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Home / Articles / Columnists / Healthy Living /  Protecting the Skin You’re In.
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Thursday, May 7,2015

Protecting the Skin You’re In.

By Ashley Dixon  

It’s almost summer time, which means time to enjoy family, friends, the beach, picnics, and outdoor activities. Making sure our skin is safe from harmful rays is sometimes last on the list, but is often the most important. The obvious solution to skin protection is sun block and accessories, but here are some extra facts to help you fight off those rays.

Sunscreen labeled SPF protection is for UVB rays only:

When protecting your skin from harmful rays, it is important that you are protected from UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays typically cause the skin to visually burn, but UVA is on a deeper level and has been said to cause wrinkles and aging in the skin. The ideal protection is call “Broad- Spectrum or Multi- Spectrum Sunscreens”, which cover both UVA and UVB rays.

Double the SPF doesn’t mean twice the protection:

SPF 15 is normal for most people, which provide 93% of UVB protection, but doubling to SPF 30 increases slightly, to about 97% of protection.

Sunscreen reacts differently depending on the ingredients:

The most effective and cost efficient type of sunscreen for UVA part of protection contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These two ingredients sit on top of your skin and block the rays from getting in as opposed to other sunscreen chemicals that absorb the radiation once it comes.

Being fully clothed will not protect you from UV radiation:

Clothing, hats, and sunglasses can help, but doesn’t provide full UV protection. In addition, the hands, face, lips, ears, or feet may still be exposed.

Dark pigmented skin does not protect you from UV radiation:

One big misconception is that dark pigmented skin is protected from UV rays. This is simply not true. While darker skin tones provide more protection because of the increased amounts of melanin, sunscreen will still need to be applied for over exposure.

Sunscreen must be reapplied:

The amount of sunscreen that has to be reapplied is dependent on the person. For example: If it normally takes Sarah 15 minutes to start burning from the sun’s rays an SPF 15 sunscreen will allow her 15 minutes x 15 SPF= 225 minutes of sun exposure or 3.75 hours. However, if there is swimming or water activities done, you will need to reapply more often because the sunscreen is water resistant, but not water proof and could wear off.

While enjoying the spring and summer, follow these three rules: #1: Have fun, #2: Go outdoors and stay active, #3: Be Safe, protect your skin, wear sunscreen everyday! Sources: Webmd:What’s the best sunscreen?, R Morgan Griffin 2007; Healthday: Sunscreen: How to wear it, Dana Sullivan 2013

 

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