Protect yourself: What is the safest way to protect your skin
Have you ever been confused by all the terms and vocabulary associated with sun protection?
Knowing how to properly protect yourself from the suns powerful rays will be the difference between a burn, premature aging and/or skin cancer development. As a skin care specialist, I am dedicated to educating my clients on how to protect their skin from the suns damaging rays. Although, sun protection products were introduced to American in the 1960’s, most of us are still confused on how to safely protect our skin.
Natural Sunscreens : Full protection
It has been deemed by the skincare industry and the FDA that Titanium and zinc oxide are the only physical sunscreens with full protection from UVA and UVB. These full protection products are called broad spectrum sunscreens, they are the most effective protection from damages to the skin caused by the sun and the best way to prevent sun burn and skin cancer. Broad spectrum products have advanced formulations with lightweight and non greasy feeling applications. The FDA requires products labeled broad spectrum must undergo testing to prove their efficacy. Only products with an SPF 15 or higher can claim they reduce the risk of skin cancer or premature aging.
Chemical sunscreens : Minimal Coverage
All other sunscreen formulations contain chemical ingredient bases. Chemical based sun products are known to contain skin irritants, have little or no ability to reflect the suns rays and provide minimal protection from the suns rays. Most chemical based products only protect from the UVB rays and have no protection against the UVA rays. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and UVA rays cause skin cancer and premature aging.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
SPF is the measurement for how long a sunscreen will protect against burning
There is a method to understanding how long you can stay in the sun and how well the product formula filters the suns rays:
1. Take the amount of minutes you can stay in the sun before burning or turning pink
2. Multiply that number by the SPF Rating in the product
The result is the amount of time you can spend in the sun using sunscreen without burning.
For example; if you stay in the sun for 15 min before turning pink and you’ve applied SPF 15 you should have protection for 225 minutes before your skin burns.
The amount of protection from SPF ratings reaches almost 100% at SPF 30, therefore any rating above that has a minimal protection increase. Only SPF 15 or higher can claim reduction of skin cancer and protection against premature aging of the skin. Experts suggest reapplying SPF 15 or higher every 2 hours at least.