Expert Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, and Orthotics Services for Optimal Health

How To Choose The Right Sunscreen

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 19-Jun-2015

We hope that you’ve been able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having lately. Of course, too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous, especially during the summer months. So, if you’re going to be out in the sun, it’s important to remember to protect your skin. That means sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen regularly has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer, reduce the appearance of facial veins and skin blotchiness and slow down the process of aging and the development of wrinkles. Surprisingly, many people still don’t wear sunscreen regularly – in many cases because they’re confused by the different factors that go into choosing the right one. To help make things easier, here’s what you need to know:

  • HOW SUNSCREEN WORKS: Sunscreen combines organic and inorganic chemicals together in order to filter the light from the sun. This means that less of the sun’s harmful rays reach the deeper layers of your skin. Two of the most commonly used chemicals in sunscreen are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These chemicals are broken down so that they are invisible when applied, yet still effective. Organic chemicals are combined with these inorganic chemicals to break down the sun’s rays and convert the incoming energy into harmless heat. It’s important to note that ultraviolet radiation from the sun arrives in three distinct wavelengths: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-C is completely blocked by the ozone layer. UV-A is able to penetrate more deeply into your skin and is responsible for age spots, wrinkles and an increased risk of skin cancer. UV-B is responsible for tanning and sunburns.
  • UNDERSTANDING SPF: If you’ve ever bought or used sunscreen, you’ve seen the term “SPF.” It stands for “Sun Protection Factor.” This number helps you determine how long you can safely remain in the sun before getting a sunburn. Remember that sunburns are caused by UV-B radiation, which means that SPF has no indication of UV-A protection. This doesn’t, however, mean that sunscreen does not protect against UV-A. Sunscreens that are listed as “broad spectrum” also provide protection against UV-A radiation. SPF is a multiplication factor that shows how much longer you can be in the sun without burning as compared to your “baseline.” A sunscreen with an SPF of 20, for example, would allow you to stay in the sun 20 times longer without burning. Every person’s baseline is different. In general, those with darker skin tones can stay in the sun longer. However, everyone should wear sunscreen daily, regardless of your skin type or tone.
  • CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUNSCREEN: When it comes to choosing a sunscreen, there are several factors to keep in mind. One of the most important is your skin type. For most people, SPF 15 in fine. However, if your skin is fair or burns easily, you will need sunscreen with a higher SPF than someone who has darker pigmentation. If this is your case, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. If you have sensitive skin, consider a hypoallergenic or low-irritant sunscreen. If you have dry skin, you will likely be better off with a sunscreen that includes a moisturizing base. If you have oily skin, try one with a lighter base. You may have to try out a few different types before you find one that works for your skin. If you’re going to be exercising or sweating, choose a sunscreen that is water and sweat resistant. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t need to reapply after swimming or sweating. These sunscreens are not water-proof, just water resistant. Of course, it makes sense to choose a broad spectrum or multi-spectrum sunscreen in order to receive more complete protection.
  • APPLYING SUNSCREEN: Sunscreen isn’t effective if you don’t put it on. When you’re applying sunscreen, make sure that you do so properly. You should apply sunscreen on any skin that will be exposed to the sun and the general principle is to reapply every two to four hours.

The bottom line is, if you’re going to be in the sun, remember to wear you sunscreen; even when it is cloudy or overcast out since UV light can easily penetrate clouds. That way, you can enjoy your time in the sun without worrying and without burning!
Want to know more about getting healthier this summer? Don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.

Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

Top Blogs

Jul 15

Osteoarthritis Treatments: What You Need to Know...

Key Highlights: Osteoarthritis treatments focus on pain relief, restoring joint…

Read More
Jul 01

Runner’s Knee: Symptoms, Causes & Treatme...

Key Highlights: Runner's knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is a…

Read More
Jun 15

Upper Back and Neck Pain: Causes and Solutions...

Key Highlights: Upper back and neck pain can be caused…

Read More
Jun 01

Slim Down: How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally...

Key Highlights: Many people want to lose belly fat for…

Read More
May 15

Restoring Balance with Vestibular Physical Therapy...

Key Highlights: Vestibular physical therapy, or physiotherapy, is a specialized…

Read More
May 01

Tennis Elbow: Top Exercises for Relief & Recove...

Key Highlights: Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition…

Read More

Ready to Get Started?

Book Your

Get Healthier... Stay Healthier!