Play now, Pay later…
Of course, this did not seem important when I was younger. All I wanted was to look bronze and sun-kissed. But take it from this child of the 70s, sunblock is not just important, it’s mandatory.
Sunblock was not in our vocabulary during the first half of my life. Some of you may remember the days of mixing iodine and baby oil, loading it on and basking in the sun. When we finally burnt to a crisp my mother’s remedy was bathing in vinegar (smelly) and rubbing baby powder on our bodies to help with the heat and redness.
Did you know that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18? Thank goodness there is amazing technology such as chemical peels and laser treatments to help reverse some of the damage, but l hope this educates you a bit so you can save your skin and your dollars in the future.
The sun and its ultraviolet rays (UV Rays) have the greatest impact on our skin. Approximately 80-85% of our aging is caused by sun exposure. As we age the collagen and elastin fibers naturally weaken, but when we expose ourselves to UV rays the weakening process is accelerated.
OK, THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF RAYS….UVA AND UVB.
A is for Aging. UVA rays are the ‘aging rays’. UVA contributes to 90-95% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface. These rays reach all the way down to the hypodermis. (This is deep! Trust me, not good.) UVA rays penetrate deeper and cause cell death. Our poor elastin fibers are damaged and we wrinkle. The very unfortunate among us may even begin to resemble a leathery Louis Vuitton bag. (Oh joy!)
B is for Burning. The second is UVB rays. This is the burning ray. The UVB rays do not penetrate as deeply as UVA rays, but they are stronger and damage the skin as well. When you lie out by Lake Michigan and turn red, your skin is fed up with these UVB rays, and it is letting you know.
What does SPF mean? It refers to the sun protection factor in sunscreens. Increasing the SPF increases your sun protection. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93.3% of UVB rays, and SPF 30 blocks 96.9% of UVB rays.
FYI: doubling your SPF number does not double the percentage of coverage. SPF 30 is not twice as protective as SPF 15.
Also, there are two different types of sunscreen ingredients. Chemical sunscreens are organic compounds that absorb UV rays and physical sunscreens are inorganic (without carbon) and they physically reflect UV rays.
HERE ARE SOME QUICK TIPS TO HELP PROTECT AND EDUCATE.
- Buy broad/full spectrum sunscreen. This protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use moisturizers with sunscreen. Even your body lotion should contain sunscreen. UVA rays penetrate glass so protect yourself even in your car. That brown spot on your hand is probably not a cute little freckle; it’s probably hyperpigmentation, a gift from the sun through your windshield from forgetting to apply sunblock to your hands.
- Wear sunglasses. Not only do they make you look chic and accessorized, but they protect the thin tissue around your eyes.
- Throw away expired sunscreen. Really, those expiration dates are not a ploy for more product sales. Sunscreen is actually less effective after expiring. You wouldn’t put expired sunscreen on your toddler, do not do it to yourself.
- Apply sunscreen liberally. Did you know that you should use a full shot glass of sunscreen on your entire body every two hours, daily?
One key word… really! If you are interested in helping improve appearance of sun damage, contact True Skin Care Center regarding treatments. – J.Y.