With May being National Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month I want to help you protect yourself by understanding what all those words and numbers on the shelf really mean. There is no one on this planet that does not need sunscreen on a daily basis. Skin cancer is not prejudice to color or race. Even on a cloudy day up to 80 percent of damaging UV rays still reach us.
The two different UV rays that we want to guard against are UVA and UVB rays.
UVA rays cause premature aging such as fine lines and age spots. If you come to me for a facial and ask how to look younger be prepared to hear the answer of using a daily SPF. There is no better age fighter than prevention even if "you’re never out in the sun", damaging UVA rays penetrate through your car windows. Cue the harmless family business plug....I only trust my car's UV protection with DT Services Window Tinting. They have amazing options to keep central Indiana protected during our daily commutes, visit http://www.carmeltint.com
UVB rays cause those dreaded sunburns we all have experienced from lack of protection.
Some sunscreens only cover one of these UV rays so it is important to purchase a broad spectrum SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays because both can cause skin cancer.
There is also the matter of whether to choose a chemical or physical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens protect by using chemicals to absorb the UV rays so that they do not penetrate your skin. While probably being a more effective form of sun protection they can be irritating to sensitive skin types.
Physical sunscreens do not use chemicals but titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to block the UV rays from penetrating your skin. This type of SPF is most preferable for sensitive skin types like rosacea because they can actually be soothing to the skin. Some do not like physical sunscreens because they are harder to blend into the skin and can sometimes leave a whitish tint to the skin. All and all I think we put way too many chemicals into our bodies and I will take this sunscreen type over a chemical one any day.
SPF is the Sun Protection Factor. Now to address all the numbers...4...30...98....Is the higher the number the better? Not necessarily. It has been noted that an SPF of 15 will protect against 93% of UV rays whereas an SPF of 30 only increases your protection by 4%, giving you a protection against 97% of UV rays. So on a day to day basis a broad spectrum SPF of 30 will provide excellent coverage. But what does that little number really mean? If you typically burn when you are out in the sun after 10 minutes of exposure then a SPF 30 will protect you 30 times longer than your normal burn rate so you shouldn't have to reapply for 5 hours unless you have been sweating or swimming. If your day will be filled with sweating or water activities opt for a water-resistant or water-proof sunscreen.
My all-time favorite sunscreen is from Tizo. I personally wear the Tizo3 its a physical sunscreen with a little tint to it. I think it provides just the coverage I need with a silky smooth application that wears beautifully under makeup. I can hardly keep this and its untinted counter part (Tizo2) on my shelves. Ask for a sample the next time you’re in. If you have any questions about your sunscreen needs don’t hesitate to ask. Your skin health is my number one concern!