How to Use the Best Sunscreens

The sun dries can dry the skin and cause wrinkles especially when over exposed. A sunscreen can protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. If you are going to use a sunscreen without a moisturizer, then apply the sunscreen first and let it absorb into the skin for about 15-20 minutes. Afterwards apply a moisturizer. Many doctors recommend wearing a best moisturizer for dry skin with sun SPF (sunscreen protection factor) built in to protect against the sun’s UVA rays which are a danger year round. Too much sun can not only cause wrinkles but broken skin vessels.

Finding The Best Sunscreen

Choose a product that contains at least one of the following ingredients:

  1. Mexoryl (ecamsule, mexoryl sx, mexoryl xl)
  2. Avobenzone (parasol 1789)
  3. Zinc Oxide
  4. Titanium Dioxide

Mexoryl protects against the full/broad spectrum of UVA and UVB rays and is the latest FDA approved sun protection ingredients.

Avoid alcohol based sunscreens if you already have dry skin because they may exacerbate the problem and may burn. If you do use an alcohol base sunscreen be sure and hydrate the skin by using best face moisturizer for dry skin.

Using Sunscreens

Be generous and apply a liberal amount about 1- 2 ounces of course this will vary with body weight

Using sunscreen is not an apply it once leave it and forget it activity be sure and re-apply every 2 hours to continue protection.

Remember to check the expiration date on all sunscreen products before purchasing.

A few spray-on sunscreens that have ranked high in consumer reports like “Consumer Reports Health Magazine” are:

  1. Aveeno Continuous Protection SPF 50
  2. Banana Boat Sport Performance SPF 30

The American Academy Of Dermatology recommends a SPF (sunscreen protection factor) of 30.

Do African Americans Need To Wear Sunscreen

The answer is yes. It is a myth believed by many in both the black and white community that having dark

skin gives special protection against sunburn and skin cancer. Nothing can be further from the truth. Although many African Americans may not be as sensitive as their fair skinned Caucasian brothers and sisters; Skin types and sensitivity vary widely within the black community leaving some more sensitive than others. But regardless of your ethnic background or complexion the suns rays (ultra violet light) can still damage skin. It is just more readily apparent in those with fairer complexions. If your complexion is dark wear a sunscreen with and SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.

Medications can also increase the risk of skin damage from ultra violet light. Considering the fact that many African Americans suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) medications that treat it can cause increased sun sensitivity. Other medications are oral contraceptives and anti-diabetic drugs. The American Cancer Society warns of over exposure to the sun by those who use medications like tetracycline, naproxen. You do not have to burn to increase the risk of skin cancer.

Protecting Children’s Skin

Children also need sunscreen to protect their sensitive skin. Some of the best sunscreens for children are

  1. Hypoallergenic (for sensitive skin)
  2. Fragrance free
  3. Waterproof
  4. Contain titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide
  5. Avoid those containing avobenzone which may irritate skin
  6. Test on a small area of the child’s skin before apply all over the body
  7. SPF 30 or above
  8. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby
  9. Coppertone Kids

Difference Between Sunscreen And Sunblock

Sunscreens that tend to be watery do not protect against both UVA and UVB rays and are not visible on the surface of the skin. But this is not always the case.

Sunblock tends to be thicker and may appear white on the skin. They contain UVA and UVB blocking/protection ingredients like zinc oxide (contains calamine) or titanium dioxide. It is also possible to have a sunscreen and sun block in one product.

Note: UVA (cause aging) UVB (cause cancer)

Creams tend to be better than spray because more gets on the skin.


Wear tight weave clothing to help protect against sun’s harmful rays or buy sun protection clothing with a UPF (ultra violet protection factor) of at least 50. Some makers of UPF clothing are:

  1. Coolibar
  2. SunaWARE
  3. L. Bean

Wear sun protective clothing like wide brim hats that protect the back of the neck, face and ears.

One Last Note

No sunscreen/sunblock can block all the sun’s UV rays but only provide a hierarchy (some better than others) of protection to reduce the risk of skin damage.