We all love the golden glow, but did you know that sun exposure is a leading cause of dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. Ever pick up a bottle of sunscreen and try to figure out all the codes and what they all mean?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.
Sunscreens are classified by an SPF number; you’ve probably all seen them on your sunscreen bottle (SPF30). This SPF number is calculated measuring the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin.
For example, “SPF 15″ means that 1/15th of the burning radiation reaches the skin through the recommended thickness of sunscreen- protected skin vs unprotected skin. You really want to be using an SPF of no less than 30 to protect yourself not only against the risk of skin cancer but also premature aging skin.
Follow? Great, now let’s get into the nitty gritty science behind UVA and UVB rays:
Sunlight is made up of two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB. The UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skins thickest layer, while it’s the UVB that burns the superficial layer of our skin. It is the UVB rays that is the key in developing skin cancer. No matter the rays, be it UVA or UVB, unprotected skin exposure can lead to premature skin aging, wrinkling and cause permanent damage over time. Unfortunately most people don’t begin to see signs of sun damage and become aware of the risks of not applying sunscreen until we begin to age.
The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends wearing sunscreen 365 days and year and most importanly during peek hours of 11am – 3pm.
So what is it you really want to look for in your sunscreen?
No matter what brand of sunscreen you purchase you want it to be a Broad-Spectrum sunscreen. The FDA has strict guidelines to determine what sunscreens actually are able to be labeled at Broad-Spectrum. Broad – Spectrum sunscreens provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Giving you the maximum protection from the suns harmful rays.
Mineral sunscreens vs. Traditional sunscreens
Mineral sunscreens use active mineral ingredients such as Zinc Oxide, that reflect the sun’s rays to protect exposure to your skin. There are two types of sunscreens Classic and Mineral Sunscreens, they can be differentiated by their active sun protection. Classic sunscreens use chemicals to absorb & dissipate UVA/UVB rays.
Lastly, and newest to the way we understand sunscreen, is the concept of nanoparticles. Slowly we will be seeing guidelines put forth on how to differentiate when purchasing sunscreens. In the meantime we can explain it as such:
A nanoparticle is a piece of material so tiny that the only way to measure it is in nanometers. To put this to scale, 1 nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter. ” A nano particle will enter the blood stream but a non-nano will not. That is why non-nano is safer. Chemical sunscreens will enter the bloodstream and that is why DNA altering ingredients such as oxybenzone have become a growing concern.
COOLA, now available at Pretty In Pink Spa, is non-nano. Their Farm to Face philosophy offers mineral suncare products for the entire family. COOLA uses ingredients that are hypoallergenic, paraben free, antioxidant enriched, water resistant & water proof yet still luxurious without compromising on performance. Their products protect and nourish the skin with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants.
We hear it all the time from new moms ‘what sunscreen is safe for my baby’ We are happy to share that COOLA has an SPF50 for your little ones over 6 months old. Start your baby on their way to a natural environment while safeguarding them from the sun’s harmful rays and pollutants. This baby SPF 50 sunscreen is designed especially for a baby’s delicate skin using minerals.
No matter how long you or your family will be spending time outside be sure to apply your sunscreen before you head outdoors.