What Types of Sunscreen are Best?

Use of sunscreen is ultra-important in climates with lots of sunshine, such as Henderson and Las Vegas.  It works very well when applied correctly, but most people don’t.

One big mistake is that people don’t realize that they have to reapply sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that if anyone is going to be outside all day, sunscreen should be applied every two hours. This is one reason why sunscreens fail in general.

In addition to being reapplied every two hours, sunscreens are designed to be applied much thicker than most people do. If a sunscreen has an SPF of 30 and it’s put it on the arm very thinly, it becomes an SPF of 1 or 2.

SPF stands for is Sun Protection Factor—let’s say a certain skin type allows someone to go outside for one hour before they start to get pink. That’s called minimal erythemal dose, which is the amount of radiation skin can take before it gets to its minimal erythemal dose—that’s the SPF factor of 1.

So if that person puts on an SPF of 30 and goes an hour before they reach an SPF of 1, which means they could be out for 30 straight hours before they received the same about of radiation dose that they got during that one hour.

So if they put an SPF of 100 on, they could be outdoors in the sun for 100 hours. Doesn’t work? Why doesn’t it work? It’s because of how the sunscreen is applied. It’s not put on thick enough—the way it’s designed to be used. Studies show a bottle of sunscreen is only three applications. Who does that? Not many people.

Spray lotion does work—when applied correctly.  Dr. Samlaska uses it on his own kids. Just make sure it is sprayed on fairly thickly, but it’s a little bit harder to judge that.

The key is to apply sunscreen heavily, reapply frequently, and use other sun protection.

Hats are great, the doctor said. The head and neck area really get a lot of sun so wearing a hat right will help out tremendously.

Wear a hat, wear sunscreen, try to hide under whatever protective shade you can get when you’re out—all these things are beneficial.

Unlike some beliefs, face makeup does not give protection against the sun. There are some moisturizers that have SPF. A lot of people wear an SPF moisturizer in the morning, which is great—but once again, if it’s only applied in the morning, it’s not going to do any good in the afternoon.