– Scientific research has proven that exposure to the sun has a harmful impact upon the skin. Sunlight contains ultraviolet energy that can irritate the skin and produce sunburn and damage the protein-manufacturing cells, weakening the tissue and making wrinkling more likely. The cumulative damage caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet energy also increases the risk of many types of skin cancer, including the most deadly form, melanoma. read more about All Sunscreen » | find answers to your sun care questions »
Fortunately, there is an answer to problems caused by sun exposure: applying a sunscreen before you head outdoors. Using the right sunscreen and reapplying it as needed can help shield your skin from ultraviolet light to reduce both its short and long-term damaging effects.
When you're shopping for a sunscreen, you'll need to take several things into consideration in order to ensure you pick the right formula for your needs. A good place to begin your search is by deciding what Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, is right for your skin. The SPF factor refers to how much a product amplifies your skin's resistance to burning in response to UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the longer you can remain in the sun without burning. Your doctor can provide you with an individualized recommendation as to which SPF level is ideal for you, but most people can receive ample protection from products with SPF ratings of 15 to 30.
In addition to the SPF level, you must decide what type of formula is right for your sun care needs. Broad-spectrum products protect against UVA rays in addition to UVB rays and are recommended by many doctors. Water and sweat resistant sunscreens are specially formulated to not wash off or become diluted as easily as ordinary sunscreens and are ideal for days when you'll be active while you are outdoors. Sunscreens come in a wide variety of types, including sprays, lotions, creams, gels and powders.
Sunscreen products may use one or more of any of the 17 FDA-approved active sunscreen ingredients to provide sun protection. Mineral-based sunscreens are those that contain only natural FDA-approved active ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. You'll also find products that contain synthetic active ingredients or a combination of natural minerals and synthetics. Specialty sunscreens are available for the lips and the face, and there are even products that double as moisturizers or that contain pigments to serve as lightweight foundations or primers for women.
Whatever type of sunscreen product is right for your needs, you'll find a wide array of choices to suit your tastes here at drugstore.com. We carry natural and synthetic sunscreens for women, men, baby and kids and athletes, and we have a huge selection of formula types and SPF levels featured in our sunscreen collection. Whether you prefer a specialty formula or a simple sunscreen that provides basic protection, you'll get the best sunscreen from the best brands at the best prices when you shop at drugstore.com. Begin your search now by browsing our All Sunscreen department or use the menu at the left to refine your search.