Sun Protection 101

SPF 15 versus SPF 50, chemical versus non-chemical?!?!?!.... So many questions that a lot of people don't know the answer to. I believe everyone needs to know the difference and what is best for their skin!


UNDERSTANDING SPF

SPF (Sun Protecting Factor) is a numbering system, which shows a sunscreen's ability to protect the skin against UVB rays. For example, it takes about 10-20 minutes without sunscreen for a person's skin to start burning. An SPF 15 product would prevent skin from burning for 15 times longer so about 150-300 minutes (2.5-5 hours). However, sunscreen rubs off or gets washed away if you are in the water. Reapplying it every two to four hours is highly recommended. 

Now, lets really look deep within SPF. I personally always use SPF 45 or 50 everyday to protect my skin, SPF 15 does not cut it! A sunscreen with SPF 15 blocks about 94% of the sun's dangerous rays, SPF 30 blocks about 97% and SPF 45 blocks about 98 % of rays.

There are three different types of ultraviolet radiation (UV) that come from the sun (UVA, UVB, and UVC).

- UVA rays are the number one cause of long-term skin damage, including wrinkles and skin cancer.

- UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns because they can damage skin cells at a molecular level, according to the American Cancer Society. They also cause most forms of skin cancer.

- UVC rays do not pass through earth's atmosphere.

Remember just because it's cloudy out does not mean those rays are not getting to you! 80% of the sun's UV radiation easily passes through clouds ☁️. They also pass through windows! So you are not safe anywhere where the light can touch you. 😂 I'm serious about the windows though.


NON-CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS

I recommend using a non-chemical sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide only. Yes, everyone believes that they are heavier and have that white finish on the skin but there are companies that have managed to make the formula seamless. For example, two of my favorite brands are Derma Eor Soleil Toujours. Both of them have a fabulous sunscreens that anyone with any skin color can wear without a problem. The formulas are extremely light and leave no white residue. Non-chemical sunscreens stay on the surface and physically block the sun's rays without having to penetrate the skin. They are also less likely to cause breakouts and irritations. 

Important:

This is a great choice for the health of your body & to help our world! Oxybenzone is a toxic ingredient found in most sunscreen and it's linked to causing breast cancer, polluting breast milk, deformity in newborns, women's uterine disease, male sexual health, and can damage DNA. Octinoxate is also another chemical found in most sunscreen that is very toxic. It can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity, It's a hormone disruptor & can produce estrogen-like effects similar to oxybenzone.

By using a non-chemical sunscreen to the beach you are not letting chemicals into our oceans that kill coral reefs and our marine life. Coral reefs have declined 40% in hawaii, 50% in the Great Barrier Reef, 85% in the Caribbean & 99% in the Florida Keys. 14,000 TONS of sunscreen enter waters around coral reefs each year.

Here is a link to to a company who cares about our environment! They have so many sunscreen options that are free from toxins <3

CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS

They are cheaper and much lighter, and that comes with a price. They are most likely to cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin (particularly for the ones with sensitive skin or acne prone skin). On top of that, they can start to decompose in the presence of UV rays and lose their effectiveness. So you would have to apply more! 

Most importantly, there are a number of studies indicating that chemical sunscreen can penetrate your skin, getting into your bloodstream and potentially harming your body. 

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Here we have the 101 on sunscreen and what everyone needs to know. My goal is to write about the basics of skincare that make a huge difference in our life. I'm here to learn as well so feel welcome to write a comment with your thoughts.