July is UV Awareness Month and for good reason. What do you really know about your sunscreen?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Your ideal sunscreen will have an SPF of 30 and will protect against UVA and UVB rays. Why is this important? UVB rays will burn us but the UVA rays will age us and can give us cancer. One way to remember this is B is for burn and A is for Age. Look for the words Broad Spectrum to include both UVA and UVB in your sunscreen product. In fact, broad spectrum is more important than SPF when considering sun protection.
SPF 30 means it takes your skin 30 times longer to get red than if you are wearing no sun protection at all. If your unprotected skin reddens after 10 minutes in the sun, then with a generous layer of SPF 30, it would take 300 minutes (or 5 hours) for your skin to start burning.
This does not mean we can put sunscreen on once and go to the beach for five hours!
Remember: Sunscreen, Sweat, Swim, Shade, Repeat.
Some researchers think that sunscreens with high SPFs (over 30), and misleading names like “sweat-proof” may even increase the risk of melanoma, since they can trick us into staying in the sun longer and absorbing more overall radiation.
There is also evidence that a vitamin A additive in sunscreens, retinyl palmitate, speeds the development of skin tumors and lesions when in the sunlight. This additive is found in 25% of all sunscreens. It is fine in moisturizers because it has some great anti-aging properties, but you don’t want to combine it with sunlight!
We also want to avoid the hormone disrupter oxybenzone that is found is some chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone systems. Mineral sunscreens do not have those side effects and are a better choice.
At Radiance we offer TNS Daily Defense and Repair SPF 30 Sunscreen with ultra-sheer broad spectrum protection in a 100% mineral formulation. It is transparent, hypoallergenic, PABA-free and fragrance-free. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
We also offer Cosmedix Reflect SPF 30 Sunscreen, the first titanium, non-chemical, spray-on sunscreen on the market. This broad spectrum protection is in a non-irritating, oil-free formula.
The sun’s strong UVA rays are responsible for up to 80% of facial aging such as wrinkles, dryness and spotty pigmentation. See one of our expert Radiance aestheticians who can perform a Visia Computer Complexion Analysis to measure your skin’s sun damage, texture, pores, wrinkles, and more. She will also help you determine the best sunscreen for your skin.