About Sun Protection

Sun Rays Diagram

The Summer is almost over and we’re heading into Winter. Why do I need to worry about Sun protection?

The sun exposes us to two different types of radiation:

  • UVA (Aging Rays)
    • Makes up most of our UV ray exposure
    • Longer wavelength, which means it penetrates deeper into the skin
    • Main ray for tanning and aging
  • UVB (Burning Rays)
    • Can burn year-round
    • Shorter wavelength, which means more visible damage to skin
    • Main ray for sunburns, redness, and skin cancer

The Effects of Sun Damage

  • Fine lines/wrinkles
  • Dark spots/uneven skin tone
  • Sun burns
  • Darkens acne spots and prolongs fading
  • Skin cancer and melanoma

When choosing a sunscreen, consider the following:

  • Physical: Deflects/ blocks rays from the skin and is very stable. This type of sunscreen usually leaves a white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a physical sunscreen are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
  • Chemical: Absorbs rays to prevent penetration, generally stable though some chemical sunscreens are not, and usually does not leave white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a chemical sunscreen are avobenzone, oxybenzone, helioplex, mexoryl, uvinul, homosalate, octisalate, and octylcrylene.
  • Mixture: Mix of both physical and chemical sunscreens and leaves minimal white cast. Ingredients to look for in a mixture of both would be a combination of either type of sunscreen.

How much SPF is appropriate?

  • Make sure to apply a sunscreen with the SPF of at least 30!
  • Make sure to apply enough! At least ¼ teaspoon for face and neck and about 1 ounce for body
  • Reapply often. UV rays are the strongest from 12 pm to 4 pm. Make sure to reapply every two hours.