A few years back I took a trip to Paris with my mother. I had everything in my makeup bag that contained sunblock. My moisturizer and foundation both contained diluted sunblock in the formula and I was sure I was protected. I learned on that trip the importance of wearing an actual sunscreen that is not diluted All the walking around that we did on that trip, left my nose red as a tomato. I have the hyperpigmentation on my nose to show for my mistake. From that trip on, I am a big advocate of having a bottle of actual sunscreen always in my skin care routine and I do not walk out of my house without putting some on.
Most people who argue against staying out of the sun are worried about their Vitamin D production. UVB rays are the contributors of the synthesis of Vitamin D. Now, UVB are the burning rays. They are shorter than UVA rays and not as deep. However, they are stronger and cause more damage. While UVA rays are the cancer causing rays that alter DNA and cause cells to die, UVB rays can damage the eyes, which is why a quality pair of sunglasses is important. If you are worried about your Vitamin D, remember you can get the same result from food and vitamins instead of relying on the sun.
While I am on the subject of UVA and UVB rays, did you also know UVA rays are the primary cause of aging? UV rays can penetrate windows and they pass through clouds. Sun protection should not only be for the summer time and beach days. You should be protecting yourself and wearing sunscreen every single day of the year. The snow, sun and water increase the need for protection due to reflection of the sun rays. Majority of the sun damage acquired in a person’s life happens every single day. When we walk to our car, sit next to a window and drive our car we are subject to sun damage and should be protecting ourselves. Remind yourself the sun emits harmful and damaging rays year round and not just during the summer months.
Sunblock will defend you against radiation, cell death, tissue breakdown and aging. Full or Broad spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB sun rays. There is two types of sunscreen. We have the chemical sunscreen and the physical sunscreen. The Chemical sunscreen is made up of organic compounds. It chemically absorbs the sun rays. If you look at the list of ingredients on the bottle, the way to tell the sunscreen is chemical is to see any or all of the following: octinoxate, octisalate, or oxybenzone. A physical sunscreen is made of inorganic compounds. It will physically reflect the sun rays. Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide on the list of ingredients if you want to protect yourself with a physical sunscreen. A good analogy I heard once to describe the two are: chemical sunblock is like standing behind a screen door and a physical sunscreen is similar to standing behind a wooden door. While you already looking at the back of the bottle, make sure to check for the expiration date. If you are using your sunblock daily as recommended you should never have the bottle expire, but better be safe then sorry.
In addition to wearing sunblock, you should be protecting yourself by wearing long sleeves, pants and wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. A good rule of thumb to follow is: when your shadow is shorter than you are find a shade. This usually takes place between 10 am and 2 pm. One last thing I would like to remind everyone is that your lips are in danger as much as the rest of your skin wrapped body parts are. So please remember to wear a lip-gloss or chap-stick which has SPF in it.
Make sunscreen your best friend and it will serve you well! Farewell for now.