The Importance of Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
The weather is warming up which means that summer is finally here. Summer brings lots of time spent outside in the sun. Most cases of melanoma are caused by overexposure to the sun. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adult’s ages 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people ages 15-29 years old. It is very important that proper sun protection is being used all year round but especially in the summer months.
What are UV rays?
Exposure to the sun is inevitable. Let’s take a look at what is actually happening to the skin when it is exposed to the sun. There are 3 different kinds of UV rays that we need to know about. The earth’s atmosphere blocks 98.7% of the UV radiation that comes from the sun. The 2.3% that actually penetrates through the atmosphere has both negative and positive effects. The easiest way to remember the UV rays is UVA rays have long wavelengths that penetrate deep into the skin and affect the connective tissue causing aging. UVB rays have shorter wavelengths that are more intense than UVA rays, these rays are responsible for burning of the skin. UVC rays are filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere.
What happens to our skin when it gets tanned or burned?
In western society, tan skin is assumed to be a sign of attractiveness and health, but it is actually a signal to your body to stop! That golden tan is your skins way of protecting itself from sun damage. When you overexpose yourself to the sun the DNA in your skin cells is actually changing and mutating. Our skin cells continue to replicate so those damaged cells are replicating over and over again and becoming more and more mutated. Eventually the skin cell will not be able to reproduce normal skin cells, this is major concern. When the skin cannot replicate normal skin cells, then the risk for cancer significantly increases. On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
It is scientifically proven that the sun is a good source of Vitamin D so very small doses to UV radiation on a regular basis is good for the body. It is better to spend 15 minutes 3 times a day in the sun for Vitamin D production than to spend 45 minutes in the sun, because Vitamin D stops being produced after 15 minutes.
You must avoid really high doses of UV radiation, like sitting in a sunless tanning bed or laying out in the sun for long periods of time. You should also avoid being out in the sun between 11 AM to 1 PM, this is when the sun is hottest and emits the most UV rays. UV rays also reach their peak in the summer months. Those that live in higher elevations need to be careful because the atmosphere is so thin that UV radiation is not filtered out as well.
Skin Cancer is Preventable
Skin cancer is a preventable condition, and the solution is simple: broad-spectrum sunscreen. Sunscreen absolutely must be worn! The American Cancer Society recommends the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher be used. Broad spectrum means that you are being protected from both UVA and UVB rays. Even using sunscreen does not guarantee that you will not have skin cancer but it significantly lowers your risk, and it is worth theeffort to protect your skin, than risk getting skin cancer.
Why broad-spectrum sunscreen matters?
There are two different types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. The chemical sunscreens will absorb the UV rays and protect your skin from sun damage. Physical sunscreen is what makes sunscreens have that white or pinkish color to them. They will form an actual film on the skin that reflects the UV rays off of the skin. Both chemical and physical sunscreens are important to staying fully protected from the sun.
You should always make sure to apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before you go outside and it should be reapplied to the skin about every 2 hours. SPF is a calculation of how long you are actually being protected from the sun. You cannot just apply it once in the morning and forget about it. Re-application is the most important thing especially if you are going to be in the water.
At GlyMed Plus we have several sunscreen options to choose from. All of our sunscreens are FDA approved broad spectrum sunscreens. We have very light formulas that go on so well that you can barely feel something on your skin. They smell amazing are perfect for any skin type. You can learn more about our sunscreen choices here. To purchase your GlyMed Plus sunscreen visit your GlyMed Plus Professional. To find a GlyMed Plus Professional in your area call our corporate office at 800-676-9667 and we will help you find one.