Why Sunscreen? Become a Pro!Apr 25, 2023
Why Sunscreen? Become a Pro!
The sun provides Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UVA rays are most responsible for aging your skin. UVB rays are most responsible for sunburn. Both negatively affect skin.
UV radiation can cause skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
Over 3,000,000 people are affected by skin cancer each year.
The numbers are growing.
Protect yourself from the sun. Don’t get a sunburn!
Use sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and seek shade when possible.
What type of sunscreen is best?
Be sure your sunscreen and daily facial products have broad-spectrum protection (which covers both UVA and UVB rays) and are at least SPF 30 or higher. Look for products containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These naturally occurring minerals offer the best overall protection against UV radiation because they reflect or refract UV radiation. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation. Mineral sunscreens, even when micronized, can leave a whitish cast on the skin which may not be cosmetically preferable. If that is the case for you, select a chemical sunscreen.
Pro Tip: Tinted sunscreen adds extra protection against visible light for truly broad-spectrum coverage. This can be a great option.
Pro Tip: Don’t be fooled by higher SPF levels. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) only calculates UVB rays, not UVA or visible light. The number after the SPF corresponds to time, but not to a maximum factor. Reapply the SPF 30 and SPF 100 in the same frequency for best protection.
When to apply and reapply sunscreen?
Remember to apply your thicker base sunscreen (about 2 tablespoons for your entire body) 30 minutes before heading outdoors, to get the maximum benefit. Making this part of your morning routine is a win for your skin.
Pro Tip: Put your sunscreen on before you get dressed. This will prevent you from missing key spots such as your lips, ears, neck, back of hands, feet and upper chest. This is especially good for kids. Starting good habits young will last a lifetime.
Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours; more frequently if you are in or around the water or sweating. Pick something that is easy to reapply – it will make the process much easier and enjoyable. There are a variety of types of sunscreens available, including gels, lotions, sticks, creams, sprays and powders.
Pro Tip: Cream sunscreen is the easiest to see if it is applied evenly.
Pro Tip: Spray or Powder sunscreen may blow away in the wind, leading to inadequate and uneven coverage. Best to spray the product into your hand and rub it in from there.
Pro Tip: Lip cancer is becoming more and more prevalent. Use a lip product with SPF to protect yourself. Most lip glosses and lipsticks attract the sun, making your risk higher. Look for something with SPF that you like that you will use and reapply often.
Is Sunscreen Safe for Babies and Toddlers?
Start your child’s life by protecting them from sun exposure.
Use sun-protective clothing and shade for babies under 6 months old. Once your baby reaches 6 months in age, physical sunscreens (those with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are safe to add to your sun protection plans. Be practical. If you can’t be in the shade, be sure to use sunscreen!
Pro tip: Sit in the shade whenever possible, especially between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. UV rays can penetrate into shady areas too, but you are definitely more protected in the shade. Try alternating sun and shade to increase your pleasure and lengthen your stay outdoors.
Pro tip: If you are concerned about Vitamin D deficiency because you are sitting in the shade… no need to worry! Studies show that though sunscreen is an effective tool, it does not block 100% of the sun’s rays. Therefore, most people get enough vitamin D from their diet and lifestyle. If you have concerns about lack of vitamin D, for most people, vitamin D supplements are safe. Confirm this choice with your physician just to be sure the supplement is right for you.
Questions about Sunscreen Safety?
- Physical sunscreens (zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide) are considered “physical blockers”. These naturally occurring minerals are safe and effective for you and the environment.
- The FDA does not have enough data to comment on chemical sunscreens. Studies indicate some systemic absorption but do not prove any harmful effects from this absorption.
- Exposure to UV radiation is proven worse than any effect from sunscreen use.
Pro tip: Replace your sunscreen every year with new sunscreen. This ensures its efficacy and utilization of the most updated ingredients and safety.
Overall Best Outdoor Practices
Start a Photoprotection program
- Use sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and shade as your defense against harmful UV radiation.
Prepare a “sun bag” to bring with you anytime you might be outside. Keep it stocked!
∙ Wide-brimmed hat (to cover the back of neck, ears and cheeks)
∙ Broad-spectrum sunscreen for the body, face and lips
∙ Long-sleeved crewneck shirt, UV-blocking clothing (this actually keeps you cooler)
∙ Sunglasses with UV block
∙ Blanket or towel
Keep your summer v-neck shirts for inside or evening wear. The skin on your chest is extremely thin and easily damaged. If you are outside during the day, wear crew-neck shirts as often as possible.
Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. Use a self-tanner that contains DHA if you desire color.
Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. If you see anything suspicious, see your dermatologist.
See your dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam.
Share sun tip information with a friend. Help your friends and family be sun smart.
Think of sun care as something you do for yourself, like a healthy diet or exercise. You will love the results!