Charleston Dermatology Blog

Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

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We can’t stress the importance of applying sunscreen daily. Make sure that you choose protection that shields against both UVA and UVB rays. These products are labeled “broad spectrum” and will adequately protect against sun damage when applied correctly. The minimum protection you should look for is 30+. Ingredients to look for include ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone or zinc oxide. You should reapply every two hours for maximum effectiveness. Here are some personalized tips:

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For Kids: Since children have more sensitive skin than adults, they need to avoid PABA, oxybenzone and other irritants. If purchasing a spray-on sunscreen, be sure to first spray into your palms before applying to your child’s face.

If You Have Acne: Just like children, acne-prone individuals should also be careful with ingredients applied to their skin. They should also avoid PABA and oxybenzone, along with preservatives or fragrances. Gel formulas may be more suitable for acne-prone individuals.

If You Have Dry Skin: Look for sunscreens that have moisturizing ingredients, like lanolin or oils. Creamy sunscreens that are designed for moisturization usually advertise themselves as such on labels.

If You’re Fair: If you have fair skin, it’s imperative that you choose an SPF of 30+ and that you reapply regularly, especially if you have been swimming or sweating. You can never have enough sunscreen!

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If You Have Discoloration: Daily sunscreen usage is important for people with discoloration. Protecting your skin is especially important when you have any kind of discoloration, so it’s critical that you reapply sunscreen regularly and choose an SPF of 30+.

If You Have Darker Skin: While some darker-skinned folks may shy away from sunscreen because of the white nature of the product, this can easily be remedied by staying away from zinc or titanium dioxide. Look for a chemical sunscreen with minimum protection of 15.

For Older People: No matter how old you are, sun protection is still important to ward off skin cancer and additional discoloration. If you are limited in mobility, spray sunscreens make it easy to reach the nooks and crannies.




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