Two types of UV rays can be harmful to the skin, namely UVA and UVB. A broad-spectrum or full-spectrum sunscreen can offer protection from both types of harmful light.
UVA rays can lead to premature aging of the skin causing age spots and wrinkles. UVB light can cause the skin to burn. Excessive exposure to UVA or UVB rays leads to skin cancer as well. A good sunscreen protects the skin from all UV rays.
American Integrative Pharmacy (AIP), led by reliable Dr. Neema Yazdanpanah, provides tried and tested compounding treatments to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and nationwide.
Does the Best Sunscreen have the Highest SPF?
SPF is an acronym for sun protection factor, which is a measure of the effectiveness of the sunscreen against UVB light. UVA protection is not rated. Manufacturers determine SPF on the basis of the time taken to sunburn skin on which sunscreen has been applied in comparison to skin without any sunscreen application.
When used correctly, an SPF 30 sunscreen will offer a bit more protection from UVB rays than an SPF 15 sunscreen. However, the sunscreen with SPF 30 does not offer twice the protection that an SPF 15 product does. Similarly, sunscreen with SPFs higher than 50 offer only a slight increase in protection against UV rays.
Furthermore, often users do not apply sunscreen thickly or adequately enough which causes it to wash off while swimming or sweating. Consequently, even great sunscreen may be less effective than the SPF number indicates.
Instead of focusing on the SPF number, it is advisable to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
What does Water-Resistant Sunscreen do?
The term ‘water resistant’ implies that the SPF remains on the skin for up to 40 minutes while sweating or swimming. The term ‘very water resistant’ means that the SPF sustains for up to 80 minutes.
Types of Prescription Sunscreens
Sunscreens have filters that absorb or reflect UV light. There are 2 primary types of sunscreens:
These sunscreens absorb UV rays and then convert it into a tiny amount of heat. Organic sunscreens may include cinnamates, benzophenones, and PABA derivatives.
These types of sunscreens reflect and scatter UV rays. They may comprise zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Inorganic sunscreens are usually less irritating for the skin.
Many sunscreens combine both organic as well as inorganic filters. Prescription sunscreens may also contain the following ingredients:
It is usually recommended that the application of an insect repellent should not be more frequent than every 6 hours. With such combination products, reapplication of a sunscreen that does not contain insect repellent every 2 hours of being outdoors or profuse sweating or after swimming is a salient idea.
The antioxidant retinyl palmitate is a type of vitamin A or retinol. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals which are unstable oxygen molecules that disintegrate the skin cells leading to wrinkles. Some concerns have been raised on retinyl palmitate use in sunscreens. However, research indicates that it is safe.
But information on the safety of use in pregnant women is unavailable. In case you are concerned, avoid using sunscreens containing retinyl palmitate during pregnancy.
American Integrative Pharmacy receives patients from Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and in every state in the US for a wide range of serious compounding treatments.
American Integrative Pharmacy is located in Lomita, CA serving residents in and around Orange County, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance and surrounding areas. Online prescription sales are available across the US.