It’s no secret the summer sun is hot, and one of the best ways to beat the heat is heading to the beach or out on the boat. But what are you risking? Sun exposure (any time of the year!) causes premature aging, wrinkles, skin spots, and cancer.
MYTHS about Sun Exposure
- There is no such thing as a good tan.
- Not all sunscreens are created equal.
- A higher SPF does not necessarily protect your skin better.
- You don’t have to have a sunburn to increase your risk of skin cancer.
90% of all wrinkles, age spots, and discoloration are due to sun and tanning bed exposure.
Know your UV Rays
UVB creates the burn—this is what most sunscreens protect against. If your skin is getting pink or red, you are getting radiation from the sun. That “great tan” is actually UVB damage. UVB rays cause accelerated aging and increased risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are strongest from 10am-2pm.
UVA causes long-term damage. This radiation really accelerates the skin’s aging process by penetrating deep into the dermis and destroying your own natural collagen. Dryness, wrinkles, leathery skin, and discoloration? Thank UVA exposure for that. Daily, from dawn to dusk, each and every day of the year, you are at risk to UVA rays at 100% potency.
UVC is deadly to plant and animal life. Our ozone layer protects us, but it is the type of radiation from artificial light, such as tanning beds.
Skin Cancer Fast Facts
- Using sunscreen does not guarantee protection from skin cancers, nor does sunscreen turn back time—but it sure can help. According to the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), data does show daily use of sunscreen does slow skin aging and reduce cancer risk.
- No skin type is void from potential skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.
- Skin cancers can appear at any time. They can lie dormant in the dermis for years and even appear on areas that rarely get sun exposure.
Scientists and doctors are seeing more skin damage in younger skin. What is going on?
You are not getting the protection you think you are getting.
5 Sunscreen Must-Haves
- Look for UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection. Make sure at least three active chemical ingredients are listed on the label with a combined minimum strength of SPF 15.
- Waterproof is better than water-resistant. But don’t be fooled. Waterproof will last at least 80 minutes, but that rainbow film you see floating on the water? That might just be waterproof sunscreen, so reapply for safety’s sake. Water-resistant is just that—resistant. It will stay on the skin for 40 minutes, but reapply when you get out of the water. For best results, look for rub-proof, which is more likely to stand up to the toweling test.
- Comfort is important. A sunscreen should be mild on the skin, especially around the eyes and lips. No burning, no tingling, no running. It should be so comfortable that once you rub it in, you no longer even notice it is on your skin.
- A sunscreen should be greaseless. Some sunscreens do not dry quickly and become sticky to the touch. This means the product is clogging your pores, increasing the skin’s temperature, affecting the natural cooling process of the skin.
- Don’t forget the lips, ears, nose, and feet. These are the areas most prone to skin cancer.
The difference between SPF 15 and SPF 100 is only 4% added protection on the UVB spectrum.
The FDA considers all sunscreens SPF 15 and above to be in the same category: Ultra Protection.
The Experts Weigh In
Want to look younger and stay healthier? Use the best sunscreen. A-Cute Derm offers one of the most comprehensive medical grade sunscreens on the market. PRO-TECT sunscreen is designed to moisturize the skin and protect from moisture loss and over-exposure to UVA / UVB / UVC radiation. It outperforms high SPF sunscreens that you can buy in the grocery store. It is fragrance-free, parabens-free, waterproof, rub-proof, and PABA-free. It offers superb, consistent and high protection levels across 100% of the spectrum range.