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Are some sunscreens safer than others?

When it comes to sunscreens, there are lots of options, but most people don’t pay much attention to what they are made of. Sunscreens may contain a mix of ingredients including chemical filters. But although they are necessary and beneficial some of the chemicals are potentially harmful.   So are some sunscreens safer than others?

Sunscreens
Sunscreens are products that are designed to protect your skin from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. The sun emits both UVA and UVB rays. The UVA rays can penetrate the skin deeply, and generally cause aging effects such as wrinkling, while the UVB rays are believed to be responsible for skin cancer. Excess sun exposure can therefore lead to premature aging, and also puts you at risk for developing skin cancer.

The sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from the UV rays. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher is recommended, as it can filter out approximately 93% of the incoming UVB rays, and also offers protection from UVA rays.

Are some sunscreens safer than others?
There are physical and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients that deflect the UV rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals that form a protective layer that absorbs the UV rays.

There have been concerns raised about the safety of the chemical compounds present in some sunscreens, as they sometimes trigger an allergic reaction. Some chemicals have also been linked to the disruption of hormone function and thyroid function.

Since the chemicals present in sunscreens are absorbed in the body, it’s important to do some research about the safety of the chemical ingredients, before purchasing.

If you’d like to learn more about the safest sunscreens for your skin, contact Kailua Dermatology Centers in Kailua, Hawaii. Call 808-263-3233 to schedule a consultation.

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