1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF): Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the measure of a sunscreen's effectiveness against sunburn. SPF levels range from 15 to 50, with SPF 15 absorbing an estimated 93% of UVB rays while SPF 50 absorbing an estimated 98%. The higher the SPF, the better protection it provides against sunburn. It’s important to note, however, that no sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays. It’s best to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 40 for the scalp.
2. Ingredients: Not all sunscreen is created equal. To ensure that you’re getting the best protection, look for a sunscreen that lists the active ingredients on the label. UV filters such as Avobenzone, Octocrylene, and Homosalate are common ingredients found in a good sunscreen. Natural ingredients such as green tea extract, coffee extract, and licorice root extract can also help to nourish and strengthen your scalp. Make sure to avoid sunscreens that contain synthetic chemicals and fragrances.
3. Water Resistance: Depending on how much time you spend in the water, it’s important to look for a sunscreen that is water-resistant. Look for waterproof formulas that claim to last up to 80 minutes in the water.
4. Formulation: Sunscreens come in various forms, whether it’s a spray, lotion, or gel. If you’re ever in doubt, lotions usually provide the most effective coverage when applied to the scalp. Remember to apply a thick layer to all areas of the scalp that are exposed to the sun.
5. Hair Styling Benefits: If you also use sunscreen to style your hair, look for a product that also lifts and styles. A product with a proprietary technology that delivers incredible lift and volume can give you the power to create your desired hairstyle, while also giving you sun protection.
Finding the right sunscreen for your scalp can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. By looking for a sunscreen with the highest SPF – or one containing UV filters, natural ingredients, and a proprietary technology that can lift and style – and following the other tips above, you’ll be sure to find the right sunscreen for your scalp. It’s important to remember that sunscreen can help protect you from sunburn, and regular use may reduce your risk of developing skin cancer in the future.