CHOOSING A SUNSCREEN! Making Sense of an Overwhelming Marketplace

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These days, there are an overwhelming number of sunscreens. Choosing the best sunscreen for your skin can be difficult, to say the least. There are several factors to consider when choosing sun protection products. Here are some of the necessary information needed to choose the correct sunscreen for you and your family.

  1. Ultraviolet Rays

First, learning about ultraviolet rays is essential. Ultraviolet rays are damaging to the skin, and are delineated by Ultraviolet A rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet B rays.

  1. UVA Rays

UVA are constant and can penetrate window glass, altitude.. These rays cause wrinkles and penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. UVA rays are 20 TIMES more abundant than UVB rays! These are the rays that cause tanning and sunburn. prematurely age your skin.

  1. UVB Rays

UVB rays, on the other hand, cannot pass through window glass.  These are also the rays that help the body make Vitamin B. UVB rays are manipulated by time of day, season, and altitudes. UVB rays cause damage to the deepest layer of skin. However, according to, “Studies over the past two decades, however, show that UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur.

  1. Comparing UVB and UVA

UVB rays can cause skin cancer and damage to the eyes at the deepest level of the skin. UVA tans and/or burns the top layer of the skin. UVA cause premature aging and age spots.

  1. Choosing A Sunscreen

So, when choosing a sunscreen, which to choose? In general, sunscreen is measured by SPF (sun protection factor). SPF 15 will block 93% of the UVB rays, and SPF 30 will block 97% of the UVB rays. SPF 50 will block 98%, but the 1% difference is substantial, particularly for fair skin. Sunscreens that also block UVA rays are marked as “broad-spectrum.” This is essential to remember! If you desire to help eliminate UVA (tanning and burning) and UVB (skin cancer protection) rays, you must choose a product listed as “broad spectrum!”

For more information about preferred brands, or consultation with a Spa LaDonna esthetician regarding your skin type, or how to achieve a safer summer tan, contact Spa LaDonna at:

256.353.3807 or online at

Spa LaDonna serves the Decatur, Madison, and Huntsville areas.