Know what to look for in sun protection
Ultra Violet light rays
Sunlight has three categories: ultraviolet, visable and infra-red rays. Sunscreen is designed to protect you against two types of ultra-violet rays: Ultra Violet A (UVA) and Ultra Violet B (UVB). Both types of radiation contribute to skin cancer.
UVB rays are referred to as the tanning rays. This ray only has the strength to penetrate the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. These are the rays that cause sunburn. The SPF factor in sunscreens refers to UVB protection and will tell you how many times longer you can stay in the sun before you will start to burn. For example, SPF 30 means that you can stay in the sun up to 30 times longer than you could without Sunscreen.
In recent years it has been determined that UVA does more damage to the body than UVB because it penetrates much deeper; it is actually considered a light X-ray. These rays pass through the epidermis into the dermis layer of the skin. These rays cause the skin to wrinkle and loose elasticity, dilate blood vessels to give skin a permanent flushed appearance, create brown age spots and, in general, to cause “photoaging” and add years to your appearance. UVA is the same strength year round and penetrates through glass windows, light clothing, etc. (This is why colored fabric or paper will fade if placed near a sunny window for a few months). SkinHealth recommends using one of our sunscreens year round. Even if you stay indoors, if you work or sit near a sunny window, drive in your car, or walk to the comer to mail a letter, you are being (This is why colored fabric or paper will fade if placed near a sunny window for a few months).
SkinHealth recommends using one of our sunscreens year round. Even if you stay indoors, if you work or sit near a sunny window, drive in your car, or walk to the comer to mail a letter, you are being radiated and need protection for your face, hands and any other exposed areas. Damage from UVA is cumulative.
There are several ingredients that will protect against UVA rays
Micronized Zinc Oxide
Micronized Titanium Oxide
Avobenzone (Parsol 1789)
SkinHealth has sunscreens with each of those ingredients so you can choose the one you prefer. (Note from Cheryl: “My personal preference is micronized zinc oxide. In my opinion, it is the most protective.”)
What to look for in your sunscreen:
A sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays is referred to as a broad spectrum sunscreen. However, not all broad spectrum sunscreens are created equal. It is important to read labels and compare to determine the percentage of zinc oxide, titanium oxide or Parsol. If the percentages aren’t listed, be wary; you may not be getting enough protection. SkinHealth sunscreens contain some of the highest levels of protection available.
Remember that an SPF factor does not tell you if your sunscreen has a high level of protection from UVA rays!
There is also growing research that shows topical antioxidants can help reduce sun damage. Although antioxidants don’t replace the need to use sunscreens, when used in combination with them, they may enhance effectiveness.