Boss Series; Everything SUNSCREEN #2

Boss Series; Everything SUNSCREEN #2

SPF - EVERYTHING you wanted to know!

SPF or Sun Protection Factor measures how much the sun’s UVB** ray is required to cause a sunburn when you’re wearing sunscreen, compared with unprotected skin. Example - If you use SPF 30 it would like 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen at all.

**Remember from yesterday UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of the skin vs UVA which effects deeper into the skin.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF 30 or above for optimal protection.

But how do we choose the right SPF?

Let's take a look at the differences -

SPF 15 - Found in most daily moisturizers and lip balms. It blocks 93% of UVB rays. These are good for minimal sun exposure like going to work, or taking a short walk with the dog. They do not provide enough protection for longer outdoor activities.

SPF 30 - This is found in lotions, gels, sprays, sticks and powders. It blocks 97% of UVB rays. It is good for outdoor activities.

SPF 50- Also found in lotions, gels, sprays, sticks and powders. It blocks 98% of UVB rays. It is good for outdoor activities. It is a better option if you are spending several hours in the sun.

SPF > 50 - Again lots of options for application, however studies show that anything over 50 really doesn’t have any added benefits for UVB ray penetration, nor does it mean you have to apply LESS frequently.

Whichever SPF you use the key is to reapply often regardless of what number you choose. The number does not indicate that they last longer.

It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes, especially after swimming or sweating. The max you should go without reapplying is 2 hours if you are not actively sweating or wet.

Also note, regardless of the amount of pigmentation or melanocytes in your skin, the cells that produce melanin which give us some degree of natural protection against damaging UV rays, you should wear SPF 30 or more when you spend time outdoors.

The best gauge for the amount of sunscreen needed per application for your entire body is 1oz or a shot glass. So for an 8 hour day you will need 4oz of sunscreen.

Don’t apply sunscreen to wet skin, it needs to absorb to work.

Make sure it is completely rubbed into your skin for optimal effectiveness.

Keep in mind, the most frequent places that people develop skin cancer are face, neck, arms and hands.

So don't forget those easy to miss places like your lips, tops of ears, hairline, scalp, back of neck and behind your knees.

THROW IT OUT! Check expiration dates on your sunscreen. The chemicals in old sunscreen no longer bind together and become ineffective. If you can’t find an expiration date, or you're just unsure, toss it. FDA recommends tossing any sunscreen older than 3 years.

Don’t forget sunscreen on cloudy days. UVA and UVB rays can still pass through the clouds. Infrared rays, which we sense as heat, are absorbed by the water in clouds, which means we don’t feel the sun’s heat. This is dangerous because we can’t feel those UV rays damaging our skin. This also can occur on cooler days as well.

Boss Series; Everything SUNSCREEN #2

Historically sunscreen was first invented by Franz Greiter in 1938 out of a mixture of cocoa butter and red veterinary petrolatum, it was very thick and red. He also was given credit for the development of the SPF factor that we use today. Shortly after that Benjamin Green marketed his first sunscreen as Coopertone which is still in production today.

“Sunblock” or suntan lotion introduced in the 1960-70’s had a rating on SPF 2, and did only a little bit of good. It wasn’t until 1986 that the first SPF 15 was introduced and SPF 30 came out in the early 90’s. I am sure all of us 70’s babies remember painful sunburns, blistering and “sun poison “ from lack of sunscreen, poor ingredients, and low SPF lotions available.

In 1978 the FDA began to regulate the sunscreen market and UV tanning beds also started to appear.

It wasn’t until the 1970 that sunscreen contained the words “broad spectrum.” This refers to blocking both UVA and UVB rays. It wasn’t until 2011 that the FDA issued new rules specifying that sunscreen equally protects against UVA and UVB and labeled “broad spectrum.”

Additionally, the FDA banned the use of “waterproof” and “water resistant” because it is misleading. All sunscreen eventually washes off when exposed to water through swimming or sweat. You still see the waterproof, water resistant, or sweat proof wording on sunscreen, but now it must claim in minutes the amount of time in which the product is water resistant, depending upon test results.

NEXT UP; let's talk about what ingredients to look for when purchasing sunscreens, the difference between applications and other endorsement labeling.