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There are so many misconceptions on sunscreen. With this month being Skin Cancer Awareness I wanted to bring some attention to these misconceptions, their harm, and help you better protect yourself and your family.
The higher the SPF the better?
More often than not the answer is no. SPF stands for sun protection factor, it is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. If we used simple math, one would assume that you can stay in the sun twice as long with SPF 100 than you can with SPF 50, but not necessarily the case. The extra protection a product that claims SPF 100 is negligible. These falsities have led many people to stay in the sun far longer than protected without reapplying their sunscreen. Most often these higher SPF’s also come with many chemicals of concern and are linked to skin allergies. One of the main ingredients of concern is Oxybenzone (or benzophenone-3), this chemical is believed to have estrogenic properties which can lead to hormone disruption. Many of these chemicals also produce free radicals, which can lead to premature aging and can affect normal cell function including DNA mutations.
Chemical vs Mineral
There are two types of sunscreens, chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed by your body, they penetrate the layers of the skin and work by absorbing and scattering UV rays. The absorption of these chemicals into the bloodstream are a large and growing concern. These chemicals also have a risk of breaking down in the sun, making them less effective, and this is believed to actually cause further skin damage. Mineral sunscreens do not penetrate the skin, they reflect and scatter UV rays. Most mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide or a combination of both. These are more stable and have less breakdown than chemical sunscreens.
UVA and UVB
The two harmful rays that come from the sun are UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave) . UVA rays penetrate deep into the epidermis. Overexposure to UVA rays can lead to premature aging, loss of collagen and suppression of the immune system. UVB rays are usually what burn the surface of the skin, typical sunburns. When you hear SPF, it typically refers to the protection against UVB rays. UVB rays play a key role in the development of skin cancer. UVB rays are the strongest during the warmer months and typically between 10am and 4pm. Avoiding prolonged exposure during these times are a key part of protecting yourself.
I know, I know, I love the sun too! So I won’t leave you without some good news, there are options, lots of them. Below is a little run down to help you stay protected but keep that healthy glow we all love.
FAUX GLOW - We know everyone loves that sun kissed glow so we searched high and low to find safer sunless tanners that didn’t compromise results. We have a self tanning solution for EVERYONE, from chocolate smelling lotions, tinted mousses, and invisible foams to washable body blurs.
~ The Chocolate Sun offers 3 levels of color, these are non-tinted lotions that yes smell like chocolate! They are hydrating and do not leave you with the awful self tan smell in the morning. For the face, the tinted facial gel leaves an immediate beautiful bronze tint.
~ Vita Liberata offers a tinted Mousse and the newest Invisi Mousse, both are applied with the tanning mitt. The gradual self tanner is great for those more timid to self tanning or someone wanting to extend the life of their current tan. The self tanning anti-age serum is Alicia Keys go to for her no-makeup glow. The body blur is a great option for a special event or when you are in need of some quick color. It gives an airbrushed appearance to the skin.
~ KVoss bronzing potion is a great temporary sun kissed look, also hydrates like nobody’s business, great for the face under makeup.
~ UVA & UVB Sun protection – Suntegrity Skincare line of sunscreens offer broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and have super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair. This all while scoring a 1 (the lowest) on the EWG.org hazard score. They offer body sunscreen as well as tinted and untinted primer and sunscreen in one for the face.
~ Antioxidant & Anti-aging Sun protection – Soleil Toujours suncare products offer The Eco Sun Complex, which is their proprietary antioxidant blend found in all of their products. This complex works to protect the skin from destructive effects of free radicals, which can damage the very DNA of your skin cells, destroying precious collagen and elastin that provides tautness and elasticity. They offer a mineral sunscreen with a tinted glow as well as organic mists and we are very excited for the SPF 15 hydra volume lip masque!
I hope these options make your summer a little safer for you and your skin. Happy Sunning!
The Natural Hart