The Sun is the only star, and the largest object in our solar system. It is a giant ball of glowing gasses and keeps our planet warm enough for life to exist, and gives us light! Unfortunately for our skin, sunlight comes with Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation that we cannot visibly see or feel. This invisible energy is dangerous to our skin when left unprotected.
Types of UV Rays:
Two types of UV Rays cause skin damage including UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are mostly responsible for fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots, while UVB rays are mostly responsible for producing sunburns and skin cancer. Here is an easy way to remember the difference:
UVA(ging) and UVB(urn)
It’s important to note that damage to the skin can occur through windows and tech screens like your computer or television too.
So, what is SFP?
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF), is the measure of how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays. The SPF scale is not linear, and it is important to understand the following:
● SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
● SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
● SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
This means that using products with an SPF higher than 50 is not much more effective in protecting your skin. In addition, SPF does not measure or tell you anything about protection from UVA rays. Higher levels of SPF cause a false sense of protection, as these products typically offer higher UVB protection, and not enough UVA protection.
UVB ray protection is NOT ENOUGH to help protect your skin from visible signs of aging. Because of this, Broad Spectrum sunscreen has been developed.
What is Broad Spectrum Sunscreen?
“Broad Spectrum” within the sun protection category is a term that refers to UVA and UVB protection. Due to FDA regulations, seeing a “Broad Spectrum” label on a sunscreen product means that the UVA protection is proportional to the UVB
protection provided in the product. Our Advice: ALWAYS USE BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN if you want to protect your skin from aging caused by sun exposure.
Types of Sunscreen:
There are two types of sunscreens available on the market: Chemical Sunscreen and Mineral Sunscreen.
Chemical Sunscreens are made up of chemical actives like avobenzone, homosalate and penetration enhancers. These actives penetrate the skin for absorption, and through a chemical reaction, dissipates UV rays. This means that before these chemicals can offer UV protection, they must be absorbed into the skin. Aggravation to sensitive skin may occur, and once penetrated into the skin, chemicals can trickle into your bloodstream and can even be filtered into other bodily fluids like breast milk... not cool.
Mineral Sunscreens are a gentle and harmless alternative to chemical-based sunscreen products. Mineral sunscreens are made up of naturally occurring minerals including Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These UV protecting minerals can also be formulated synthetically. These mineral actives do not penetrate the skin, but rather sit on top of the skin, creating a physical barrier between your skin and the UV rays. The minerals then reflect UVA AND UVB rays away from the skin, meaning sun protection begins as soon as the product is applied. Because Mineral Sunscreens reflect both UVA and UVB rays away from the skin, they are naturally considered “Broad-Spectrum”.
If you have sensitive skin, or are trying to protect your skin from both burning AND aging, Mineral Sunscreen is the way to go. Please also remember that EVERYONE under the sun, or exposed to the sun should wear sunscreen daily - no matter what skin type, color, or complexion you have. In fact, dermatologists often recommend wearing Broad-Spectrum SPF products indoors to help protect against damaging UV rays from tech screens. Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours for sufficient protection.
Last, but Not Least:
You can help protect your skin against UV rays by eating quality foods. Here are a few foods that can offer sun protection and help repair your skin from sun exposure:
● Blueberries: Rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, blueberries can help fight off free radicals and prevent fine lines from forming.
● Watermelon: Lycopene, an antioxidant heavily present in watermelons, absorbs UVA + UVB rays, so eating watermelon regularly can boost natural sun protection.
● Nuts + Seeds: Walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax all contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps to maintain skin integrity.
● Carrots + Leafy Greens: Loaded with beta carotene which is naturally converted into Vitamin A, carrots and leafy greens help promote proper skin function. Leafy greens are also rich in antioxidants which help protect against wrinkling, sun damage, and even skin cancer.
● Green Tea: High levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in green tea help reduce skin damage from UVA rays, and protect against the loss of collagen which gives the skin integrity and firmness.
● Cauliflower: Containing significant levels of antioxidants, cauliflower helps to fight off oxidative stress from free radicals.
Now that you (hopefully) have a clear understanding about UV ray protection, consider your options, and apply your sunscreen daily. We always encourage healthy alternatives to chemicals, as they can irritate the skin and potentially cause other issues. With a Broad-Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen, you can have fun in the sun without harming your skin! Enjoy!
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