Sunscreens: Skin cancer is on the rise, and improper exposure to the sun is the leading cause, as well as a primary reason for… heaven forbid .. wrinkles!
The sun is the single most brutal aging factor of your skin. Compare some people who have spent a good part of their lives outdoors with those who haven’t, and you’ll see the difference, even in those who used sunscreen.
Because many people do not follow basic principles regarding the sun, nor do they understand the nature of sunscreen and its use. So read the following information and take proper precaution, always.
FACT OR FICTION? The higher a sunscreen’s SPF number, the stronger the protection from the sun’s rays.
FACT OR FICTION? The higher a sunscreen’s SPF number, the longer the protection will last.
The number on sunscreens, called SPF (meaning Sun Protection Factor), is misleading.
It represents the length of time a person would be protected using sunscreen over the length of time it takes that person’s skin to burn using no sunscreen. A high SPF number does not mean a sunscreen provides greater protection.
A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is said to offer protection 15 times longer than if no sunscreen was used. In other words, a person with fair skin who would burn slightly within 10 minutes of exposure would be protected for 150 minutes (10 X 15). Someone whose skin would burn in 30 minutes of exposure would be protected for 450 minutes by SPF 15, and so forth.
NOTE: A woman’s skin is thinner than a man’s, thus more susceptible to the sun’s rays.
NOTE: Black skin is not immune to the sun’s rays.
A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, therefore, offers no stronger protection than SPF15, but, theoretically, provides it 30 times longer than it takes for your skin to burn without sunscreen, or twice as long as SPF15.
However, CAUTION: SPF factors are arrived at in the laboratory where applications are made under controlled conditions. People frequently do not apply as much as they do in the lab, so in those cases the SPF factor can be significantly reduced. In addition, if a person sweats, goes swimming, towels down or wipes a portion of the body for any reason, the sunscreen is removed or reduced, and must be reapplied.
Sun Screen Basics
Stay out of the sun as much as possible.
When out in the sun, cover up as much as you can. Wear a wide brimmed hat. Use sunscreen properly on exposed areas.
The most intense sunshine is between 10 am and 4 pm, so, if possible, plan your outdoor activities before and after that time frame. Summer in the south is more intense than in the north, but watch out: if you’re in the northern mountains, the higher elevations put you closer to the sun where the rays are stronger.
Reapply sunscreen frequently: at the beach, after every dip or every couple hours; playing golf, at the turn after nine holes unless you’ve toweled off some sweat, then right away; fishing, gardening, other activities, use your judgment. Be aware![adrotate group=”12″]
The sun is a source of Vitamin D, which is known to help prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer, among other benefits. Ten minutes exposure tothe sun per day on any area of your body can generally provide the current recommended daily requirement of 400 – 600 IU. However, studies have shown, to gain maximum benefit, 1000 IU of Vitamin D is required daily.
This is not to suggest a person should lie out in the sun longer to get it. Moreover, people of dark pigmentation need more exposure and those living in northern climates can’t get enough either, so the easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement. OLEDA Skin Helpers Vitamin contains 400 IU of Vitamin D.
Types of Sunscreen
There are two basic types of sunscreen: absorbers and reflectors. Absorbers treat the sun’s rays with a chemical reaction, reflectors block. Absorbers have SPF ratings; reflectors do not.
A reflector type commonly uses titanium dioxide as the primary protective ingredient, and is the type usually recommended by dermatologists for maximum protection. Unless tinted, this type can produce the telltale white film on the skin that you often see on lifeguards’ noses.
OLEDA Sunscreen is a reflector type with active ingredients: 12.5% titanium dioxide and 0.5% zinc oxide. It comes in the traditional white as well as in two tinted shades that blend better on the skin. This sunscreen provides more protection than an absorber type, but, just as with any sunscreen, it must be applied thickly and reapplied when necessary.