Five Things You'll Need to Know About Sunscreen to Survive Summer in Phoenix

Gigi Arredondo has been working in the industry for nearly a decade as a hair stylist, makeup artist, and beauty consultant in Old Town Scottsdale. She's constantly learning, trend hunting, and shopping -- all with access to beauty products not available to the public. And she's here to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Up today: Sunscreen.

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Dr. Michelle Jeffries is a Peoria and Sun City-based, board-certified dermatologist who validated what my clients are showing off this time of year -- sunburned necks, ears, and lips.

Jeffries, who practices at Beatrice Keller Clinic, typically hits on the key points with patients (apply 20 minutes before sun exposure, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wear protective clothing, and of course re-apply every two hours.) But today, she gives us the rundown on how to protect yourself from getting sun damage and slowing down the inevitable aging process.

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Seven Must-See Metro Phoenix Pool Parties in April

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Michelle Jeffries D.O.
What are the main protecting ingredients that you look for in a sunscreen?
I prefer ones that are zinc oxide/titanium dioxide or mineral-based because they reflect the sun off of your skin and also provide UVA and UVB protection.

Avobenzone is a chemical sunscreen and is in most sunscreen products. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV and change the energy state of UV radiation on your skin. The benefit is that it has good UVA protection but can degrade fast. Physical sunscreens (v. mineral) for the most part block or scatter UV rays. You should apply a generous amount at least 20 min before you go out in the sun and reapply every two hours or more often if needed.

What is SPF?
SPF means "sun protection factor." It only applies to UVB radiation that can cause sun burns and not to UVA (causes aging and skin cancer) radiation. A general way to think about SPF is that it allows you more minutes before you sun burn than if you weren't wearing it.

What is the lowest SPF you would recommend?
I recommend SPF of 30 (97 percent protection) and a max SPF of 50 (SPF 45 has a 98 percent protection rate) as higher than that really doesn't make sense. Higher SPF is slightly better, but you can't reach 100 percent no matter how high the SPF is.


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