October 10 –
Beauty tip of the month

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Shopping For Sunscreens

Your first criterion for choosing one is that it be broad spectrum, meaning it includes ingredients that absorb or block both UVA and UVB rays. The product you choose may be a physical block and uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to reflect or scatter UVB and UVA rays rather than let them pass through to the skin. A few years ago, these mineral compounds were not often used except on the noses of lifeguards because they were white or ground so fine that they are virtually invisible.

You can also use a product that relies on chemicals to absorb UV radiation. For example, a commonly used UVA-absorber is avobenzone or Parsol 1789. You may see it listed on the label as methoxydibenzoylimethane. Absorbers tend to be more irritating than physical blocks, so people who react to chemical sunscreens may prefer zinc or titanium dioxide only. UVA-screening ingredients include absorbers such as benzophenones. UVB-screening ingredients are predominately cinnamates.

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Dr. Howard Murad, M.D.
Wrinkle-Free Forever

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