Your Safety Questions About Sunscreen, Now Answered. Burning sunscreen question 2/3

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Your Safety Questions About Sunscreen, Now Answered Burning sunscreen question 2/3

Take it as a pill? Is spray or lotion better? Which kind is best for baby? Part 1 of 3

Everyone has heard about the link between sun exposure and skin cancer, and the need to cover up and use sunscreen. Since most consumers are just baffled by all the options available, we thought we would give you some insight to help you make an informed decision!

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, found that less than half of nearly 300 dermatology patients knew when to apply sunscreen, before going outside (15 to 30 minutes); how often to reapply it (every 2 hours, or after sweating or swimming); and how much is needed to cover the entire body (about an 30ml).

This lack of knowledge is especially worrisome since sunscreen is one of the best defences against sunburn, a major risk factor for skin cancer, the most common type of cancer worldwide and especially here in sunny SA. Considering how often people get sunburnt each year, knowing how to properly apply sunscreen is more important than ever.

1. How Does Sunscreen Work?

Sunscreens are formulated with ingredients that shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, which can cause skin changes that contribute to skin cancer and ageing. The ingredients in Sunscreen does this by reflecting (natural), or absorbing (chemical) those rays.

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, are a measure of how well a sunscreen shields against UVB rays, the main contributor to sunburn. Some sunscreens shield against just UVB rays, and some protect against both UVA and UVB. Called “broad spectrum” sunscreens, those that shield against both types of UV rays, offer the best sun protection.

Our range of sun care products use Zinc Oxide, content percentages (15%, 35% and 50%) to shield your skin more effectively from the sun. The Zinc Oxide particles reflect the harmful rays of the sun back out and away from your skin. We also use Nano particles to act as a further UVA & UVB shield. Chemically produced sunscreens absorbs the UVA/UVB rays, which means some of the rays might still penetrate into your skin.

2. Is a Higher SPF (Like 50) Always Better?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says the best sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection, is water-resistant, and has an SPF of at least 30.

Higher SPFs doesn’t necessarily provide all that much more additional protection. Going from an SPF 15 (which screens out 93 percent of UVB rays) to a 30 (which screens out 97 percent), does makes sense though. What tends to happen is that users confuse the higher rated SPF with how long the sunscreen lasts on your skin. A higher SPF or Zinc Oxide content needs to be reapplied at the same intervals as you would for a lower option sunscreen. This in turn creates a disconnect with how effective the higher percentage products are, since they get incorrectly applied and cannot shield you the way they should.

Sunscreen should, as a rule, be reapplied every two hours, and more frequently if you are doing water activities. Still, some experts believe that using higher SPFs may be worthwhile. That’s because most people don’t apply the correct amount of sunscreen (approximately 30ml to cover your entire body), often enough. Studies suggest that putting on only half the recommended amount, roughly 15ml, could decrease a sunscreen’s SPF by about one-third to one-half. So a higher SPF would offer more protection when people don’t use enough sunscreen.

3. Do I Need to Wear Sunscreen if I Have Darker Skin?

Yes. It’s true that people with fair skin are at greater risk of skin cancer than those with darker skin. UV rays can damage any type of skin, so it’s important to wear sunscreen, no matter what your skin colour or ethnicity.

For more in-depth info regarding this particular topic please reference our previous blog post, just click on the image below and it will take you the the blog.

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