PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Wearing sunscreen is essential to surviving our hot summers. New guidance shows we may be doing it all wrong, leaving us vulnerable to the sun's harmful rays. A new guide to sunscreen is out for 2021. It details the safest and effective kinds to use. From SPF levels to even the temperature of your sunscreen, a dermatologist says it all matters in keeping you safe.
The hot Arizona sun is a trademark of the summer, but new regulations out by the FDA will help us survive it. For the first time since 2011, the FDA is proposing new ones. Valley dermatologist Dr. Toni Stockton says you need to remember one thing to stay away from and that's any sunscreen with oxybenzone which can be absorbed through the skin in large amounts and is a possible endocrine disruptor. Dr. Stockton says if you are worried about any harmful chemicals, you should stick to titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are generally recognized as safe and effective.
Another thing to note is the level of SPF where bigger is not necessarily better. Dr. Stockton recommends SPF 30. "The number can play a role but also how you use it, when you use it, how often you apply it is also going to play a role in how you get your sun protection," said Dr. Stockton.
She says to make sure you apply 30 minutes before going into the sun and don't leave the bottle out in the sun. "Or their sunscreen has been laying around the garage all summer in 110-degree temperatures and it's not effective anymore. Sunscreen thinks 85 degrees is hot," said said Dr. Stockton.
Keep your sunscreen cool and chose the one you like. It could be cream, gel, powder or spray. Dr. Stockton says just make sure you wear it evenly across your face because, well, if you need a reminder, it protects you from skin cancer. "That's what I spend most of my time looking at people who have had skin cancer, taking off skin cancer," said Dr. Stockton.