Beat the Summer Sun with the Best Sunscreen for You

Cynthia Bailey, MD|June 20, 2014




Do you stand at the wall of sunscreen in the store and wonder which type is right for you and your family?

You are not alone!

With all of the sunscreen brands and variations (and marketing), it could be tough to find the best sunscreen to protect your skin.

In this week's Find It Again Friday post, we've gathered some of Dr. Bailey's sage advice on finding the right sunscreen for you and your family.

Let's Look at the "Why" before the "What"

Wear sunscreen and protective clothing and avoid prolonged sun exposure. If you are one of Dr. Bailey's patients or if you have followed her blog, you have heard this advice before. But just hearing that you should doesn't always motivate. You will better appreciate the need for proper sun protection if you understand why. UV exposure and sun damage can cause skin cancer. Oddly enough, the threat of cancer doesn't always motivate people. Perhaps the concept of UV exposure causing free radicals to form in your skin and damaging your skin cells' DNA and causing cancer is too abstract a concept. If you think you are safe from cancer – or you just don't want to think about it – then maybe there are other factors that can convince you to use sunscreen. Sun damage – even if it's a tan and not a burn – can cause:

  • Wrinkles
  • Skin thinning and sagging
  • Sun freckles and age spots
  • Patchy discoloration, mottled pigmentation, and broken capillaries

So if cancer doesn't motivate you to protect your skin, perhaps early aging will.

What's the Best Sunscreen for You?

best sunscreenWhen asked what type of sunscreen she recommends most, Dr. Bailey always says mineral zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Unlike other sunscreen ingredients, zinc oxide doesn't rely on a chemical reaction. Instead, it sits as invisible particles on your skin and the harmful UV-A1 rays bounce right off. These products are now cosmetically elegant, which gives you more of a reason to love them! However, not just any product with zinc oxide will do. For optimal protection, Dr. Bailey recommends that the zinc oxide needs to be listed as 5% or higher. Also, zinc oxide works even better when coupled with octinoxate. For more information on zinc oxide sunscreen products, check out this post.

Don’t Forget about Your Skin Type

If you are going to wear a sunscreen every day (as you should), you need to love it! So it's important to find the best sunscreen for your skin and your needs. Check out Dr. Bailey's sunscreen comparison chart to find the best sunscreen for:

  • Oily skin
  • Normal skin
  • Dry skin
  • Active lifestyle (water-resistant sunscreens)
  • Kids (rub-resistant sunscreens)
  • And more!

Now you can find the best sunscreen for you and your family! Have an amazing summer and remember to protect your skin from the sun! If you have found these best sunscreen tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, "liking," Google+, tweeting, and "pinning," using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post with friends and family. Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care Team

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