BLOG 126 SUNSCREEN
Lathering on sunscreen should be part of our daily regime and “getting ready” process in the morning. The harmful UV rays of the sun are cancer causing and dangerous, yet we still have to live our lives and be exposed. In fact, being tan is part of our Southern California state of mind. Tanning beds still exist. Being properly protected and taking the necessary preventative measures are extremely important. So put on that sunscreen.
But knowing which sunscreen to pick can be rather complicated. This lotion works in one of two ways depending on the type you buy. One type protects us by scattering the light which reflects the sun away from you and the other type absorbs the UV rays before they actually get to your skin. And we have to be careful because, “ ‘A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high sun protection factor (SPF) — which rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer-causing UV ray, ultraviolet B (UVB.) “SPF refers to blockage of UVB rays only,’ says Leffell. Research soon showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don’t cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into skin and cause wrinkles. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime’s exposure to UVA rays” (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/whats-best-sunscreen#1).
So how do which know what to buy?? Which is the best?? You definitely want both UVA and UVB rays to be covered. UVA doesn’t have a number associated with it but UVB does with SPF 15 or higher. One must know what SPF refers to: “The SPF factor rates how effective the sunscreen is in preventing sunburn caused by UVB rays. If you’d normally burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 multiplies that by a factor of 15, meaning you could go 150 minutes before burning” (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/whats-best-sunscreen#1). You should also take into consideration water and sweat resistance.
To put this in simpler terms, make sure to look for a sunscreen based on its SPF and one that contains one or more of the following ingredients: camsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Truth be told this can still be a bit confusing because having a higher SPF doesn’t mean the sunscreen is that much better. It just means the longer it lasts. Here was an example I found, “Contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn’t twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement” (http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/whats-best-sunscreen#1).
Be sure to wear some form of protection and research which brand is appropriate for your skin type, time spent in the sun and what activities you will be doing. Protect your skin while you are young, prevent further damage, and be adamant about doing this daily. We hear from our elders so often that they wish they would have done this. Sunscreen!!!! There’s no counter argument here ?