Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sun Protection, the Facts!

Are you using the right sunscreen? 

Part One, the Facts

I have broken this subject down into 2 blogs as there is so much information, the first is information about sun exposure, the second is my recommendations.

Do you know the difference between UVA and UVB? What does SPF mean and what does it protect you from? How often do you need to apply sunscreen for it to be effective?

UV exposure is the main cause of pre-mature aging, meaning lined, loose and discolored skin.  I can’t stress enough if you want to stay looking youthful longer then you need to protect yourself from the suns damaging rays.

UVB, which mainly reaches the top layer of your skin, is responsible for sun-damage including sunburn, and some non-melanoma skin cancers.

UVA, which penetrate deeper into skin, are responsible for pre-mature aging photo-aging and melanoma.

The truth about SPF is that it only protects you from UVB damage – not UVA. Many sunscreens will only be SPF not full broad spectrum.

So what protects from UVA?   
Zinc Oxide is the only ingredient that provides a full protection from both UVA and UVB. Antioxidants such as Vit A, C and E in high doses will provide a natural protection from UVA. Products containing these antioxidants must be packaged in a way that air cannot get to the product. Ie Vaccum or airless pump, self collapsing tube. Vitamins and Antioxidants will oxidize within 24hrs of being exposed to the air.

Did you know that if you are using a cream sun protection it needs to be reapplied every 2-3 hours? Many skin care companies have moisturizers that contain a sunscreen, if you are applying this first thing in the morning by the time you go out for lunch let alone morning tea you are not protected!

My recommendations for the best way to protect yourself are still to come, watch this space. 

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