Trying to get a sunscreen lotion thinking it's the best brand can be quite confusing at times. If you're trying to stock up for your kids, there are some few important information you should consider before you reach that sunscreen bottle as well.
Here are some smart points on how to read a sunscreen label:
The expiration date on the bottle is not actually the "real" expiration date once the sunscreen bottle is opened. An opened bottle is good for 2-3 years regardless of the expiration date! If you're unsure when did you buy it, toss it and get a new one.
Take a note though; - that if one bottle of sunscreen lasts you the entire summer, you're not using enough.
Be sure to read the active ingredients of the label as well. Here, you can find the type of sunscreen used. For chemical formulas, the active ingredient is mostly avobenzone (considered most effective), octocrylene, octisalate and homosatte.
For a mineral sunscreen, active ingredients can be titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or both.
If you have smaller kids, a mineral sunscreen is an ideal one for them. It's chemical-free, s even if the kids licks it off from you or from their bodies, there's no absolute risk of illness ;).
Take note about the SPF number as well. UVB rays SPF no. tell about how well you are protected from a sunburn; while UVA rays SPF no. tell you about how well you are protected from skin cancer and wrinkles. So, watch out for the difference.
An SPF 30 or higher and is labeled "broad spectrum" protects both from UVA and UVB rays. Anything lower than that means you're basically have nothing at all.
How much should you have?
If it's a cream, at least a shot-glass worth should be used on your body, and at least a teaspoon on your face every 2 hours.
If it's a spray, mist in zigzag motions, then rub it in. Re apply as needed.
There's no such thing as "water proof" sunscreen...a fact we should know.
FDA's recent labeling rules have clarified how long a sunscreen lasts while you're in the water. Formulas are now labeled "water-resistant" which can protect you for up to 40 minutes; or "very water resistant" which can protect for up to 80 minutes.
If you have sensitive skin, choose labels with hypoallergenic and fragrance (and PABA)-free which can be located on the front or back label of the sunscreen bottle. If you're prone to break outs, choose oil-free and non-comedogenic.