Growing up surfing in Hawaii definitely gave me my share of sunburns. Of course I would wear sunscreen, but I would find myself surfing 8 hour sessions! Think, one full workday with NO lunch break in the scorching sun! For me, no lunch break and no break for more sunscreen. I didn’t realize the damage I was doing to my skin. Now that I’m older(sigh); its all about preventative measures.
ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTION. Whether your at the beach, walking your dog, or just going to work. Remember, even if its dreary outside 80% of the sun’s rays pass through clouds, mist and fog. Sunscreen should be part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth.
Why wear sunscreen?
The sun causes UVR(ultraviolet radiation), which produces DNA damage that can initiate skin cancer. Melanoma, the most serious form, was responsible for over 8,000 deaths last year according to the American Cancer Society. Sunburn caused by the UVB rays doubles the risk of melanoma.
Aesthetic wise, excessive unprotected sun exposure results in photo-aging caused by UVA rays. This is responsible for premature aging, a leathery texture, sagging, and hyper-pigmentation (brown spots).
Here are few tips on what to look for in a sunscreen:
- Wear an SPF of 15 or higher
- Use a clean, green sunscreen!
- Always look UVA/UVB protection
- Water-proof or water-resistant qualities for surfing, swimming, etc.
- Look for a skin cancer foundation seal of recommendation
- Be aware that SPF protection does not increase proportionally with an increase in SPF numbers. An SPF 2 absorbs 50% of rays, SPF 15 absorbs 93%, SPF 34 absorbs 97% while SPF 50 is one percent more at 98%.
Based on skin type:
- For oily skin, choose oil-free sunscreen
- For dry skin, choose a cream or lotion to increase moisture
- For sensitive skin, choose one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide…these ingredients block UV rays instead of absorbing them
- If you have rosacea or eczema avoid alcohol-based sunscreens
Avoid Sunscreens that contain the following harmful ingredients:
- Chemical Filters such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate,
- Titanium dioxide
- Any ingredient that contains the word Paraben
- Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)
- Methyl-parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzate)
- Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)
- Propyl-parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)
- Butyl-parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)
- Parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)
- Retinyl Palmitate
These ingredients are cancer causing agents, disrupt hormones, interfere with health, destroy reefs and absorb harmful UV rays rather than block them. Look for a sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide like our CLean Green Sunscreen sold at Alohi Aesthetics.(This is another important article in itself that I will be writing soon!!)
...Anyways, at the beginning of the day, put sunscreen over your moisturizer on your face and neck if you are going to be indoors. If you are going to be outside, remember to re-apply every two hours because it can be rubbed or washed off if you are in the water or sweating.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, it’s a great communicator, protects delicate tissues and helps keep out bacteria. So give back a little T.L.C. You brush your teeth for protection against cavities, plaque, and gingivitis. If not it could lead to fillings, bridges or root canals! The same concept should be thought of for our skin. Take some time to apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin today for prevention of damage in the future!