Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen and Not Just Makeup!

Nothing compares to sitting on the beach and soaking up the rays of the sunlight!  To feel its warmth on your skin. Its heat on your delicate face.  The breeze from the ocean as it caresses your skin.  Ah yes, nothing compares too it.  Its like a little bit of heaven on earth.

For many sitting at the beach allows them to get a tan which takes them for Edward Cullen vampire white to Kim Kardashian golden brown.  However what few know is that tanning often brings more negative results then good.  Yes, just because you get a lovely golden brown color, doesn't mean you aren't doing real damage to your body.  A tan of any kind suggest damage has already been done to the skin.  A sunburn simply tells you that you have gone to far.  A tan is an indicator that you have been exposed to UV radiation from the sun.  Moreover, to much sun can take you from looking like a sun goddess to a lobster dish.

If your skin has already gotten to this lovely shade of lobster red, then serious damage has already taken place. And trust me you will be paying for it. Every time you sit down, wear clothes, shower, sleep...anything you do till the burn goes down you will feel it. Moreover, if you don't end up with blistering water bubbles (which I don't doubt you will) then you are lucky. But for many, a trip to doctor is needed in order to treat the blisters and prevent infection. This result is really not cute, very dangerous to your skin and by far unnecessary.

So what is so bad with tanning if you are not getting a sunburn you may ask? Well lets break it down in laymen terms. Both sunburns and suntans are dangerous to your skin because they produce damage to your skin's DNA. Your risk for skin cancer also known as melanoma raises higher every time you get a bad sunburn. A recent study that was conducted in Australia proved that that UVA rays are even more of a cancer danger then what we originally thought them to be when one gets a suntan. UVA rays and UVB rays affect the skin differently in how deep they reach the layers. UVB affects the epidermis layer of your skin, while UVA affects the dermis layer of your skin which is much deeper. And while yes, you do need the rays of the sun for vitamin D to work in your system, there are smarter ways to go about this. Moreover, you need as little as 10-15 minutes a day in the sun for vitamin D to work. However sunbathing without SPF protection is not the way to get it either.

So by now you may be asking "what does this have to do with SPF foundation (or makeup) if it has sunscreen protection?" Well here is the problem. While makeup may claim to have SPF in it (which for all intense purposes it does), it doesn't actually give you the coverage that an actual SPF not mixed with foundation would. Since we normally don't apply foundation liberally but sparingly, the lack of foundation build up doesn't offer the SPF to actually make a difference on your skin. Don't believe me? Then read this article here.

According to Dr. Sam Bunting "‘Daily cosmetics simply don’t offer what we need to protect us. Add in the fact that the way we apply them is unlikely to deliver the kind of coverage required to reach the SPF on the label, and the fact they are not designed to adhere to the skin like sunscreens, and you can see why there are concerns."  Furthermore, according to that article, you would have to apply your foundation every TWO hours to get the proper SPF coverage it claims from the bottle and apply it SIX times over (so basically the Snooki look) in order to actually be protected by the sun rays. Let's be real here. Who is actually going to do this? At that rate one bottle of foundation would last you a week, if that.  Moreover many foundation never really specify if they are protecting you against UVA, UVB or both. 

However, this doesn't end here. When looking for a a sunblock protection, you need to make sure that it has UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection with an SPF of 30 or higher. However, anything over SPF 50 has not shown to provide better results then lets say SPF 30. So stay within the 30 to 50 range. Nonetheless the reason why you need to wear UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection SPF 30 (or higher) is because if not, then you are only being protected against one form of UV rays and not the other. If you see the picture above, this person only wore sunblock to protect them against UVB rays but not UVA rays. So they still were hit with the UV radiation in the dermis layer which is much deeper. However same goes for UVB rays. Some sunblocks only offer UVA and not UVB.

Yet again this still does not end here. So now that you know about sun tanning, sunburns and UVA/UVB rays, you still need to find the right sunblocks to protect you. Because just in case you didn't know, not all sunblocks are made alike and not all sunscreens ACTUALLY offer protection from both UV rays. Kinda ridiculous isn't it? But its true. You need to read the labels to know. However, being that I am serious about sunblock protection, I have sorted that out for you as well.

This chart shows what the FDA considers safe to use in sunblock, which ingredients protects against what rays and which are mineral chemicals (P) and which are non mineral chemicals (C) which some are also considered carcinogenic.  However we will get that part in a moment.  

When looking  for a sunblock, make sure according to this list that it offers both UVA and UVB protection and how much.  In my opinion, if it is not offering you full coverage for both then walk way.  The sun UV rays doesn't just half way penetrate the dermis (the deeper layer of your skin).  It goes all the way.  So make  sure you get something that protects you all the way as well.  Half way protection can still give you cancer and cancer doesn't come half way, it goes all the way.  So be as aggressive with your skincare health as cancer is when it takes hold of someone's body and completely does its damage.

Now this will end here, so bare with me.   Some sunblock ingredients, though approved by the FDA do have carcinogenic properties in them.  Click here to read more about that.  However the best ones to use are those that contain Titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide as those are natural minerals (P) and have not been found to be dangerous.  Make sure if you are going with Titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide that the percentage said 7% or higher on each ingredient or the two combined equal over 7%. 

I recommend for adults Elta MD UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection 47. It cost $27 CDN from and has the active ingredients of Titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide in them. And while yes, this might leave you a white cast on your face when first applied, however if you rub it in well, that problems goes away after a few minutes.  

For children I recommend Episencial Baby Time Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35.  It has Titanium dioxide and Zinc Oxide and safe for children and babies over six months and cost $18.99 CDN.  Adults can use this as well. 

Two final tips! wear sunglasses as well when going outside.  The UVA sun rays also cause cataracts which are harmful to your eyes.  Even in the winter, the sun reflection off the snow affects your eyes.

Also, wear SPF 15 lip balm when going outdoors.  Many of us neglect this area and lip cancer is on the rise.  Lip gloss works as a mirror and attracts the sun.  So make sure to wear SPF lip gloss or SPF lip balm over or under the lip gloss.  Same goes with lip stick. Find either SPF lipstick or wear SPF lip balm over it or under it.  However make sure it has SPF 15 and over.

I hope you take this blog message to heart and protection your skin against the sun!

Keep Smiling!


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  1. useful post..I never noticed UVA-UVB on a sunblock cream..So, next time going to watch out for it..

    1. Ever since I learned this, I haven't left the house without sunscreen on my face in over a year (unless its night time). I agree I didn't notice either the UVA/UVB issue till it was brought to my attention. I thought it was all the same!

  2. wow really interesting read! I'll have to be more careful about reading the specs on bottles! Going to put on some sunscreen right now! ;)

    1. Make sure its UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection with a SPF of 30 or higher!! :-)

  3. Thanks for this information. Will have to check out my sunscreen, lip balm etc.

  4. such helpful information. will be careful when i read this information. going to start with what i have now. thanks again.

  5. The 2nd picture made my skin crawl!
    How can anyone let themselves get that burnt?!
    Thanks for enlightening us.

  6. I only got tanning once or twice in the summer and get a lovely shade of golden brown so I'm good :D


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