Myths and Tips about SPF
Now that I am in my 30’s and am definitely seeing a few lines here and there on my face, I take sunscreen a lot more seriously. I am pretty religious about my application of 50 face sunscreen everyday but, like most women I know, usually neglect the application of sunscreen on the rest of my body unless I am going to the pool or the beach. I love a little sun on my shoulders and legs but recently I read that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in there lifetime and that it is the most common form of cancer here in the states. Yikes!
When it comes to sunscreen my motto is usually, convenience is king, and so I buy makeup with SPF already in it and spray on sunscreen that can be quickly applied but recently I have uncovered a few disturbing facts about what my SPF is missing! Since prevention is the best way to reduce the risk of cancer, I have compiled some of the sunscreen myths and tips I have come across in my research of this subject.
In a recent analysis of the top 29 best selling moisturizers, 6 were found to not have any UVA filters at all. UVA rays are the culprits that cause aging and skin cancer without burning the skin, so it is important to have protection against those along with UVB’s.
Tip: Make sure that any lotion or makeup you are using has UVA protection and is at least SPF 15 or include a sufficient face sunscreen underneath makeup in your morning routine.
Many brands of sunscreen available today have SPF ratings of 70, 80 or even 100+. But ratings above 50 do not give a proportionate level of protection. Studies show that sunscreen with SPF 15 can block about 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98%. The higher SPF, while not offering much more protection, can mislead a user into thinking he or she is safe from prolonged exposure to the sun. The higher SPF sunscreens are also more expensive, while the added protection is minimal.
Tip: Stick to sunscreen with SPF greater than 15 but no more than 50 and reapply every few hours.
In the past, it wasn’t unusual for lip products to come with little or no SPF. Thankfully, many companies have upped the level of protection in lip balms. That’s critical because skin cancers on the lower lip, in particular, are especially aggressive.
Tip: Make sure you are wearing lip protection whenever you go out in the sun to prevent sun damage.