How to Choose a Safe Sunscreen for Your Family
Do you ever wonder what to look for when choosing a sunscreen? To ensure you and your family are protected all year round, here are four pillars that make sunscreen safe!
UVA & UVB
Keeping your skin protected from the sun is important, even on cloudy days.
UVB rays account for five percent of rays emitted by the sun. They directly affect the epidermis of the skin (the outermost layer) and primarily cause sunburns, although they can also cause skin cancer.
UVA rays account for the other 95 percent of rays and are present throughout the day, even in the shade or through glass. They affect not only the epidermis, but also the deeper dermal layer in the skin structure.
UVA rays cause accelerated aging and can trigger allergic skin reactions. People often think that the sunscreen they’re using are causing the allergic reaction, when they might be using a product that simply doesn’t provide enough UVA protection.
Broad-spectrum means it protects from UVB, UVA short, and UVA long rays. The overall UVA protection can either be low, moderate, or high. When you see the Health Canada logo—which is the word UVA with a circle around it—it represents the minimum standard for a thorough UVA protection according to Health Canada standards. A sunscreen that features both labels is what you should look for.
Dermatologists also recommend sun-safe habits such as covering up and avoiding the sun at peak times along with applying a broad-spectrum sun protection.
SPF only measures the UVB protection that the sunscreen provides. To ensure you’re getting the best in UVA protection, look for the UVA logo.
A common misconception is that SPF is a measure of time. People think that the higher the SPF number is, the more minutes they can spend carefree in the sun without reapplying sunscreen.
SPF is calculated by the quantity of UVB rays it takes for the skin to turn red.
As per Health Canada guidelines, no matter which SPF is used, you should reapply at least every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
Organic and Mineral UV Filters
Theres a misconception regarding the differences between mineral and organic sunscreen. Many people tend to prefer mineral as it sounds more like a natural occurring substance but both mineral and organic sunscreens are made synthetically. This allows for safer, more durable and stable filters.
Every UV filter has a different strength, which means a synergistic combination of filters is important. Products that use both mineral and organic filters are also available.
Organic (also known as chemical) sunscreens work like a sponge, absorbing the UV rays, transforming their energy, and then releasing it in a non-harmful way.
Mineral filters work like a disco ball. They disperse or deflect the UV rays in different directions, offering high UVB protection and moderate UVA protection. The majority of rays will be scattered away from the skin but a small amount of UVA rays could potentially be scattered into the skin.
When using a mineral sunscreen, it is important to apply the recommended quantity to minimize the penetration of sneaky UVA rays. A formula enriched with an antioxidant complex can protect against free radicals.
Protection for Children
Parents are faced with a tough decision when choosing sun protection for their kids. The appropriate sun protection depends on how it is formulated. You want to look for a product that has not only been allergy-tested under dermatological control, but also tested under paediatric control.
Texture is very important, as children can be very fussy when having sunscreen applied on their skin. A great option is to look for a formula that leaves a translucent white film to allow even coverage before it melts into the skin. Protection that is water, sweat, and sand-resistant is also important. Some formulas even offer an anti-rubbing effect ideal for children’s delicate skin.
Although children-specific sunscreens are optimized for their activity level and delicate skin, adults can also use them!
With La Roche-Posay, your sunscreen safety is covered!
Anthelios sun protection creams and lotions come in a variety of textures for the whole family. With more than forty years of research, La Roche-Posay has developed a wide range of non-toxic sunscreen for all skin types that will let you enjoy the sunshine worry free.
While most sunscreens can feel heavy, Anthelios Ultra-fluid Face Sunscreen offers a lightweight texture, ideal for everyday SPF protection. Protect your skin from everyday sun damage by including the sun blocking power of the Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion for sensitive skin in your beauty routine.
For sun protection specifically formulated for children, we recommend using Anthelios Dermo-Kids Lotion SPF 50 . Tested under pediatric control, this non-greasy, easy-glide formula provides a fuss-free application for face and body.
Anthelios is a safe sunscreen option for anyone suffering from sensitive skin or atopic dermatitis (TR recommendation: this could also simply be eczema).
Recommended by over 25,000 dermatologists worldwide, La Roche-Posay offers highly effective products that can be tolerated by even sensitive skin to improve the quality of life of anyone with skin concerns, from acne to aging, and to help spread the word on sun safety through high quality sunscreen and skin cancer awareness messaging.