Not all sunscreens are created equally, that’s why there are a number of things redheads should look for when selecting a sun protectant. Here’s a list to help you pick a sunscreen that will be gentle on your skin, keep you protected, and minimize sun damage.
1. The SPF number: This may shock you!
Do you assume 100 SPF will protect your fair skin better than 30 SPF? SPF is not a consumer-friendly number. It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works. An SPF 30 offers sunscreen protection for UVB light of 97%. An SPF 50 offers sunscreen protection of 98% for UVB light. An SPF 100 offers 99% percent protection for UVB light. You notice the differences in percentage are not that great yet the numbers for SPF are very great. SPF count tells a consumer nothing about UVA light which also causes skin cancer and causes sun damage to the skin. Read more here.
High SPF’s offer only minimal advantages over SPF 30. The FDA will actually be doing away with higher number designation in the near future. The best protection is with a physical blocker such as zinc oxide. Check out our top rated sunscreens for redheads.
2. Broad spectrum means a lot
You want your sunscreen to be broad spectrum and protect against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) since both of these rays can cause cancer. Even if a sunscreen has a high SPF, if it doesn’t protect against UVA and UVB rays, it’s less effective.
3. Water resistance is key
If you’re spending the day in and around water, it’s super important to have water-resistant sunscreen. This means that it won’t just wash off the moment you hit the water. Your sunscreen bottle should tell you how long it’s water-resistant. Typically sunscreens are water-resistant for between 40-90 minutes. Water resistance is great for extra hot days too, as it also means your sunscreen is sweat resistant. Be sure to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.
4. Make sure it’s dermatologist tested
Since most redheads have sensitive skin, it’s important your sunscreen is gentle enough on your skin to reduce the risk of rash or irritation. Look for something that’s dermatologist tested, especially for a facial sunscreen.
5. Sensitive skin? Opt for unscented
If you have sensitivities to scents or certain ingredients like aloe, it’s important to check your sunscreen for those types of things. Unscented sunscreen is best for those who are sensitive, and you don’t need colorants or special scents to make your sunscreen work.
6. Carcinogen lookout
One of the concerns with using sunscreen is carcinogens. Make sure to check this list of popular sunscreens that have carcinogens to make sure you’re not using one from that list. To find a list of safe sunscreens, click here.
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