Summertime is here. The days are longer and hotter. For us in Canada, we’re finally seeing some of the sun we so dearly miss during the winter. This may be everything we’ve been looking forward to, however it puts us even more at risk for overexposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Even during the Canadian winter months, the sun is still strong enough to cause premature aging to the skin and damage to your eyes, as well as increase your chances of cancer.

While research shows that most people only apply sunscreen when needed, for maximum protection and prevention, sunscreen should be applied daily, especially to the face, neck and décolleté. These areas have the most consistent exposure.

Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays:

  • UVA rays make up most of the sun’s natural light. They can penetrate deep into the skin, causing wrinkles and premature aging.
  • UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn. They are close to 1,000 times stronger than UVA rays.

So what’s the best way to pick a sunscreen?

When selecting a sunscreen look for one that ensures broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays, has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and id water resistant. It’s also important to note that high-number SPFs last the same amount of time as low-number SPFs. All sunscreen should be applied every two hours!

You’ll also be able to choose between a chemical or physical/mineral sunscreen.

I know, more to consider?!?! I’ll break it down quickly for you 🙂

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays, changes them into heat, then dispersing the heat from the skin. The active ingredients are oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. They’re thinner, making them easy to spread and wear. That said, they require approximately 20 minutes after application before the begin to work. And they tend to wear off quicker, requiring more frequent reapplication.

Physical/Mineral sunscreens work by deflecting damaging UV rays from the skin. Its active ingredients are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Physical/mineral sunscreens offer immediate broad-spectrum protection from the sun. They’re downfall is that they can leave a whitish film on your skin and they tend to rub off easily.

Long story short, we can love the sun so long as we’re safe in the sun. Skin health contributes so much to our overall health and wellness. It’s important that we take the necessary steps to protect ourselves so we can continue nurturing happy, healthy and active lives.