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

Sunscreen

 

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?

oil-free

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

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