July 13, 2016

Important Sunscreen Ingredients

sunscreen ingredients

Warm weather is here which means more time spent being outdoors, sitting poolside, or relaxing on the beach.  With all of that additional sun exposure, it is important to apply an effective sunscreen liberally and frequently to protect against sunburn and long-term skin damage that could increase your risk for skin cancer.  Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are created equal so it is important to know the active ingredients to look for to find the right choice for you.

According to physicians, consumers should be looking for these 5 ingredients, listed below, when making their next purchase.

SPF 15+

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating designates the degree of protection sunscreen offers from powerful UVB rays. These are rays known to burn the surface of the skin. SPF allows you to be in the sun for a longer period of time without having to worry about burning. For example, if someone burns in 10 minutes and they use SPF 15 lotion, they can actually go 150 minutes (10 x 15 = 150) without burning. A higher SPF gives you more protection, letting you have even more fun in the sun.


This ingredient helps protect against UVA rays, which are the rays that penetrate the skin’s thickest layer. Ecamsule is one of the most recent ingredients to be used in sunscreen in the U.S. Although this type of sunscreen can be on the higher end of the price spectrum (approximately $30 for a 3.4 oz. tube), it’s worth the cost to protect your skin against these powerful rays.


Avobenzone is a common active-chemical ingredient that helps reflect harmful UVA rays. Also look for octocrylene and octisalate in products that contain avobenzone. These two ingredients help avobenzone remain effective, keeping you safer longer.

Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide

Another active ingredient you’ll want in your sunscreen is either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Both reflect sun rays instead of absorbing them. People with sensitive skin should opt for a sunscreen with one of these ingredients to better protect themselves.

Water Resistance 

According to the FDA, a product is considered water-resistant when it can maintain its SPF protection for a minimum of 40 minutes while swimming or sweating. It’s important to remember that, even though you may have a water-resistant product, you need to reapply the sunscreen throughout the day to stay protected. 

Next time you’re in the market for sunscreen, keep these ingredients in mind to get the most out of your purchase. Not only will you be able to enjoy the summer sun, but you can rest assured your skin won’t be in jeopardy.

Regular Sunscreen Application is Important

Finding the right sunscreen is a crucial step in maintaining good skin health but even the best sunscreens are not 100% effective against harmful UV rays.  It is also important to remember that the mere use of sunscreen does not give you the ability to spend an uninterrupted day in direct sunlight without reapplying it often and seeking shelter when necessary.

Remembering to use sunscreen is not always convenient but exercising due diligence with this important healthcare product helps to ensure a fun and healthy day in the sun without regret the next!

Learn More.