Looking for a good new years resolution? How about making sunscreen a part of your daily skin care routine? UV rays from the sun are a lot more harmful than what we can see with the naked eye. Incorporating a good SPF into your daily care routine prolongs the life of your collagen and elastin, helps prevent skin cancers, and saves you from developing dark spots or uneven skintone later in life. If that little bit of info on its own isn’t convincing enough, let us share some sunscreen facts with you! Learn more about SPF and what products to buy.
What SPF actually means:
SPF is an acronym for ‘sun protectant factor’. The SPF number correlates to the amount of time skin will be provided with protection from the burning UVB rays. UVB rays are the rays from the sun that cause reddening and burning of the skin. For example an SPF 30 is meant to protect skin 30x longer than going without any sun protection at all. If skin usually starts to show signs of damage after 15 minutes, SPF 30 should keep UVB damage away for 7 hours. When talking about how long SPF protects skin for, it does get a little bit tricky. Even though SPFs promise to protect skin for 15, 30, 50, 80 times longer than no protection, most sunscreens are oxidized after two hours of sun exposure. This means after two hours or more of consistent time in the sun, your sunscreen probably isn’t doing its job anymore. We always suggest applying SPF every two hours if you’re going to be out in the sun all day. If you don’t regularly spend a lot of your day in the sun, a daily AM application of your favorite sunscreen should be perfect for a typical day.
scrub me secret: an SPF with a high number can get some consumers into trouble. while an SPF 80 or above seems like something that would protect the skin best against the sun, it creates a false sense that skin will be protected all day long. If you’re outside for more than 2 hours in the sun, a SPF 100 will not last any longer than your SPF 30.
UVA rays vs. UVB rays:
When talking about SPF factor, that only applies to measuring protection against UVB rays. All UV rays are damaging to the skin, but UVB rays are the rays that cause burning while UVA rays cause deeper damage. UVA rays are stronger, longer rays that are absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. This causes long term damage like dark spotting, wrinkles, and textured skin. To protect against UVA rays find a sunscreen that says ‘broad spectrum’. This means your SPF will protect against UVA and UVB rays.
scrub me secret: damage from UVA rays may not be seen until years down the line. Since these rays are longer and absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin it takes some time before it’s seen on the surface. Too much sun now could mean dark spotting and wrinkles 10 years from now.
Ingredients to look for in SPF:
In the natural and organic realm of skin care it’s hard to find the perfect SPF. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are mineral SPF ingredients. These have shown to be non-damaging to the skin, body, and earth. The only issue is that these ingredients sometimes can feel heavy or leave a white tint. We really like zinc heavy SPFs for our bodies; there are a couple we have found that we love for face too! View our scrub me secrets below to see our list. Controversial ingredients include oxybenzone (BP3), homosalate, octinoxate, and avobenzone. These ingredients, while approved by the FDA in small amounts, have been shown to possibly disrupt hormones, cause allergies, aid in chemical absorption, destroy coral reefs and more. Sticking to mineral based SPFs is what we recommend for your healthiest lifestyle. You can even find mineral sunscreens in drug stores now!
scrub me secret: mineral sunscreens we love! Coola has great products you can find easily at online stores, target, or drug stores. Beauty counter, counter sun mineral sunscreen is an awesome light weight choice for body and face. We also really love the Suntergrity, lots of really great facial sunscreen options!
Are you ready to go out and grab yourself a sunscreen for daily use? Making sun protection a daily habit is one of the best things you can do for your skin. You can prevent against cancers you can also keep your skin young and fresh looking. Not ready to make the switch over to a completely mineral SPF or haven’t found one you like? While we very much recommend a sunscreen with only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients we think that any SPF is better than no SPF at all.