Skin cancer is an almost entirely preventable disease. So it’s time to get educated, and take action to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the sun.
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?
UVB cause sunburn – think B for burn or bad. These contribute to basal and squamous cell carcinomas. UVB rays are most prevalent between 10am and 4pm.
UVA is far more prevalent and penetrates more deeply into the dermal layer. It causes squamous cell carcinoma and contributes to basal cell carcinoma. UVA light causes photo-aging by damaging collagen and causes immune suppression.
The sun also emits UVC rays, but they are filtered out by the earth’s atmosphere.
How often should I apply sunscreen? The magic number is 1 ounce—a full shot glass—per full-body application, every two hours.
Other ways to protect skin from the sun - wear more clothes and stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when its rays are most perpendicular to the earth.
Remember that the amount of solar exposure is more important than the number of minutes spent in the sun: One hour on a mountain in sunny Colorado is far more impact than an hour at sea level on an overcast day.
How high of SPF should I use? Most people believe that an SPF 30 product offers twice the sun protection of an SPF 15 product, and that would make a lot of sense.
In reality, an SPF of 15 blocks 93 percent of the UVB rays, whereas an SPF 30 blocks 97 percent, making the SPF 30 product only 4 percent more effective at blocking UVB rays, and SPF 50 you’re only getting 1 percent more protection by blocking 98 percent of UVB radiation. So choose an SPF of at least 15, and don’t fall for the SPF 100 trick—you never need more than 50.
How you use a product along with the UVA coverage and active ingredients is far more important than the SPF number.
Try to avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate ingredients, they are significant skin allergens and have been shown to have some estrogen mimicking effects on the body. Watch for a "non-active" ingredient called methylisothiazolinone, a common preservative in sunscreens and baby wipes that was named “allergen of the year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2013.
Instead go with: Zinc oxide - the superstar of the sun protection world. It protects against UVA and UVB rays and does not get absorbed by the skin. Instead, it sits on top and deflects the sun's rays like a mirror would. Titanium dioxide is another barrier sunscreen but is mainly active against UVB rays. Avobenzone is one of few ingredients approved in the United States for UVA protection and has a low toxicity profile. Mexoryl is another UVA screen with a similar profile, currently awaiting FDA approval.
Have you ever heard of parabens? Parabens are artificial preservatives that have been around since the 1920s. Parabens are present in a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products, including lotions and moisturizers, face and skin cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, deodorants and antiperspirants, shaving gels, toothpastes, makeup, and many others. They are also used as preservatives in food and beverages, as well as in some medications. Parabens are chosen for their antimicrobial properties; by preventing the growth of bacteria, they can extend the shelf-life of consumer goods. However, they can also have extremely negative effects on the human body. parabens can interfere with the body’s hormones, most notably reproductive hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. The possible health risks could include chronic diseases, cancers and a host of developmental disorders and fertility problems. parabens act on estrogen pathways, which in humans have been associated with such varied effects as decreased sperm count, endometriosis and insulin resistance.” What’s more, parabens can inhibit mitochondrial function. This has tremendous implications on overall health and vitality. The mitochondria are often described as the “powerhouses” of cells, as they are responsible for creating energy from the food we eat and store. In addition, mitochondrial dysfunction can have devastating health effects, and it’s considered the root cause of many diseases, including neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. How can you limit your exposure to parabens? Read every label and stop buying products with these words listed in the ingredients: methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, and butylparaben; a sixth paraben, benzylparaben, is less common.
Dry skin saps that radiant glow you love and moisturizers play a big part in maintaining a fresh, healthy look regardless of the season. However, moisturizing isn't as simple as applying any lotion you find. During the colder, drier months of the year, you should use oil-based lotions and creams for richer nourishment of dry, chapped skin. Natural oils can get stripped from the skin during this time of the year, so these products help balance your skin's oil production. Use water-based moisturizers in more humid months to prevent clogged pores.
An easy way to get your bright, healthy glow back through exfoliation. Exfoliating helps slough off the top layer of skin cells, which are often dead or old. By gently scrubbing these dull cells away, you show brighter, healthier-looking skin lying underneath.
If you're serious about maintaining a healthy glow, a serum should be on your must-have product list. These are specially designed to banish dullness for vibrant results. When combined with skin-brightening lotions, these products can be effective at giving you glowing skin at any time of the year. A good serum will have several ingredients to help lighten and brighten skin. For example, ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide are often included since they target hyperpigmented skin. By creating a more even, clearer complexion, these ingredients enhance your skin's radiance every time you apply the serum. Meanwhile, skin-brightening serums feature nourishing and moisturizing properties so your skin has a dewy finish.
Even if the rest of your skin is glowing, having puffy, dark circles under your eyes takes away from that natural radiance. Find an eye cream, gel, or serum which reduces puffiness and dark circles while also helping to curtail wrinkles and fine lines. The best formulas often include ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, and vitamin E. For the best power against puffy eyes, your eye serum should also include caffeine.
The SPF factor you require does not decrease as summer fades. In fact, skin experts report you need to apply sunscreen always, rain or shine. The sun's rays still reach you even in the darkest winter months, so don't forget this incredibly important skin care step. Without sunscreen, you can experience skin damage. That damage includes everything from sunburns to skin spots, both of which will dampen your chances of achieving a radiant glow. water works from the inside to produce the same effect.
Drinking lots of water every day keeps all your organs hydrated, including your skin. Instead of tired, dry skin with a dull look, you'll have dewy, hydrated skin with an elusive natural glow. Processed foods and excessive sugar have long been associated with uneven complexions. Eating healthy, wholesome foods is so important for maintaining clear, glowing skin. Your best results will come from foods that are low in unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates. Some of the foods most closely linked with clear, glowing skin are avocados, tomatoes, olive oil, spinach, and berries. Getting enough sleep is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your skin. When you get a full night's sleep, your skin's repair mechanisms have time to activate, which helps support youthful, firm skin. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to get the best skin results. While exercising regularly is great for your heart, lungs, and muscles, exercise is also good for the skin. When you work out, your blood flow increases, which helps to keep the skin cells nourished. The blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells while carrying away waste, like harmful free radicals