When I was a twenty something, Memorial Day was the start of a glorious tanning season. Now that I am over forty, hot sunny days sends me scrambling for the biggest baddest sunscreen I can find. And each year I find myself standing in front of shelves of sunscreens until my eyes glaze over. Should I buy oil free? fragrance fee? and what is Helioplex? In the past I grabbed a few different brands and hoped for the best. Now that I am committed to an anti-aging program, I need to do better. So here is the start of my sunscreen cheat sheet:
1. Broad Spectrum — this means that it provides protection against all types of damaging sun rays. There are basically two types — UV A and UVB. At one time experts believed that UVA was a good guy and caused the skin to tan and UVB was the bad guy that caused skin cancer and skin aging. Now we know that both types of UV rays are equally dangerous– and a good sunscreen needs to protect you against both. Broad spectrum-its a good thing.