Springtime has arrived on the Front Range, and while this doesn’t mean we won’t get another Mother’s Day snowfall, it does mean that outdoor activities are calling. Familiar hiking paths welcome us, and new bike trails call our names. When you are restocking your hiking backpack be sure to check if your sunscreen is the kind you want to be using. To help you make sure you are using the best sunscreen we’ve come up with a sun guide. We are Kallgren Dermatology in Boulder, and we care about your skin. We treat many disorders of the skin as well as providing cosmetic products and procedures to help your skin look as young and healthy as long as possible.

There are so many kinds of sunscreen it can be overwhelming to choose one to use. After all, it’s an extremely important decision. Protecting your skin is more than just a vain attempt to avoid a sunburn to make sure your tan is even. The health of your skin affects how you look and can affect your overall health. To pick the best sunscreen, you’ll need to understand a few terms to understand. We’ll review of few of these terms now.


  • This means Sun Protection Factor and indicates how strong the sunscreen is. The number used is generally taken as a multiplier of how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For instance, if you can normally stay out in the sun for 10 minutes before your burn and use an SPF 15, you can stay out for 10 x 15 or 150 minutes. However, this does not take into account your activity level, and if you are sweating or swimming, you will need to reapply. Anything above SPF 15 us good. After SPF 15, the increase in protection is in single digit increases of percentage. For example, SPF 50 sunscreen blocks 98 percent of sunburn rays; SPF 100 blocks 99 percent.


  • There are two types of radiation rays that travel from the sun, through our atmosphere, and to the surface of the Earth. These two types are UVA and UVB.
  • The sunscreen you should buy will protect your skin from both of these types, and this is known as broad spectrum.
  • Just so you know, UVA rays as the type that are responsible for the premature, in the form of wrinkles, aging you see on people who have spent a lot of time out in the sun without sunscreen, or in tanning beds. Remember that A goes with aging. Besides aging, UVA A rays are the ones that trigger melanin and bring out the freckles or your tan.
  • UVA rays are responsible for many skin cancers as well, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell cancers.
  • UVB rays trigger a sunburn and, having more energy than UVA rays; they cause damage to the DNA of your skin cells.
  • These changes to the DNA of your skin cells is the main cause of skin cancer, including melanoma.

Use EltaMD Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

  • To protect your skin from both UVA and UVB, you’ll want to choose a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • One of the best broad spectrum brands to use EltaMD, which comes in several strong SPF levels.
  • EltaMD offers regular sunscreen, tinted sunscreen, and SPF lip balm to protect your lips from sun damage.

Kallgren Dermatology sells EltaMD products, so call us today to set yourself up for a summer of fun and sun protection for your skin. We also provide annual skin cancer screening so call for an appointment to have your check up too!