Sunscreens: how to choose them

Sunscreens: how to choose them

We must learn to choose the right sunscreen for our skin, without being overwhelmed by the desire for a tan. This small guide helps you to orient yourself between protection factors, filters and emollients.


The first thing to say about sunscreens is that everyone should use them, even those who believe they do  n’t get sunburned!

In fact, their primary objective is to protect the skin  from the sun’s rays (such as UVB) which can damage the deeper layers, regardless of redness and sunburn.

Then pay particular attention to the delicate skin of children , choosing sunscreens specially formulated for them. If we go to the sea, it is important to repeat the application several times , especially after bathing in water.

The protection filters

The sun protection factor is shown on the packaging of each cream, ointment and milk  preceded by the initials SPF, acronym for Sun Protection Factor.

The reliable range is between 6 and 50+ SPF:

> protections below 6 are ineffective;

>  over 50+ or ​​full screen are not true, because there are no methods capable of totally shielding from the sun’s rays.

The question that often arises is: “ But do you tan with a 30 or 50 protection cream? “. The answer is yes . In fact, the melanin is still attracted to the surface by the sun: the times are longer, but the color gains in homogeneity and duration,  while the skin is protected from damage from the sun’s rays and photo-aging.

The first days of exposure to the sun are the most delicate ones because the skin must have time to activate its natural protection, namely melanin.

In these first days, therefore, it is recommended to sunbathe in the least risky hours , such as in the morning until 11:00 and in the late afternoon after 16:00, applying a high level of sun protection.

Once you have overcome the first few days unscathed, you can begin to go down with the protection factors, also based on the phototype of your skin and the type of sun to which you are exposing yourself.

In the mountains, particular attention must be paid, because the rays are more direct and at the same time the cooler temperatures do not allow you to perceive the incidence of the sun.

Which sunscreens to choose?

In sun protection products we can find both chemical filters and physical filters.  But what is meant by this expression? 

In nature there are some substances that act as physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide . Unfortunately they fail to offer safe protection, especially for particularly fair skin.

However, there are excellent companies that have created formulations that contain physical filters in combination with chemical ones. The latter are present in lower quantities but still manage to give the product stability and effectiveness.


This category includes, for example, octocrylene and butylmethoxydibenzoilmethane , tolerable chemical filters . 


To nourish the skin  it is also important to prefer emollient , soothing and elasticizing components such as coconut oil , jojoba oil , argan oil , shea butter , the unsaponifiable fraction of olive oil , gamma oryzanol.


It is therefore always good to read the INCI of sun creams and avoid  buying products that contain Dimethicone, PEG 90 and 100 stearate, chemical surfactants that are not good for the skin.

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