Helpful Sun Protection Hints
It is easy to forget living in the great Northwest that we all need to be protecting ourselves from UV rays every single day, rain or shine. It’s easiest to remember to apply sunscreen when you are going to the beach, or will be out in the hot sun for hours, but the truth is you need to protect yourself even when you won’t be intentionally out in the sun at all. UV rays can be transmitted from overhead lights in your office, through clouds, and through car windows on your hour commute home from work and your skin will suffer the consequences.
Photoaging (damage caused by the sun and other environmental factors):
Reduces your ability to produce collagen, Reduces your skin’s elasticity, causes wrinkles and fine line formations, as well as pigment changes.
The main way to fight photoaging is by protecting yourself with daily application of an SPF of 30+ every single day. Doing so will not only prevent further damage but it can also reverse some of the damage that is already done.
- SPF stands for Sun protection factor
- “Sweat-proof” implies it maintains its protection after 40 minutes of water exposure
- “Water-proof” means the sun protection is maintained after 80 minutes of water exposure
- Sunscreen & Sunblock need to be applied every 2 hours
- Be extra cautious on cloudy days, around water, sand, and snow
- 2 Million people are diagnosed with skin cancer annually
- Wear protective clothing such as a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeve/pants in the sun
- Sunscreens and Sunblock’s DO expire!
- Keep in mind that the Sun is strongest between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The major difference between UVA and UVB rays:
-UVB causes sunburn, and UVA has more long-term aging effects
-UVA rays reach deeper in the skin and cause’s photoaging, wrinkles, sagging, and leathery skin appearance.
-Tip to remember what the UV rays cause
UVA (Aging), UVB (Burns)
Sunscreen vs. Sunblock:
-Sunblock reflects and scatters UVB rays and acts as a wall between your skin and the sun.
-Sunblock protects against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen doesn’t protect against UVA rays.
-Sunscreen contains chemicals that protect you by absorbing and reflecting UV rays and allows a certain range of UV light to be absorbed into the skin
Ways to protect yourself:
-To figure out how long you will be protected by your SPF use this equation:
*Minutes you would burn without sunscreen X SPF number = MAXIMUM sun exposure time
-Look for a Sunblock or Sunscreen that protect against UVA & UVB rays and contains Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide for full spectrum protection.