Be Sun Smart!
We are out in the sun every single day and the results of having fun in the sun without proper sun protection can be detrimental to our health as well as our looks. If looking young is important to you, wearing sun protection is one of your best youth preservers. Oh, and sunscreen in your make-up is not enough!
Sun damage is progressive just like gaining weight or earning interest on money. Premature aging of the skin, irregular pigmentation, wrinkles and leathery looking skin are all in part results of the effects of sunlight. Two minutes of casual sun per day equates to two full weeks of sunbathing. Wearing sun protection isn’t only about avoiding burns. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types and unfortunately, rates have been on the rise in the past few decades.
True or False?
The best way to shop for sunscreen is to compare SPF strength. Answer: FALSE. There are many factors to consider when selecting a sunscreen. SPF is not a consumer-friendly label. SPF refers to UVB (burning), the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn. UVA (aging) penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and has been known to play a major part in skin aging. UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers. The importance of using sun protection with both UVA and UVB (Broad Spectrum) protection cannot be emphasized enough. To make sure you are “covered” (pun intended), look for a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher preferably with a minimum of 10% concentration of Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide. This will ensure a favorable application without feeling sticky (assuming that the base ingredients that constitute the lotion itself are not loaded with petroleum based and/or synthetic ingredients, which can make a product feel thick and greasy).
Why wear sun protection year round?
While UVB rays (burning rays) might vary according to different climates or seasons, UVA rays are constant, no matter the season.
Why Zinc Oxide?
Zinc Oxide is a powered mineral that sits on top of the skin. Zinc Oxide is a “physical” sunscreen and has a reputation for feeling thick and looking white on the skin. Modern micronizing techniques have created ways to break up zinc particles so as to be invisible without compromising functionality of reflecting/blocking UVA and UVB rays. Zinc Oxide naturally cools the skin, which makes it a great choice for the southwest region of the country where temperatures are so high. Cooling the skin is key for reducing the cascading effects of inflammation that may break down DNA and speed up the aging process.
Other active ingredients such as octyl methoxycinnimate and benzophenones are considered chemical sunscreens which absorb UV radiation before it absorbs into the skin, however, these chemicals get used up in the process, sometimes as much as 50% within minutes.
Remember, SPF refers solely to protection against burning. When considering the UVB ray protection, be aware that the increased amount of chemicals required to increase the SPF levels above 30 may not be worth the chemical impact on the skin.
A product with: Will filter out approximately:
SPF 15 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 and up 98% of UVB rays (usually contain significant increased amounts of chemicals)
For best overall results, it is wise to select a facial quality lotion or crème with great base ingredients, Broad Spectrum (UVA & UVB) protection, and anti-oxidants to preserve the quality of your skin cells.