OK, the warmer weather is finally here and no one is more happier than me. It's no secret that I'm absolutely not a fan of the cold, ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain…need I continue? I think you know were I’m going with this . While it may not be the 80 and 90 degree days of summer that I love. Its definitely warmer and many of us will be running to the beaches and pools to enjoy the summer days. But, while your out there don't forget to protect your skin with the proper sunscreen. Here are a few tips to keep your skin protected and healthy.
Why Protect Skin From the Sun?
My mother has told me countless times to stay out of the sun. She of course knows the damage it can cause. But, she also knows that I will be the first one out the door basking in the sun because she knows my equation for summer fun (summner sun = summer fun)!! For years my response to her has been the "sun is not bad it helps us create vitamin D" while this is true its only for the first 15 minutes of sun exposure. Although I love the sun I also realize that I need to take steps to protect it from harmful rays for the following reasons.
The sun produces harmful invisible rays known as UVA & UVB. UVA contributes to the aging of skin (fine lines & wrinkles)and UVB contributes to burning wich can lead to sunburn, suntan & leathery textured skin.
It's also helpful to refrain from extended sun exposure during the hours of 10AM - 4PM when sun rays are strongest and the most damage can occur.
How Does Sunscreen Protect Us?
The use of sunscreen prevents signs of aging, sun damage and reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Broad spectrum sunscreens protect skin from UVA & UVB rays. So, when purchasing your next bottle of sunscreen make sure it protects against both UVA & UVB rays.
Ideally, sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure. Then reapplied every two hours to ensure continuous coverage.
The higher the SPF number the greater the protection from sun rays. However, this does not extend the time skin can be exposed to the suns rays. Sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours to ensure continous protection.
Read Your Labels!!
Check your bottles of sunscreen for the following ingredients.
Sunscreens that block UVB rays usually contain some of the following ingredients: Padimate O, Homosalate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone, Octyl salicylate, Phenylbenimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Octocrylene.
Broad specturm sunscreens add oxybenzone or avobenzone to block UVA rays.
Mexoryl is another chemical that blocks against UVA rays and allows sunscreens to be created at higher SPF numbers like 70 & 80.
Of course you know I could'nt publish this post without informing you of the natural ingredients that can block sun rays.
Shea Butter, zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide are natural ingredients that can block sun rays however the level of protecion has not been determined.
What's your take on sun exposure & the use of sunscreens. Truthfully, I don't think that I will become a hermit to the sun anytime soon, but, I will be more diligent about reapplying my sunscreen throughout the day. I have noticed some brands have created sunscreens with SPF's as high as 70 & 80. What's your take on this topic?