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Tips for Buying Sunscreen

What Should You Look for When Buying Sunscreen?

Hopefully you're stocking up on sunscreen for the sunny season ahead. Aside from avoiding the sun entirely, it is your best defense against skin cancer. The Mayo Clinic has a list of recommendations for what to look for when buying sunscreen and here are the highlights.

  • Select a sunscreen that says broad spectrum on the bottle. These provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • It should have an SPF of 15 or higher. Remember that sunscreens with an SPF of 45 or higher don't allow you to stay out longer. You still need to reapply every two hours.
  • Make sure the label says that it contains sunscreen. Some lotions and tanning oils don't, so they'll offer no protection from the sun's harmful rays.
  • In the list of ingredients, it should say one these: oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
  • If you have sensitive skin, choose one that is free of fragrance, dyes, and preservatives.
  • If you spend time in the water, choose one that is water-resistant. If you exercise outside, select one that is sweatproof.

Remember, when applying your well researched sunscreen be sure to use enough. It takes about a shot glass worth of sunscreen to cover your entire body.

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