With Reading Week and March Break in sight, thoughts turn to vacations, lying on the beach and making time to the hit the gym to be sure you look your best in that bathing suit. In your trip preparation be sure to find time to learn about the consequences of sun damage and purchase a good sunscreen.
One of the most commonly used terms when discussing sun protection is SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is the universal measurement of protection against ultra-violet rays (UV rays). SPF measures how much UV radiation is required to produce a sunburn on skin that’s protected with sunscreen as opposed to how much UV radiation is required to produce a sunburn on unprotected skin. For example; a sunscreen with 30 SPF protects your skin against 30 terms the exposure of UV rays than if you were not wearing any sunscreen.
Did you know that 90% of skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to UV light from the sun? Or, how about that 1 in 6 people will develop a form of skin cancer?
While wearing a good sunscreen decreases your chances of developing skin cancer, SPF also:
a) Reduces your skin’s appearance of aging. Wearing a good sunscreen prevents wrinkle development.
b) Gives your skin a more even tone and reduces your chances of developing age spots or experiencing hyperpigmentation.
While anti-aging products are effective, your skin will continue to show the signs of aging unless these products are paired with SPF in some way.
Wearing SPF daily doesn’t necessarily have to mean wearing a separate sunscreen. Many make-up lines consist of products that include an SPF, like this one here and some creams and serums contain an SPF as well, like these ones here.
Most people don’t think twice about applying sunscreen to their bodies, however, when it comes to putting it on their face people hesitate. Most people assume that all sunscreens are greasy, oily, have a strong scent and will clog their pores. Right? Wrong.
If you are going to wear a separate sunscreen, be sure to keep these things in mind when purchasing a product for your face:
1) Choose the correct SPF level. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a product with an SPF of 15 or higher on your face.
2) Select a product with broad-spectrum protection. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
3) Select an oil-free or noncomedogenic product. These are products recommended by dermatologists because they are lightweight and are guaranteed to not clog your pores.
4) Think about purchasing a tinted moisturizer-sunscreen combination. Using a combination product is a good way to minimize the number of product layers you need to apply.
5) Purchase your sunscreen from a company that already produces reputable skin care, such as this one here, or here.
If you need help selecting a good sunscreen or product with an SPF let us know next time you’re in the spa. Our aestheticians are also highly educated and qualified in this area and can answer any questions you have regarding sun damage treatments.
Myths Surrounding SPF
With so much information being circulated on the internet, all kinds of myths get created and believed whether they are true or not. Two of the most common myths are listed below.
Statement: If I’m wearing sunscreen or using a product with SPF I will not get enough vitamin D.
While vitamin D is essential for your overall health research has shown that relying solely on the sun for your vitamin D intake is dangerous. Adequate amounts should be obtained through milk and fish consumption, vitamin supplementation and limited sun exposure from daily activities while wearing sunscreen. The recommended dose of vitamin D for an adult is 1,000-2,000 IU per day and the sun is unreliable; some days giving you too much exposure, and sometimes not enough.
Statement: Some sunscreens can actually cause cancer.
Confusion in this area arose after a study released by the University of California, Riverside concluded that sunscreens actually caused cancer. While some of the findings were correct, they were taken completely out of context.
The report stated that when exposed to UV rays for an extended period of time, sunscreen ingredients can actually break down and stimulate cellular oxidation. While this can be cause for concern, this can be avoided through proper reapplication. All sunscreens, regardless of their SPF number or ingredients should be re-applied every 2 hours. Sunscreens formulated with antioxidants in conjunction with SPF can also eliminate this concern. Look for ingredients such as caffeine, silymarin, L-ascorbic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), resveratrol and glutathione for superior protection against sun-induced free radical damage.
Which sun care or SPF myths have you heard before?
Click here to learn more about SPF and proper sun care practises.
Enjoy your vacations!