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Choosing the best moisturizing sunscreen is generally not easy, because finding a product that serves multiple, different functions is often difficult. The key is looking for ingredients that moisturize and nourish the skin in addition to providing protection from the sun. There are various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to look for, along with a sun-blocker that is either chemical or physical in nature. The right combination of both can produce softer, healthier skin that is protected from the sun's dangerous UVA and UVB rays.
When shopping for the best moisturizing sunscreen, start by examining sun-blocking ingredients. There are two different types to choose from, chemical and physical. Chemical sunblocks do not form a physical barrier on the skin. Instead, they are absorbed into the skin and deactivate sunlight. Some chemical sunscreens are benzenes, aminobenzoic acid, and cinnamates.
Another alternative for the sun-blocking agent is a physical sunblock. These are usually listed as titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Instead of being absorbed into the skin like chemicals, physical blocks sit on the surface and absorb the sun’s rays. This is beneficial for those who have sensitive skin. An added benefit to physical sunblocks is that they are antimicrobial in nature, which means that they have a healing affect on cuts and scratches.
Once a sun-blocking agent is chosen, the next step is to look for ingredients that help moisturize the skin. Antioxidants are one group of ingredients to look for in a moisturizing sunscreen, because they help reverse damage that has already been done by the sun. These also help protect the skin from environmental damage. Some antioxidants to look for in moisturizing sunscreens are vitamins A, E, and C, along with pro-vitamins, like B3 and B5.
In addition to antioxidants, other ingredients that aid in moisturizing the skin are oatmeal and soy. Oatmeal forms a protective barrier so that moisture is not able to escape the skin. While soy has properties that improve both the appearance and texture of the skin.
Other important ingredients to help moisturize the skin are water and oil. Water provides the skin with hydration, and oil helps this by providing additional moisture. Most people should stay away from a moisturizing sunscreen that has large amounts of alcohol, because alcohol is often drying to the skin.