Lying on the beach with my feet in the water and my toes in the sand, or laying out by the pool is definitely one of my favorite past times, BUT the sun can be our worst enemy when it comes to our skin. Every single sunburn you get in your lifetime increases your risk of skin cancer. Unfortunately, there is no single method of sun defense that can protect you perfectly so let's talk about the sun, how it works, and what we can do to help lower our risk of skin cancer and premature aging!
Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation, which consists of different types of rays that are invisible to the human eye. The rays we are most familiar with are UVA (aging) and UVB (burning). Both of these rays affect our skin in different ways.
UV radiation is a form of electromagnetic energy. It can come from natural sources, such as the sunlight, as well as artificial sources like tanning beds. UV rays are classifed according to wave length:
UVA- longest wavelength/lowest energy levels
UVB- medium wavelength/medium energy levels
UVC- shortest wavelength/highest energy levels
UVA rays have higher wavelengths and low energy levels, and are more penetrating than UVB rays, which means they can affect our cells deeper in the skin. They cause indirect damage to DNA, and are the leading cause of premature aging, such as wrinkles. They've also been associated with some skin cancers. They cause an immediate tanning effect, and sometimes a sunburn. UVA rays are the main type of light used in tanning beds since the effects of them tend to appear right away. They can also penetrate through water, glass, clouds, and windows. About 95% of the rays that reach the ground are UVA rays.
UVB rays have shorter wavelengths and medium energy levels, and damage the outermost layers of the skin. They DIRECTLY damage DNA, and are what cause most skin cancers, but they can also contribute to premature aging. The effects of UVB rays are delayed, and usually appear a few hours after sun exposure. Most tanning beds use a combination of UVA and UVB rays. They don't penetrate windows, and are more likely to be filtered by the clouds. About 5% of the rays that reach the ground are UVB rays.
UVC rays have the shortest wavelengths, and highest energy levels, and as a result can cause serious damage to all life forms. Thankfully, these rays are completely filtered by our ozone layer and never reach the ground.
UV exposure is highest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and during this time they are most powerful. Although the sun can affect you anytime during the year, UV exposure is higher in the spring and summer months because the sun is at higher angle, which increases the intensity of UV rays.
Now that you are familiar with the sun, and how it affects our skin, let's talk about what you should do to protect yourself and others. We want to limit sunburn, premature aging, and DNA damage.
We all know sunscreen helps protect our skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Sunscreen is a NECESSITY any time you are outside and exposed to the sun, not just when you are in a bathing suit at the pool. Exposed skin is exposed skin, and we need to protect it at all times. Even when it's cloudy! Remember those pesky UVA rays that can penetrate THROUGH clouds? Yep, you still need sunscreen. Even if you have dark skin, which means you have more melanin, you still need sunscreen because UVA damage is not blocked by melanin the same way and can still cause premature aging. Unfortunately, there is NO sunscreen that will completely protect you from the sun. With that being said, it is always recommended to cover up the majority of your skin with clothing, a long brim hat to protect your face, as well as UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
PSA....ALL SUNSCREEN IS NOT THE SAME!!!!
There are a variety of ingredients in sunscreens and they may protect against different levels of sun exposure.
Active ingredients in sunscreens function as either mineral (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide) or chemical (avobenzone/oxybenzone) UV filters that keep harmful rays from the skin. Mineral sunscreen reflects UV rays, similar to how white paint reflects light, and are less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical sunscreens which absorb the UV rays.
Although the risk of not wearing sunscreen FAR outweighs the risk of not, most OTC sunscreens contain oxybenzone, which may be considered a potential hormone-disrupting chemical, as well as many other toxic, hormone-disrupting ingredients that can be absorbed into your blood stream. However, we are not experts, so we do encourage you to research and make the decision for yourself what is best.
SPF means SUN PROTECTION FACTOR, and it refers to how well said sunscreen protects against UVB radiation, which causes sunburn and skin cancer. This number tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin when using a particular sunscreen compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. So, if you are using a SPF 15 product EXACTLY as directed it would take you 15 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen.
Sunscreens labeled broad-spectrum are said to block against both UVA and UVB, BUT currently UVA rays can't be measured. Since zinc oxide and titanium dioxide deflect sunlight they are able to deflect both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens can’t claim to be waterproof, but they can be labeled water resistant for either 40 or 80 minutes because you CAN burn IN the water.
It is recommended by www.skincancer.org to use a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 daily, and one with an SPF of 30 if you are planning to be outside all day. NO sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays no matter what the SPF may be. They also state that sunscreens with an SPF of 30 protect against 97%, and one with an SPF of 50 protects against 98% of UVB rays. Higher SPF sunscreens create a false sense of security because they make us believe they last longer, and don't have to be applied as often, which then results in more damage!
REPEAT AFTER ME...
THE HIGHER THE NUMBER OF THE SPF DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN BETTER!
When applied AS DIRECTED, there is really no need to use anything higher than an SPF of 30. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. Regardless what the SPF may be, it’s important to apply one ounce (shot glass size) 30 minutes BEFORE going outside, and reapply it EVERY two hours or IMMEDIATELY after swimming or sweating.
The bottom line is the sun WILL damage your skin, so it is important to protect it as much as possible.
Here at NRBC you know we strive to offer products that are as natural as possible, so when we created our summer line we kept those same values. We would love for you to consider our sunscreen as a natural alternative to your usual store bought products. No matter what you decide to use we encourage you to use it properly. Remember, sunscreen is our friend, the sun is not, except for our necessary dose of vitamin D!☀️
CHEERS TO SUMMER 2020!🎉
"Life is full of tough choices, but your beauty routine shouldn't be one of them."
**OUR SUNSCREEN HAS NOT BEEN REVIEWED BY THE FDA,THEREFORE WE ARE NOT LEGALLY CLAIMING IT TO POSSES A SPF RATING OF ANY KIND. NRBC WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY FOR THE RESULTS OR MISUSE OF THIS PRODUCT.**
DISCLAIMER: Natural products may not be safe for everyone. Our products contain oils and butters from natural nuts, seeds, and fruit. If you have allergies, are on certain medications, are trying to conceive, pregnant, or are nursing, we ask that you please read the label carefully and consult with a doctor BEFORE purchasing. We are not medical professionals and the advice and products from Naturally Redefined Beauty Company make no claim, and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All products are for external use only.