Skin cancer really is no joke, and now that we the general public are much better informed about the risks of staying out in the sun for extended periods of time, we tend to do a much better job of protecting ourselves.

However, the question still remains – which sunscreen should you choose?

Sun protection

Broadly speaking, the higher the SPF factor, the better the protection from the harmful UVA and UVB rays that penetrate the skin, damaging DNA and promoting cancer cell growth in the process. SPF30 is a good starting point, as it can block up to 97% of the harmful rays.

The next thing to consider then is whether to go for mineral or carbon-based solutions. Although thicker to apply than carbon-based solutions, mineral based sunscreens are usually less of a skin irritant if you have sensitive skin, and surprisingly have less of an environmental effect on the water in which you might be swimming.

Oh, and if you use the spray, make sure that you actually spray enough to form a thick (in other words useful) barrier!

Narrated by Julianna Zarzycki, Mary Poffenroth joins forces with TED-Ed to bring us this nicely animated explainer video:

Related Link: TED-Ed | YouTube