The best sunscreen to use this summer - and other tips to protect your skin

March 28, 2014
Volume 2    |   Issue 13

Summer is coming quickly, and you know the sun will feel good - at the beach, the bike trail, the tennis court or the soccer field. Studies even show that the sun is good for your spirits. And the sun helps your body produce immunity and bone-boosting vitamin D3. I'm a big proponent of spending a lot of time outdoors.

Yet, you've got to be smart about it. You probably get that yearly mole check, stay in the shade during peak mid-day hours, and wear ultraviolet-protective sunglasses.

But here are a few things you might not be aware of.

First, the cases of deadly melanoma are increasing. A recent study from the University of Michigan Health System found that even low levels of daily exposure to sunlight can cause skin damage after just a few days. The study cites the need for better sunscreens to protect against these damaging rays.

I agree. We do need better sunscreens. Most of the sunscreens on the market contain a form of titanium dioxide that can cause skin damage when exposed to ultraviolet light. This is the same kind of light that titanium dioxide is supposed to protect against! Researchers point to a type of titanium dioxide that does not damage skin. If manufacturers would just switch to this chemical, called rutile, our mainstream sunscreens would be quite effective - and safe.

Since this hasn't happened yet, how can you protect your skin? 

Start by wearing light clothing that covers your arms and legs. In fact, you can easily find active-wear shirts (in great colors) made of fabric that is ultra-violet light (UV) protective. Also, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

On your exposed skin, try to find a sunscreen that is predominantly zinc. I like Elta MD UV Pure SPF 47, which is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a zinc-to-titanium ratio of almost 2:1. Zinc oxide is a natural ingredient in some sunscreens that is completely safe.  You can find Elta MD UV Pure online.

Antehelios is another brand that contains multiple sunscreens that seem to act gently on the skin. The company has different preparations and it is worth looking at them to see if one would benefit your skin.

Next, apply your skincare products in order from thin to thick consistencies.  Serum first, moisturizer next and zinc oxide or a sunscreen last. This order improves the absorption of each. 

These are great ways to protect your skin from the sun. But you also can protect your skin from the inside out. In next week's alert, I'll show you a simple way to start protecting your skin now. It's a little trick dermatologists are starting to use because of how well it works. You don't want to miss it.

To your health, naturally,


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