UV Rays and Sunscreen

UV Rays and Sunscreen

Everyone is different but we all share one thing in common: Skin, we all have skin.

When you are doing activities outdoors, some of you know you must use sunscreen. This is especially so in the summer season when the sun is strong and there is increased outdoor activities. However, if you are spending a lot of time outdoors during the winter such as skiing or snowboarding, you need to wear sunscreen as well. The reflection from the snow and high altitude increase the exposure to UV rays that come from the sun. That being said, if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, always put on your sunscreen SPF 30 or higher whenever you expect to be out in the sun for more than 20 minutes.

The sun generates 2 types of ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV A (aging) has a longer wavelength, and UV B (burning) a shorter wavelength. Short term sunburn and some forms of skin cancer are usually caused by exposure to UV B, while skin wrinkles and also aggravation of cancer is from being exposed to UV A.

Sunscreen does not only protect your skin from the potential of cancer, it helps skin age at a slower rate.  Always remember to put on sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 to 4 hours while you are exposed to the sun "don't be shy to reapply"!

Doctors recommend using about one ounce of sunscreen cream for all parts of the body, including the face. For people who have sensitive facial skin, there are sunscreen made especially for the face but be aware, many of them are the same formula as for the whole body. If you fail to wear sunscreen, you are putting your skin at risk of photo aging, which will result in long term skin damage, including the appearance of wrinkles.

SPF label on sunscreen is denoted by a number and this stands for the sun protection factor of the product- NOTE: SPF is based ONLY on UVB rays. Make sure your product has Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide or Mexoryl for UVA protection. 

If you are out for a day at the beach, it's best to use sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.  Higher numbers for SPF does not mean that you can apply less, or forget to reapply after a few hours. SPF 30 protects from 96.7% UV, an SPF 50 protects from 98% UV rays. 

Even water resistant (not proof) sunscreens need to be reapplied after spending time in the water for more than 40 or 80 minutes (check label for duration).