Choosing The Right Sunscreen May Help Prevent Skin Cancer
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetimes. Yet only 18% wear a daily sunscreen.
Many consumers are confused as to which sunscreen is best for them. SPF 15, 20, 30 or 100? UVA, UVB or both? Water resistant or water proof? The choices are endless. Because of this confusion, in 2012 the FDA set new regulations on sunscreen labels to help consumers make better decisions on the products they purchase.
To Begin, there are two types of rays that cause sun damage: UVA rays, (Aging Rays) that penetrate into the skin causing premature aging and are a major cause of skin cancer. UVB rays, (Burning Rays) affect the surface of the skin and are the main cause of sunburn.
What did the FDA change?
“Waterproof” sunscreen is no longer an option for consumers. Instead, consumers can choose from “water-resistant” or “very water-resistant”. Water-resistant defined by the FDA means if the SPF applied retains its value after 40 minutes of water immersion it is “water-resistant” and “very water-resistant” after 80 minutes of water immersion.
Broad Spectrum defined by the FDA is a product that contains UVA and UVB protection and must be labeled as such.
SPF 100 is also no longer an option for consumers. According to the FDA, consumers associated SPF 100 with 100% sun protection which can only be achieved by using 100% zinc oxide so an SPF higher than 50 can now only be labeled as 50+.
- Look for sunscreens that protect from UVA and UVB damage such as Obagi Sun Shield.
- Apply sunscreen every two hours. Apply every 30 minutes to an hour if you are swimming or perspiring excessively.
- Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to allow it to fully absorb into skin.
- Make sure you are applying enough sunscreen. A half gram is required to adequately protect the face and approximately 2 ounces to cover the average sized body.
At Visage, we are here to help our patients understand the importance of sun protection and to be more informed consumers by providing professional aesthetic services combined with complimentary skin analysis.
For the month of April, with the purchase of the Obagi Nu-derm kit, receive a FREE Nu-Derm Sun Shield SPF 50, a mini- jet peel and skin analysis.
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