When most of us are lucky enough to go somewhere hot and sunny or just getting around from day to day in the beautiful sun, we hardly ever think of what the sun is actually doing to our skin. Or even remember to put on sunscreen or even let alone remember to apply every 2 hours!
I can never say enough that protecting your skin is important, more important then dare I say .. washing your face?. It's always a challenge for people to choose a sunscreen when there are so many on the market at so many different prices. I mean who wants to stand around in your local pharmacy choosing a sunscreen when you could be outside enjoying the sun! So here is a guide that can hopefully clarify quality to look for and maybe save you the pain of decision.
Why it is important to wear a sunscreen every day?
1. The sun is out everyday even when it is rainy, snowy or cloudy. Think of when snowboarders go snowboarding on a cloudy day and they come back with a sun burn. or check out this girl? ^^
2. The suns rays can cause wrinkles, ages spots, sagging of the skin, lower immunity towards infection, texture changes in the skin and skin cancer.
3. The sun emits UVA/UVB and UVC rays
Here is a little on what each ray does:
UVA (340-400nm): Think of the 'A' as Aging the skin. This is the ray that you do not see immediately on your skin but you see 10-20 years from now. It works deeper in the skin and more efficiently to damage it. It also is not filtered by glass, so yes you have to wear sunscreen even when you are sitting indoors near a window!
UVB (290-320nm): Think of the 'B' as Burning the skin. This is the ray that tans or burns your skin, affecting the outer appearance of the skin(epidermis). this ray also does not go through glass. (so don't expect a tan sitting in your office)
UVC (200-290nm): And this gets absorbed by the atmosphere/o-zone layer, so no need to worry about it! yet.....
When looking for/using a sunscreen it is important to look out for certain things:
1. DO buy a sunscreen that is broad spectrum (UVA and UVB)
2. DO buy minimum spf 30 (spf 60 if you burn easy or are sensitive)
3. DO apply sunscreen every 2 hours that you are exposed to the sun (reapply after swimming, towelling off and sweating)
4. DO NOT buy sunscreens containing PABA - as about 40% of people are sensitive to it, causing redness, itchiness, and burning.
5. DO NOT buy sunscreens containing Benzophenone (benzophenone-3), homosalate, and octy-methoxycinnamate(octinoxate): These chemicals are of more concern because they have shown estrogenic activity in lab tests.
6. DO use 1 tablespoon of sunscreen per limb...yes it's a lot but that's how much you need!
Sunscreens provide either physical or chemical protection from UV light.
- Physical sunscreens form an opaque film that reflects or scatters UV light before it can penetrate the skin. These sunscreens contain ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Original formulations of physical sunscreens remained white when applied to the skin. Newer formulations blend more with your skin tone and are less noticeable.
- Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays before they can cause any damage. They contain one or more ingredients, such as avobenzone or oxybenzone, which absorb UVA or UVB rays. For broad protection, chemical sunscreens often contain more than one ingredient to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. A newer over-the-counter sunscreen contains mexoryl (Anthelios SX) and offers protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.
That's a lot to take in.... any questions? COMMENT! Like what you've read? FOLLOW! or Want to talk about something in specific? LEAVE A MESSAGE!
Thanks for reading ...