With summer in full swing, we can’t ignore the countless varieties of sunscreens at our local grocery and drugstores.
According to the Environmental Working Group [EWG], a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, there are more than 1,800 products including sunscreens, lip balms with SPF [sun protection factor], moisturizers and makeup.
What exactly does a sunscreen do and why do we need it? They do the following:
- Reflect, absorb, and scatter both ultraviolet A and B radiation, i.e. UVA and UVB.
- Provide protection against both types of radiation
- Using lotions, creams, or gels that contain sunscreen will help skin against premature aging and damage which could lead to skin cancer
Let’s look at what SPF, UVB, and UVA mean.
- SPF [sun protection factor] is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. The chief cause of reddening and sunburn, UVB rays tend to damage the epidermis, skin's outer layers, where the most common (and least dangerous) forms of skin cancer occur.
- UVB [ultra-violet B] These rays penetrate the upper layers of the skin known as the epidermis and cause the skin to burn.
- UVA [ultra-violet A] more easily remembered as "UV Aging rays” UVA contains radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which is nearest to visible light and extends from about 320 to 400 nm in wavelength and that causes tanning and contributes to aging of the skin. These rays penetrate deeper through the epidermis into the lower layers of skin known as the dermis.
So why does a dermatologist only use an SPF of 30? People in a recent study rated a high SPF number as the number-one reason they bought one sunscreen over another, but only 43% of people in the study knew what SPF actually meant.
Here’s the real definition: an SPF of 30 means that technically, you could be out in the sun 30 times longer before you get sunburned than you would be able to if you went out without sunscreen, as long as you keep reapplying it appropriately.
According to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine:
- SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays
- SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays
- SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays.
The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only a 1% filtering improvement.
For those who think their skin color exempts them from having to worry about sun protection, dermatologists have a message: Damaging UV rays can penetrate all types of skin, regardless of your ethnicity, so even people with dark skin need sunscreen.
4 sun-safety facts for people of all skin tones
1.UV Rays Damage Everyone’s Skin
2.Time in the Sun Will Age Your Skin
3.Find a Sunscreen to Suit You
4.Skin Cancer Can Occur Even in Spots That Rarely See the Sun [bottom of your feet]
4 ways to protect your skin against sun damage without sunscreen
- Stay under an umbrella or shaded area
- Wear long sleeves
- Wear a hat and sunglasses
- Avoid tanning beds
I personally conducted a mini-measurement poll on Facebook. I asked 937 men and women if they thought sunscreen was important. The Results: 100% said YES.
During the summer our skin can experience dryness. This is not just a winter problem. Keep your skin hydrated with water, eating fresh fruit, and moisturizer.
Camellia Alise has one of the best natural moisturizers for your skin. Remember, the best time of day to moisturize the skin is when you are straight out of the shower and the body is still damp.
Also, don’t forget to moisturize your skin at night as it makes the skin glow and defends the skin during sleeping hours.
Camellia Alise offers Finishing Touch. This amazing product helps maintain healthy post shave skin with essential oils that provide moisture.
The natural oils instantly calm and soothe dry irritated skin after a close shave and help to prevent ingrown hairs. Our oil can be used pre-shave to soften hairs and post-shave to soothe skin.
Reference/research: dermatologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Until next time, catch you Beyond the Razor!
Contributing Writer: Sharon Lee Zapata