Is Sunscreen More Effective Than Sitting In The Shade?

Is Sunscreen More Effective Than Sitting In The Shade?

If you had to choose between sunscreen or sitting under a beach umbrella, which would it be?

Thanks to a new study, we have the answer for our Nashville patients. In recent research carried out in Lake Lewisville, Texas, it was found that sunscreens protected skin better from UV rays than shade from umbrellas. After splitting groups up to use sunscreen and a beach umbrella respectively, the umbrella group had 142 sunburned areas compared to with 17 in the sunscreen group. Surprising, right?

The ultimate takeaway from the researchers was that sunscreen nor a beach umbrella alone prevented sunburn.  This highlights the importance of using combinations of sun protection practices to optimize protection against UV rays.

As all my Nashville patients know, I’m a huge advocate for mineral based sunscreens! While a high SPF is always important, don’t forget that you need protection against both UVA and UVB rays - and that means you should always be looking for sunscreen that contains zinc in order to block both rays in the Nashville sun. Can’t remember the difference between UVA and UVB? Read our blog about them.

So this begs the question - which sunscreens should you buy? Lucky for you, we’ve done our research to find the best and most affordable products that we always recommend to our Nashville patients. Here are my favourites:

If you’re looking for water resistant sunscreens, these are your best options:

Want to learn more about how you can best protect your skin in the sun? Visit us at any of our Skin Solutions Dermatology branches in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JAMA Dermatology

Related Buzz: How Well Do You Know Your UV Rays?, 11 Things You Need to Know About Sunburns

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD