Protecting our skin from damage caused by the sun is essential. That is why in recent years the quantities of sunscreens sold around the world have increased exponentially. With this product available in different formats (cream, emulsion or spray) you can take care of your skin from UV rays and all the damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.

In any case, despite this product being so useful and offering many advantages, it is also true that today on the market we can find different types of sunscreens. That makes it not easy to know which type of face and body protector should be purchased. There are many factors that must be taken into account before finalizing the purchase and that is why in today's guide we are going to tell you how to choose the best sunscreen, in addition to presenting the purchasing criteria that you should analyze.

What is a facial and body sunscreen or sunscreen?

As we all know, prolonged exposure to the sun without any type of protection causes direct sun damage to our DNA because it modifies its structure, in addition to putting the health of the skin at risk, which can lead to the generation of malignant cancer.

For this reason, the WHO advises protecting the skin when carrying out activities outdoors or in closed spaces by using a body and facial sunscreen throughout the year and not only in summer. But: what is sunscreen? Also known as sunscreen, it is a product produced with chemical substances that are capable of absorbing ultraviolet radiation . Nowadays, thanks to innovations in the sector, there are two types of sunscreens, the physical mineral or organic and the chemical or organic.

What type of sunscreen should be chosen will depend on your needs and demands. But don't worry because below we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the different sunscreens and the benefits that each type offers you.

Types of sunscreens and sunblocks for all skin types

As we told you, today on the market you can find different types of sunscreens with antioxidants. So that you can make an informed decision, we are going to present everything you need to know about the different types of sunscreens.

Mineral, physical or inorganic filters

Mineral or physical sunscreens are produced from chemicals of mineral origin. It should be noted that today only two substances are approved, zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

Both substances are characterized by their whitish color , their chemical stability and their insolubility in water . The interesting thing about this type of sunscreen is that until recently it was considered that physical filters worked because they favor the rebound of UV radiation so that it does not penetrate the skin. However, in 2015 it was discovered that these filters actually absorb 95% of solar radiation and only reflect 5%.

Even so, the use of physical or mineral sunscreen is recommended for children and babies or people with a sensitive skin phototype. Not to mention that it is usually recommended to apply this sunscreen after having performed a procedure such as laser, chemical peels and scars.

Another great advantage that this type of filter offers is that its effect does not diminish over time , in addition to being biodegradable and not affecting the environment.

Chemical or organic sunscreens

On the other hand, chemical or organic filters work because they absorb the intensity of solar radiation and transform it into heat . What differentiates it from the mineral or physical filter has to do with the fact that it is produced with substances soluble in organic solvents , so it does not leave a whitish trace. This emulsion, generally with a lighter texture , requires 30 minutes to exert its action, which should be applied before sun exposure.

Although this type of sunscreen is widely used around the world, what is worrying is its impact on the environment. According to experts, sunscreens that contain the following chemicals should be avoided:

  • Homosalata and Octisalate
  • Oxy Benzone and Octylmethoxinmate.

Purchase criteria to take into account when choosing facial and body sunscreen

Having said the above, now that you know the two main types of sunscreens, it is time to present to you what purchasing criteria you should analyze.

Sun protection filter: physical or chemical

One of the first key factors that you should take into account has to do with the type of sunscreen filter. Let us remember that it is thanks to the filters that the effects caused by solar radiation are reduced. As we presented to you previously, today there are physical or mineral filters that reflect radiation and chemical filters that absorb and transform radiation through a change in their structure.

Now, experts do not advise using chemical filters, although they are very popular, due to their effect on the environment and human health. In fact, this type of sunscreen is produced through synthetic substances that are largely derived from petroleum, substances that can have a hormone-disrupting effect or cause allergies, in addition to contaminating the ecosystem.

In the same way, it is advisable to keep in mind that physical filters containing nanoparticles should not be used because they penetrate the skin and contaminate the environment.

Among the different sunscreens that contain a seismic filter, it is advisable to choose the one that contains titanium dioxide or non-nano zinc oxide for its efficiency and safety.

Sunscreen protection factor: FPS or SPF

Another key factor that you should analyze has to do with the sun protection factor. In all sunscreens you will be able to analyze the SPF protection factor, which can be low, medium, high or very high or indicated with a numerical value from 6 to plus 50 . What this information tells you is the protective effect that this product has in relation to UVB radiation.

Now, depending on the type of skin on your face and body, area, climatic conditions, age and ultraviolet radiation index, the degree of protection factor that you will need will vary. In any case, it is worth clarifying that it is not usually recommended to purchase sunscreens with an SPF less than 25 because their protection is very low.

Furthermore, in the case of children, the elderly or people with fair skin, the use of a facial and body sunscreen cream with high sun protection such as SPF 50 is usually recommended.

Expiration date (PAO)

Don't forget to also consider the expiration date of the product you want to buy. The expiration date, also known as payment (period after opening), will indicate the time in which the product, once opened, remains unchanged.

In the vast majority of cases the expiration date of a product is around 24 months and the same happens with PAO, although this depends on the sensitivity of the formula used to produce that sunscreen and its reaction to agents. external such as light, humidity or air.

On any sunscreen container you will be able to find both the expiration date and the PAO symbol indicating the letter M, which represents the number of months.

UV radiation protection: UVB + UVA

Likewise, before buying a sunscreen from the best brands (ISDIN, Eucerin, Vichy, Roche Posay or Loreal), you should also evaluate its protective capacity . Let's not forget that when buying a sunscreen what we are looking for is to protect ourselves from UV radiation.

That is why you must differentiate between sunscreens that offer protection against UVB radiation, which is what generates redness and pigmentation in the skin , photoimmunosuppression and even skin cancer, and UVA radiation that generates aging, photosensitization and melanoma.

What you have to do before finalizing your purchases is to verify that the anti-stain sunscreen that caught your attention offers protection against UVA and UVB rays.

Water proof and Water resistant: Water Resistance

Some sunscreens can lose their effectiveness or come off the skin when they come into contact with water. This has meant that, in recent years, technologies have been developed to solve part of this problem while ensuring the maintenance of the level of protection.

In the case of sunscreens with a mineral filter, a W/O emulsion, that is, water in oil, is usually produced so that the cream can continue to be in contact with the skin through the hydrophobic film.

Even so, it is important to highlight that, currently, there is still no sunscreen that is completely waterproof. So, it should not be surprising that sunscreens are called water resistant if they can maintain their protective capacity after 40 minutes of coming into contact with water or waterproof if they manage to maintain their protective capacity up to 80 minutes. after the dive.

How to choose the best sunscreen: useful tips

Ultimately, choosing which is the best sunscreen you should buy will depend on many factors. Depending on your skin type, we recommend that you prefer a sunscreen with a physical filter because it does not harm the environment, is biodegradable and is also highly recommended for children, babies and people who suffer from skin sensitivity.

Likewise, we recommend preferring organic sunscreens that use natural and organic ingredients because they do not damage the skin. Therefore, we suggest evaluating the following key elements before purchasing broad-spectrum sunscreen:

  • Ecological seal
  • Mineral type solar filter with non-nano zinc acid
  • SPF greater than 25 due to its high protection against sun rays to prevent photoaging, burns, signs of aging, etc.
  • Protection against UVA+UVB radiation and blue light.
  • Water resistant or Waterproof.