How do sunscreens work?
The sun is a natural source of vitamin D and radiant heat needed for the normal functioning of our bodies. However, too much exposure to sunlight can cause damaging sunburns.
Heading to the tropics this holiday season?
Be sure to carry along, your collections of sunscreen creams. If you’re hearing about sunscreens for the first time, this much should be clear.
Essentially, these are lotions, gels, creams, sprays, or even waxes won to protect your body from the sun’s UV radiation. Their mechanism of action depends on the active ingredients.
For instance, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and other inorganic ingredients scatter UV rays. On the other hand, avobenzone, oxybenzone, and other organic compounds absorb the UV rays and dissipate it as heat.
Which sunscreen is best for you?
The choice of the best sunscreen calls for attentiveness to the details. Among other considerations, you might want to check and verify that your select brand protects against UVA and UVB.
Pay close attention to UVA protection because these rays are said to penetrate much deeper and highly likely to cause melanoma. Also, consider the sun protection factor 30 (SPF 30+). These categories of sunscreens protect against 99.99% UVB and UVA. However, the SPF value is no guarantee of protection against UV rays.
Also, be sure to check the types of antioxidants in your sunscreen. Varieties with more antioxidants more effective than those with none.
What are the Common Sunscreen ingredients?
- Tinosorb S: One of the best-rated sunscreen ingredients, approved by the FDA. Tinosorb S is said to protect against UVB and UVA. In most products, a max of 10% concentration of this ingredient is required to stabilize other sunscreen filters. It’s also used to improve the photostability and efficiency of sunscreens containing AVB and EHM (source).
- Mexoryl SX: Another top-rated sunscreen filter. It is said to block UVA1 rays that are often associated with skin burns and aging signs like wrinkles. When combined with avobenzone, the shielding action is enhanced even further.
- Oxybenzone: The ingredient is often used in broad-spectrum sunscreens. Oxybenzone filters both UVB and UVA rays. However, some environmentalists have expressed concerns about the effects of Oxybenzone on coral reefs.
- Zinc oxide: An FDA-approved ingredient that can be used in concentrations of no more than 25%. Research studies have shown that zinc oxide is best suited for protecting against sun damage. It is, however, not as effective against sunburns.
- Titanium dioxide: One of the best-known UV filters used in broad-spectrum sunscreens. However, TiO2 won’t protect you against UVA1 rays. It is FDA-approved for skin safety. It isn’t absorbed via the transdermal route.
Benefits of using sunscreens
Wearing sunscreen comes with multiple health benefits. For instance, they work excellently to protect your skin from sunburns. If you love sunbathing, you better take this seriously. The sun’s UV rays have been shown to damage the skin with extended exposure. The next time you contemplate relaxing on the tropical sandy beach, be sure to have your sunscreen sprays and lotions.
Sunscreens are also known to alleviate aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, and skin hyperpigmentation. Using sunscreen routinely makes your skin soft, well-toned, and with a youthful glow.
Lastly, sunscreens protect you from skin cancer. Most of these products are enriched with antioxidants that protect the body from carcinogenic free radicals.
That said, below we have enlisted some top brands of sunscreens from industry-leading manufacturers. Currently, these are the best sunscreen brands in the market, in our opinion.