The most important product you can put on your face every day is SUNSCREEN! We are going to dive into the benefits of SPF, what types you should be using, and why it is essential for every single person every single day. We are sunscreen worshipers over here, and we are excited to convert you all to be religious about your sunscreen too!
The most asked question for any skin care expert is how to prevent the skin from aging and how to stop the aging process in the skin. What most people do not realize is that 85% of ALL aging in the skin comes from UV exposure. That means only 15% is actually happening from natural decay and delay in the skin. With a percentage that high, it is almost a no-brainer to block and protect the skin from the suns harsh rays to prevent the skin from aging in the skin. While of course having healthy skin and pharmaceutical grade products will only enhance your glow, serums and creams targeting towards aging are not as essential to the prevention of aging as sunscreen is. Serums and creams are just a bonus to keep your journey of hard work to achieve healthy skin for a lifetime going.
The second and most important reason you should be wearing sunscreen daily is to prevent our cells from sun exposure that can lead to skin cancer. Sun exposure is the #1 cause of skin cancer. Constant or excessive UV exposure causes our cellular DNA to mutate or turn into cancer. 95% of the UV ray damage we are being exposed to is UVA rays, also known as our tanning or aging rays that penetrate all layers of our skin. Tanning beds produce 12 times the normal amount of these UVA rays resulting in a speed track to the risk of cancer, increasing your risk of melanoma by 75%! The second ray is the UVB which only affects the upper layers of the epidermis and are what causes a sun burn to the skin. These rays hit the U.S. mainly between 10AM and 4PM from April to October, however they can still burn and damage your skin year round. UV rays are able to penetrate through glass, so using protective measures topically on your skin as well as UV tint on windows will greatly reduce your risk of exposure even if you are indoors.
When it comes to choosing a sunscreen, we need to look for good-quality ingredients that are blocking both UVA and UVB rays also known as broad spectrum. Be cautious with the use of this term, and look for how much protection your sunscreen is offering. According to skincancer.org, they recommend using one or a combination of: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide. There are currently 17 FDA approved ingredients for sun protection which fall into 2 categories: chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen. Most UV filters are chemical sunscreens which form a thin, protective film on the surface of the skin and absorb the UV rays before it penetrates into the skin. Physical sunscreens are insoluble particles that reflect UV away from the skin. The best protection comes from a mixture of both chemical and physical to ensure a proper shield from the sun. Also, look for an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 up to 30. SPF 15 is able to block 93.6% of all UV rays while SPF 30 is able to block 96.3% of all UV rays. Keep in mind to check your sunscreens required application amount and time between applications to ensure the full protection listed on the bottle. A good sunscreen will only require about 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons to the entire body and about a pea-sized amount to the face and be reapplied every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Always, always check your labels to ensure you are investing your dollars towards a sunscreen that will actually protect your skin. For further information on SPF visit skincancer.org.
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