Sunblock or Sunscreen Which Do You Want

Summer is coming. As you wander down the isles thinking, "save my skin" or "just lather up the baby oil" one last tan can't hurt, right? Wrong! Protect Protect Protect! You're a woman, and probably hormonal, or taking hormones, or if you have a belly full of some baby and placenta: the hormones are summoning skin damage as that first ray of light beams in your morning window. So what's the scoop sunblock or sunscreen? Well, technically, blocking or screening are not the professional terms. And realistically, it's not the exact way it's applied either whether it be a powder, a gel, a lotion, a sprays, or an ointment, if it has Sun Protection Factor (SPF) then you have some protection. Now you may have to watch expiration dates on some of the more fragile formulation, so read labels. The rays of the sun damage the skin by exposing it to  UVA and UVB rays. UVB has always been the big bad UV to avoid, the "B" we nickname for the "Burn", but "A" could be though of as the "Aging" UV. And as for the SPFs. The FDA has approved 17 agents for use in sunscreens that will provide SPF. Some are organic or the chemical sunscreens which absorb the UV before it strikes and others are the inorganic literally forming a physical barrier that also works by being strongly reflective. And lots of products have a bit of both. You can read an entire review the UVA and UVB at the Skin Cancer Foundation.
 So back to SPF, what exactly are you getting. Well, first of all there is no known UVA rating for protection. No SPF grading system is for UVA. So all of the grading is for UVB. And the ratings are for "amount of time, relatively, it takes you to burn.." A very general term. So if you normally burn in 10 minutes and you are wearing SPF 30, you should be able to stay in the sun for 300 minutes before you burn. But that doesn't mean that you haven't absorbed a lot of heat during that time, nor that the product has stayed on  that long, nor does it really mean that you really took that long to burn in the first place. Nor does an alarm sound when you have incomplete or inconsistent application, are at altitude, or exposed to conditions like wind, or taking medication that can compound the effects of the sun. Nor do these figures correct for age or ethnicity, that's basically up to us, so these products have a lot to be desired in their labeling. .And the concern over the lack of UVA protection was so great that last  July 3, 2009 caused a lot of alarm when they reported that three of five brand-name products "either don't protect the skin from sun damage sufficiently, contain hazardous chemicals, or both, according to a report by the watchdog organization Environmental Working Group."

And if you want to see just how smart you really are about this:
How about the sun safety IQ
Or come on in to gab about what wear what I wear: Colorescience and SkinSceuticals from Hada! Find out about he concept of cellular sunscreen. And come in for your skin checks yearly!


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