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Summer Sunscreen Guide

By New You Editorial
Posted On Jul 23, 2014

Follow This Expert Advice to Beat the Summer Heat and Stay Properly Protected

Summer is officially upon us. As a natural redhead, I decided to take action and learn everything there is to know about choosing a sunscreen that will provide maximum protection. I reached out to two dermatologists—Dr. Gary Goldfaden and Dr. Ariel Ostad, for expert advice on avoiding skin damage.

Know the Types
Sunscreen comes in two different forms—physical and chemical. According to Dr. Ostad, physical sunscreens scatter and reflect ultraviolet rays, while chemical sunscreens absorb the ultraviolet radiation through a photochemical reaction. Physical sunscreens work well for people with sensitive skin, as they are less likely to cause irritation. The downside: They tend to have a thick, white texture.

Broad is Best
Broad spectrum sunscreens should be used since they contain both UVA and UVB blocking elements, says Dr. Goldfaden. It’s recommended to search for a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30.

Personalize Your Pick
Choose a sunscreen that suits your skin and activity. “If you have problematic or sensitive skin, then choose a sunscreen without chemical ingredients such as PABA, alcohol, oxybenzone, and any fragrances,” advises Dr. Goldfaden. If you’re prone to eye irritation, Dr. Ostad recommends using a physical sunblock rather than chemical since it adheres better to the skin and is chemical-free. If you’re planning to take a swim, apply water-resistant protector.

Apply And Reapply Appropriately
Sunscreen should first be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Dr. Ostad says to distribute it evenly all over the body. “One ounce, about enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed body areas properly.”

According to Dr. Goldfaden, it’s crucial to make sure to apply in areas typically forgotten, such as the ears, back of neck, hands, and tops of feet. “Men that are balding or bald must apply SPF. If using a mist or aerosol type of sun protection, make sure the wind does not interfere with the product attaching to the skin.” Reapplication is key, and should occur every 30–60 minutes and after every swim.

-Jessica Boden, a fair-skin redhead searching for that perfect foundation shade