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When Choosing Sunscreen

What to Look for When Choosing Sunscreen

One of the best things about Arizona is that it’s sunny almost all year long! Being in Arizona means you can maximize your time outdoors, but if you’re planning to soak up the sun, what can you do to protect your skin? We spoke with Dr. Arianna Rodriguez from the SCNM Medical Center to learn more about what to look for when you’re choosing your sunscreen.

Why should we wear sunscreen?
It’s important to wear sunscreen because “wearing sunscreen is helpful in preventing skin cancers”, Dr. Rodriguez said. She also mentions that regular sunscreen usage can help with visible signs of aging, “aging of the skin is caused by sun damage such as sun spots, thinning of the skin, and fine lines and wrinkles.”

What should I look for when shopping for sunscreen?
“Zinc oxide and titanium oxide based sunscreens have the best safety profile” Dr. Rodriguez advises, aiming for SPF 30 or above. Keep an eye out for water-resistant sunscreens, especially if you’re planning on engaging in water activities in the Arizonan sun. And lastly, Dr. Rodriguez says to look out for broad spectrum coverage because it “protects against UVA and UVB radiation which are responsible for sunburn, skin pigmentation and skin cancers”.

Who should wear it and how should I apply sunscreen?
Who should wear sunscreen? Everyone! Regardless of your skin tone, UV radiation from the sun can cause damage to all skin types. Light-skinned individuals should use SPF 30 and above. Apply some form of sunscreen daily, even if your only sun-exposure is going to be while driving to work. Don’t just apply to your face (think about how much sun exposure your hands get while driving). If you are going to be out in the sun for a longer period of time, make sure you apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes prior to going outside and then re-apply every 2 hours.

For more information about caring for your skin, visit Dr. Rodriguez at the SCNM Medical Center!


Minor Surgery, Skin Disorders, Women’s Health, Hormones, Gastrointestinal Health

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