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Yield to the Shield: Why Sunscreen Should Be Your Best Friend

Fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, broken capillaries, and dry patches. You may think these skin issues are simply a natural effect of the aging process. Think again. Ninety Percent of skin aging is due to sun exposure. With the use of a full-coverage sunscreen, the majority of these skin conditions can be hindered or avoided completely.

Maybe you always apply a sunscreen when you go to the beach or pool, but the fact is that sun damage can occur anytime you go out of the house, whether it be sweltering outside or cold and cloudy.

The sun produces both UVA and UVB rays. The UVB rays are what cause most of the problems, like sunburn and sun damage, but don't be fooled, there is no such thing as “safe” Ultraviolet light. Even if your skin only tans and never burns, you're still at risk for skin damage and skin cancer.

There are a variety of chemical sunscreens as well as physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin for protection. Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin for protection. Some examples of UVB chemical sunscreens are Homosalate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone, and Octyl salicylate. In order to be considered full-spectrum, UVA blockers are added such as Oxybenzone and Avobenzone (Parsol 1789). SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50 is the sunscreen for those that lile to be physically active. Because it's water resistant, it will help protect the skin while being active or swimming. For everyday use, try Epionce Ultra Shield Lotion SPF 50. This sunscreen brightens the skin while giving it the protection it needs from further sun damage.

Physical sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, which reflect UVA and UVB rays. They are ideal for those with sensitive or reactive skin. Try La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. It has a little tint and is extremely lightweight but gives you the coverage you need. Or if you would like an spray sunscreens try Elta MD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45.

If your trouble with sunscreens is the thick, goopy mess they can sometimes create, you're in luck. Sunscreens are now available in a variety of textures and consistencies. You can use a light mist, a translucent or bronzing powder, a light lotion, or a more traditional, moisturizing cream.

So you applied your full-spectrum sunscreen and still got a sunburn or tan. Remember that sunscreen is not a one-time-a-day product. It must be reapplied every hour or two depending on your activities to ensure full protection.

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