Summertime is a Great Time to Get to Know your Sunscreen
- Posted on: Jun 15 2016
Many of the conditions that seem to occur with age may actually be related to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Research has demonstrated that 90% of the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, are the direct result of UV damage.
It could be easy to think that the only way to protect your skin is to remain indoors more often than not, but this is neither useful nor is it any fun. To protect our skin we are encouraged to apply sunscreen anytime we go outdoors. Do you know everything you need to know about your sunscreen?
Let’s Talk Sun Protection Factor
Every sunscreen has what we call SPF, or sun protection factor. This number, such as SPF 15, does not necessarily indicate strength so much, but the timeframe in which it will take for UV radiation to cause redness on the skin. For instance, sunscreen with SPF 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer without getting burned than if you had not applied sunscreen.
Many of the sunscreens that have been developed previously provided protection against UVB ultraviolet rays only. Recent research demonstrates that UVA rays can cause damage beneath the surface even without causing sunburn. This raises a concern, specifically, for skin cancer. So ultimate protection from unhealthy cellular activity ultimately comes from a sunscreen with UVA and UVB screening ingredients. This is indicated by the wording “broad spectrum” on product labels.
How Sunscreen Works
There are two ways in which sunscreen protects the skin, and it comes down to ingredients. Some ingredients, like oxybenzone, absorb UV radiation. This means that some particles of light are getting though, but not all. Other ingredients, like zinc oxide, cause these rays to scatter, or reflect away from the skin. This means that particles of light are completely blocked from penetrating the skin.
There is no way to avoid UV exposure altogether. This means your skin will develop a certain amount of damage over time. At Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center, you will find restorative treatment that can minimize the effects of UV damage and photo aging. Contact us to schedule a skin cancer screening.