The Importance of Sunscreen
The sun makes us feel warm and gives our bodies much needed Vitamin D. You can, however, get too much of a good thing and the sun’s Ultra Violet A and B rays can also damage skin, leading to premature wrinkles and carcinomas.
The UVB rays can cause skin to redden and burn within 15 minutes of exposure in some people, especially during the summer. The UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing wrinkles and skin cancer in some people. Cancer cells are the result of excessive radiation that has actually altered the DNA of keratinocyte cells in the basal layer of the epidermis. Both A and B UV rays can contribute to cancer cells.
Sunscreen can help
Good old zinc oxide is often the best protection against sun damage, but who wants to go around with a white nose and face? Clear sunblock with zinc oxide and titanium oxide can be found on the market for fair-skinned people who want to spend a day in the sun without burning. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide actually deflect and scatter the sun’s rays before they penetrate the skin.
Other sunscreen ingredients also help. PABA or para-aminobenzoic acid absorbs UVB rays and it is found in most sunblock creams and lotions. Other UVB absorbing ingredients include:
- trolamine salicylate
UVA absorbing ingredients include avobenzone, ecamsule and meradimate. The chemical ingredients diobenzone, oxybenzone and sulisobenzone absorb both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a combination of the above ingredients when selecting a sunscreen to purchase.
Sun Prevention Factor
The Sun Protection Factor, SPF, of sunscreen measures the effectiveness of the compounds and the length of time they will work. The SPF 15 found in many moisturizers filters about 93 percent of UV rays. This works for people who are outdoors for a limited amount of time. PABA is often a major ingredient in this type of sunscreen and it should be reapplied frequently when outdoors for an extended period of time.
More intense sun exposure requires a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunblock with an SPF 30 rating. This will filter about 97 percent of the UV rays. This type of sunblock may have both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It should still be reapplied after swimming or extensive perspiration.
People with a history of skin cancer, a blotchy complexion with brown spots or very fair skin should use SPF 50 sunblock. Frequent reapplication of the cream or lotion is recommended every two hours and these products block 98 percent of the rays.
Many people experience rosacea, acne or other skin allergies. Such individuals should avoid a sunscreen with PABA, oxybenzone and fragrances. These compounds are not advised for children, either.
It is advisable to wear a hat with a brim that shades your ears and the back of your neck from the sun when spending extensive time outdoors. This provides additional protection for people of all ages. Remember, that the UVA and UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere even in overcast and cloudy weather, so be sure to wear sunscreen whenever you are outdoors for extended periods.
For those who may already have some wrinkles in their eye areas from sun exposure, Elite Serum Rx can help. It is specifically designed to target eye wrinkles, puffiness and dark under-eye circles.