Anyone who has lived in Colorado for any length of time knows well enough to seize the day when the sun is shining when the calendar still says it’s winter. We may be rollerblading down the street in shorts and a tank in 70 degrees temperatures this week, but next week we may have four inches of snow on the ground and will be breaking out the snowshoes. Regardless of the temperature, the Colorado sun is intense and whether you are skiing on snow or water, sunscreen needs to be part of your ritual to get ready to go play outdoors.

Choosing a Sunscreen

Once you’ve realized all your bottles from last year are either empty or expired, you need to go shopping for new sunscreen. Will you use the same brand as last year or try something new? Kallgren Dermatology Clinic in Boulder has some sunscreen buying tips for you.

Two Main Types

  • The two main types of sunscreen are barrier and chemical.
  • Barrier sunscreen usually has zinc oxide in it and acts like a mirror and reflects the sun’s rays away from your skin.
  • Kallgren Dermatology recommends this type of sunscreen, and specifically EltaMD

Always Use Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

  • If you sunscreen doesn’t say broad spectrum, or that it protects against UVA and UVB rays, throw it away.
  • UVA rays are the main cause of skin cancer, and are the rays that cause coloration, be it tanning or freckles.
  • UVB rays cause your skin to red when exposed to them.


You should have an annual check-up every year to check for early signs of skin cancer. Call Kallgren Dermatology for an appointment.