July Newsletter 2014 – The Truth About Sunscreen You Need To Know
Truth About Sunscreen You Need to Know
We all know by now that using baby oil and baking in the sun is bad for our skin, but do you really know what is important in picking out your sunscreen? With more marketing gimmicks than ever, and more importance than ever- according to the Skin Cancer Foundation in NYC, UV exposure is responsible for up to 90 percent of the visible signs of aging, it is vital to know which sunscreen is right for you. Here is how to decode your sunscreen label and distinguish between marketing fiction and what you really need in your sunscreen.
Here is the truth hidden under the marketing schemes about the SPF number, waterproof/sweatproof claims, expiration date, and physical versus chemical block.
SPF – Finding The Magic Number
The SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is an important, but often misleading, number on every bottle of sunscreen. This number tells you the effectiveness of the lotion at preventing a sunburn for a specific length of time. Don’t be fooled by the high numbers- the amount of protection does not increase proportionately with the rising SPF number. According to the FDA, nothing over SPF 30-50 will really protect you any better, yet SPF 70, 80, or 100 can cost quite a bit more. So avoid the marketing schemes of sunscreen companies and aim for an SPF between 30-50, which will block 97-98 percent of the sun’s UVA rays.
Waterproof and Ultra Sweatproof
Watch out for these words on your sunscreen labels because they can be very misleading. These claims may lull you into a false sense of safety while out in the water and you won’t reapply when you need to. No matter what the bottle claims, studies prove that you need to reapply every two hours to ensure you get the full protection you need.
Sunscreens lose their effectiveness after three years, so be sure you are paying attention to the expiration date. If the bottle doesn’t have an expiration date, write the date you purchased it on it and be sure to toss it after the three year mark. Also, throw out any sunscreen that has been exposed to high temperatures, changes colors, or changes consistency.
Physical vs Chemical Block
There are two types of sunscreen: Physical and Chemical. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sunrays, where physical sunscreens have minerals that actually reflect the sun away from you. So which type is better? Physical sunscreen, specifically Zinc Oxide is the best way to protect your skin. Zinc oxide blocks the entire UV spectrum by itself. Titanium Oxide is a close second and is often preferred by people with sensitive skin because it tends to be less irritating.
At the mention of Zinc, you are probably picturing a lifeguard with the white cream on their nose that won’t rub in. Lucky for us, sunscreen has evolved over the years and now sunscreens with Zinc can go on your skin without leaving a trace of white behind.
A great physical sunscreen option is the Colorescience Powder sunscreen. It has both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, plus it is a powder that comes in a self-dispensing brush. It is perfect for tossing in your beach bag and using to reapply throughout the day. Until the end of July, buy a Coloresceince powder sunscreen and get a free refill!
Another great option is a sunscreen that offers both chemical and physical sunblock. Our Obaji Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35 sunscreen has both Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate. The Zinc Oxide provides physical block, while the Octinoxate absorbs any harmful UV rays that get past the physical block. We are offering 15% off of our Obaji Sunscreen through the end of July.
Now that you know how to pick out the perfect sunscreen for you, you’re ready to enjoy your summer heat while avoiding the burn!