once you have applied, the active ingredients are already providing protection. If you can find a sunscreen that has Zinc and Titanium Dioxide this would be an excellent choice. Titanium Dioxide is another ingredient that has light reflective properties. Chemical sunscreens and there are many, take about 20 minutes to activate with your skin and not all chemical sunscreens have broadband UVA/UVB protection.
What about that SPF? You should wear an SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis. There are many sunscreens on the market that have an SPF of 50 plus but this is mostly for marketing purposes. Anything above SPF 50 does not provide anymore protection. One important aspect of sunscreen is what the word implies, a sunscreen. You can still get sunburn and damage while wearing sunscreen so you should also take other precautions. Remember to re-apply sunscreen often, dress in light clothing, and wear sunglasses and hats when in direct sunlight.
If you cannot find an appropriate sunscreen in your local stores you may want to look on-line or at your local dermatologist or med-spa. Many companies now offer specialty sun-screens with all the ingredients that will benefit your skin and give you the best protection. Michigan Advanced Aesthetics in Royal Oak offers physical sun-screens for the face with maximum protection and a variety including sunscreens for oily skin.