Cosmetic Chemist Elina Fedotova Shares Everything You Need To Know About Sunscreen - Exclusive

If you're hoping to spend your day soaking up the sun's rays, you probably want to avoid ending the day with a horrible sunburn. "Before going outside on warm summer days, we need to ensure we will enjoy the sun without any unpleasant health side effects," cosmetic chemist Elina Fedotova said during an exclusive interview with Health Digest.

In order to steer clear of skin damage, investing in a sun hat or beach umbrella is number one. "The best way to block the sun is to wear a hat and cover it with clothing," she told us.

But if you're hoping to hop in the water or simply get a glowing tan, that's when sunscreen comes into play. With so many different options lining the shelves, where in the world should a person start?

"I believe in using mineral-concentrated sun protection, which offers physical skin protection by reflecting UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin," Fedotova said. She also told us exactly what kind of ingredients you should search for and how often you should reapply the product.

What we all should look for on a sunscreen label

While trying to decipher exactly which type of sunscreen you should be putting on your skin, there is one ingredient that Elina Fedotova recommends always looking for on the label. "Zinc oxide continues to be the safest and most effective sun screening ingredient," she told Health Digest. "It helps to protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays."

Other more common chemicals found in sunscreen (such as octisalate, oxybenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, and octocrylene) are not as effective, and they can even be harmful long after we use them. "Nowadays, these sunscreen ingredients are banned in Hawaii because they are damaging to nature," Fedotova explained.

Instead, zinc oxide is the safest sunscreen ingredient that she continues to recommend to all of her clients who love soaking up the sun. "I suggest choosing one with a minimum of 23%," she said.

Here's how often you should really be reapplying sunscreen

Whenever you plan to spend extra time in the sun, you should always pack extra sunscreen. "Sometimes people apply sunscreen in the morning and then excessively sweat or swim, and then they are surprised that they get hyperpigmentation and burn even though they are wearing sunscreen," Elina Fedotova told us.

Sunscreen is definitely not a one-and-done thing, so it's extremely important to reapply throughout the day. That brings us to our next question: How often should that be?

It turns out, there's no hard and fast rule for when a person needs to be putting on extra sunscreen. "Each of us has our immune protection against UV," Fedotova said.

To figure out what your natural level of immune protection may be, she suggests standing out in the sun to see how long it takes to affect the color of your skin. "If it takes you 10 minutes without turning red, then a sun block with 8 or 10 will extend your sun exposure 8 or 10 times," she explained. "After that, you will need to reapply, which is 100 minutes."

Learn more about Elina Organics Holistic Clinical Skincare at, and follow along on Instagram @elinaorganics.