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The Sunscreen Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know About SPF

Buying sunscreen used to involve choosing an SPF level and deciding if you wanted to smell like a coconut. Today, the descriptors on each bottle have multiplied, and there are far more decisions to make. We’re here to help.

Sunscreen ingredients can already be a bit of brain teaser for the average shopper — do you choose a formula with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, a combo of both, or something else entirely, like a non-mineral filter? — but when you add in other words from elsewhere on the label, the challenge of choosing the right protection multiplies exponentially. How much of the language is just marketing mumbo-jumbo, and which terms should be taken into serious consideration? And more importantly, what do they all mean?


adj. i(-)l-fr

This means a product doesn’t contain oil, but it doesn’t indicate whether it has other occlusives, like silicone, that can cause breakouts and even heat rash, says Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist in New York City. If you’re concerned,­ look for a sunscreen that skips both oils and silicones.

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Source: Allure – The Sunscreen Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know About SPF By, Jessica Chia

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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