If you have oily skin, you know how challenging it is to fight blemishes and clogged pores. You want your skin to look healthy and vibrant – not greasy. You probably avoid thick moisturizers and religiously wash your face each night.
You also know that the sun's ultraviolet radiation can be damaging. Several million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, and 65 to 90 percent of them are attributable to UV radiation exposure. But here's the thing – while sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more can protect you from those damaging rays, they can make your oily skin worse. Learn how to pick out the perfect sunscreen.
When shopping for skin protection, look for the word noncomodegenic, which means it won't likely clog your pores. Oil-free and water-based are other phrases to keep in mind as you try to hone in on the best product for you. If a sunscreen contains oil, continue your search.
Those thick and pasty sunscreens are great choices, but they've never quite caught on because of their appearance and the white residue they leave behind. If you're willing to endure a temporarily chalky complexion, they provide excellent protection. In recent years they've been marketed in a variety of fun colors to make them more appealing.
Creams and lotions tend to be better choices for people with dry skin. Oily skinned individuals are well-advised to choose gels. If you select a waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen, reapply the product from head to toe every couple hours. To earn a waterproof designation, sunscreen only needs to protect you for a period of 80 minutes of swimming or sweating.
The makeup aisle of your local drugstore likely offers moisturizers or foundations that also contain sunscreen. They're not as effective as you might assume, however. The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) notes that sunscreen is not the primary function of such products. In addition, the AAD stresses that most dermatologists recommend the use of sunscreen under makeup if you're going to be in the sun for more than 10 or 15 minutes. This is true regardless of whether your makeup has an SPF.
The fact that you have to be particular about the sunscreen you buy doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. The opposite is true. In 2012, Consumer Reports studied the price and effectiveness of skin protection products. The cheaper sunscreens tended to provide better UV protection. In one case, a sunscreen which cost approximately $19 per ounce was worse than a product that cost $0.59 per ounce. Don't fall into the trap of equating price with quality.
Remember, too, that a person with oily skin can safely enjoy the sun using other means of protecting her skin. A tightly woven hat with a three-inch-wide brim will not only shield the scalp and forehead, it'll offer the equivalent of a 7 SPF for the nose. The brim will provide an equivalent protection to the chin of SPF 2, SPF 3 to the cheeks and SPF 5 for the neck. Loose-fitting clothes with a tight-weave also are effective in blocking harmful rays – the darker the clothing, the better. Some beachwear is even designed to block ultraviolet radiation with the use of titanium oxide.
A day in the sun doesn't have to risk your health or leave you with additional blemishes and oilier skin.
More Great Links
- American Academy of Dermatology. "How to Select Sunscreen." AAD. 2009.http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/selecting_sunscreen.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Skin cancer." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/skin-cancer
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Sunscreens." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens
- American Cancer Society. "Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection." 2011. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/SunandUVExposure/SkinCancerPreventionandEarlyDetection/skin-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-u-v-protection
- American Melanoma Foundation. "Facts About Sunscreen." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm
- American Skin Association. "Sun Safety." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.americanskin.org/resource/safety.php
- Baron, Elma D.; Kirkland, Eugene B.; and Diana Santo Domingo. "Advances in Photoprotection." Dermatology Nursing. Vol. 20, no. 4. Pages 265-273. 2008. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/580643
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Basic Information About Skin Cancer." 2011. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/index.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Sunscreen: How To Select, Apply, and Use It Correctly." 2002. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5104a3.htm?cid=5EA042
- Consumer Reports. "Best Sunscreens for your Summer." Consumer Reports Magazine. July 2009. Volume 74. No. 7.http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/july-2009/home-garden/sunscreens/overview/sunscreens-ov.htm
- Consumer Reports. "Best Sunscreens: Which Sunscreens performed best in our tests?" (Mar. 9, 2012 http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/best-sunscreens.htm
- EyeCare America - The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Sunglasses." 2007. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.aao.org/eyecare/tmp/Sunglasses.cfm
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- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Sunscreen: Answers to your burning questions." Mayo Clinic. March 27, 2009.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunscreen/SN00044
- Murad. "Oil-Free Sunblock SPF 30." Murad. 2009.http://www.murad.com/oil-free-sunblock-30spf.jsp
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- Naylor, Mark F. and Kevin C. Farmer. "The Electronic Textbook of Dermatology." Internet Dermatology Society. 2000.http://telemedicine.org/stamford.htm
- Nichols, Katherine. "Guide to protecting your skin from UV exposure." Honolulu Advertiser. October 3, 2001. http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2001/Oct/03/hf/hf02a.html
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- Skin Cancer Foundation. "Clothing: Our First Line of Defense." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing/clothing-our-first-line-of-defense
- Skin Cancer Foundation. "Cool Clothes, Safe Skin." (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing/cool-clothes-safe-skin
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- Skin Cancer Foundation. "Understanding UVA and UVB." Skin Cancer Foundation. 2009.http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html
- Szabo, Liz. "Q&A: The truth about SPF, sunscreen types, protection." 2010. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-08-05-sunscreen05_st_N.htm
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Sunscreens: The Burning Facts." 2006. (Mar. 9, 2012) http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/doc/sunscreen.pdf
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- University of Iowa Department of Dermatology. "Sun Protection and Sunscreens." University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. 2005.http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/skinhealth/sunprotection.html
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