“What’s the best sunscreen?” I always get asked this question this time of year. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling every sunscreen out on the market, there are five simple rules that I follow when choosing a sunscreen.
1. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide: These minerals protect against UVA and UVB and don’t penetrate through the skin. They sit atop the skin (sometimes causing it to be white and chalky). Concentrations can vary, so choose something with a high concentration (but not higher than 25% each).
2. SPF 30-50: Sunscreen products boasting high sun protection factors over 100, don’t offer significantly better protection than the 30-50 range. In fact, many people who use SPF 100 may neglect to reapply throughout the day increasing the chance of burns.
3. Broad Spectrum: This will protect against UVA rays – deeply penetrating into the skin, and UVB rays – the biggest cause of sunburns. Both rays increase the risk of skin cancer.
4. Water & Sweat Resistant: These products will retain their SPF value during swimming and exercise, although you should be reapplying after finishing those activities.
5. Lotion: This will allow a more even coating on the skin, unlike a spray which does not ensure adequate coverage or protection.
Dr. Alexsia Priolo, ND is a Toronto-based Naturopathic Doctor with a special interest in children’s and women’s health. She helps guide women during their reproductive years on their journey from maiden to mother (and everything in between). While she won’t make health decisions for you, she’ll provide all the information you need to know so you can make the right choice. Nevertheless she will always passionately explain why eating vegetables will help you age beautifully, why self-care is important for mental health and why balance is the hidden key to optimal wellness. She is a graduate from both York University with an Honours Bachelor of Science, and the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine with a Doctor of Naturopathy. She has received additional training in children’s health and wellness, as well as male and female urinary incontinence.