The Sun and your Skin: Separating Myths and Truths

Below I've listed valuable information as we head into the summer months with more outdoor exposure to sun. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about sunscreens as far as "chemical vs. physical" blocks as well as SPF factors. UV rays are responsible for 90 percent of photo-aging and the main cause of cancer in the U.S. I hope these facts will hep with any confusion regarding "The Sun and your Skin".
  1. Myth: all sunscreens are created equal and the higher the SPF the better the protection. Sunscreens fall into two groups: chemical and physical blockers. Chemical work by absorbing UV rays and physical blockers reflect UV rays. When chemicals are combined to form a sunscreen the formula can release its own free radicals causing greater damage to the skin.
  2. Truth: Physical blockers have been shown to be more effective in protecting against UVA and UVB rays. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the two most commonly used blockers. These two naturally occurring ingredients are safe and protect the entire UV spectrum.
  3. Myth: Darker ethnic skins don't burn. Melanin only provides an SPF equivalent of approximately 13.4 in black skin, not enough to protect from damage.
  4. Truth: Best Defense against damage from UV rays is the following: use a natural, mineral based SPF 30 formula daily, avoid sun after a corrective treatment or if using vitamin A products or other acid corrective topicals, wear a hat or sun protective clothing when outdoors, achieve color w/ tinted SPFs or mineral makeup.
Always invest in a "quality" SPF product which will go a long way in supporting the skin's health and youthful appearance.