What is the Best Sunscreen for Children?

  • Added:
    Jun 21, 2013
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Everyone knows that getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine is good for children. However, overexposure to sunshine and the sun’s rays may be damaging to children’s delicate skin. Children need protection every time they are exposed to the sun’s potentially harmful rays. It does not matter if you are at a soccer game or the pool, children need to be wearing sunscreen to prevent sunburns now and skin cancer later.

Sunburns are painful but there are more dangers than just that temporary sore, hot, stiff feeling. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one blistering sunburn as a child or adolescent more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It is important to choose a safe and effective sunscreen for kids.

Sunscreens fall into two basic categories: physical blocks and chemical blocks. Physical blocks operate like a reflective coating on the skin, bouncing the sun’s rays off the skin. Chemical blocks are first absorbed by the skin then they absorb the sun’s harmful rays.

With a chemical sunscreen, you have to wait about 20 minutes for the skin to completely absorb the chemicals before you go into the sun. Since chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, they can be bothersome to some people’s skin. Children with sensitive skin, allergies, eczema or other skin conditions can be irritated by the chemical compounds in this type of sunscreen. Children can develop serious rashes from reactions to chemical sunscreens.

Some chemical sunscreens only protect against one form of the sun’s radiation. Most sunscreens protect against UVB rays which are predominately responsible for sunburns. Fewer will protect against both UVB and the deeper-penetrating and more prevalent UVA rays which are more likely to cause aging and skin cancers. It is important to shield children’s skin against both types of radiation for the long-term health of their skin.

Physical blocks like zinc oxide sunscreen protect against both types of radiation, UVA and UVB. Zinc oxide sits on the surface of the skin and absorbs and reflects the sun’s rays much like aluminum foil. Because they are literally blocking the sun’s rays, they protect against both forms of radiation.

In addition to being a full-spectrum protection for your children’s skin, physical blocks like zinc oxide sunscreen are less irritating than chemical sprays. Zinc oxide is not absorbed by the skin; it sits on the surface instead. You won’t have to wait 20 minutes after applying before you go into the sun. Plus, it won’t cause the uncomfortable rashes or irritation that chemicals may bring.

Zinc oxide actually has a mild antimicrobial and would healing effect so it is an excellent choice for children with allergies or eczema. It is also non-comedogenic, meaning it is unlikely to clog the pores of the skin. This type of sunscreen is often recommended by dermatologists because it is effective and nonirritating.

You can’t keep kids completely away from the sun so be prepared at all times with sunscreen. Keep a tube in your bag or the car for those times you might forget to apply at home. Choose the best sunscreen for your kids and make sure they wear it. It can’t help them if it’s still in the tube.

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Article Source: Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

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