Understanding the active ingredients in sunscreen is a bit like learning a foreign language that uses a different alphabet. Suffice it to say in short that sunscreens are made up of a combination of two types of ingredients: those that reflect ultraviolet (UV) rays and those that absorb UV rays. Although that might sound simple enough, there are also two types of rays: UVA rays and UVB rays. UVB causes sunburn at the outer layers of skin, but UVA causes sun damage that reach deeper layers of skin. Both UVA and UVB radiation can contribute to the development of skin cancer.

Parsol SLX (10%) is a stabilizing ingredient that is used in sunscreens. Its job is to slow down the rate of degradation of the sun-absorbing chemicals. Unlike many of its chemical peers, studies on Parsol SLX are proving that it can remain on the skin and not penetrate as many others do.

Look for sunscreens designed for sensitive skin, including products for babies and children and thumbs up to those that contain this non-carcinogen. Keep in mind that a sunscreen’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a gauge of how well the formula protects the skin from UVB rays. It does not gauge protection from UVA rays.

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