Protecting your skin has never been more important. Particularly if you are over 35, but I'll come to that in a moment. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and as a beauty therapist it is my job to see that everyone has access to the correct information to help protect themselves. So here are my Home Beauty Salon Tips - 5 Myth-Busting Facts About Sunscreen.
Only Worry About Sunscreen On Sunny Days
Skin Cancer is the fifth most common form of skin cancer in the UK. Cases in men have increased five fold and for women 250% in the last few decades, and new cases are appearing in those over 35. It is true that 86% of cases are caused by excessive sun exposure, however there are a number of other factors that increase your risk of skin cancer according to Cancer Research UK: Age, history of sunburn, fair skin, sunbeds, tanning, previous instances and family history of skin cancer and skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis. Sun damage doesn't just occur only on sunny days and with these increased risks we should be protecting ourselves every day of the year, and here is why.
Only SPF Matters In A Sunscreen
SPF or Sun Protection Factor is the gauge in which we can estimate how long we are protected from UVB rays. UVB are the rays which cause the burning sensation after sun exposure. However every day of the year whether it is sunny or not, the sun emits UVA rays too. UVA rays cause premature ageing in the form of wrinkles, age spots, pigmentation and broken capillaries. Therefore to be fully protected we require a sunscreen on our exposed skin every day that contains UVA and UVB protection. This is known as a broad spectrum sunscreen. For additional protection there are certain ingredients called antioxidants that can help the skin to minimise the free radical damage induced by the sun too. A broad spectrum antioxidant sunscreen with SPF15 is perfect for everyday use. See below for my favourites, Environ's RAD Antioxidant Sunscreen and RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen.
High SPF Sunscreen is Best
You would think that the higher numbered SPF provide twice the protection but the truth is they only block a marginal amount more. An SPF15 blocks 93% of rays, an SPF30 blocks nearly 97% and an SPF50 blocks 98%. Research has shown that the highest SPF's contain a much higher level of potentially harmful chemicals that could be detrimental to the skin. If you've ever experienced heat rash after applying a high SPF you will know what I mean. Personally speaking the highest I use is SPF30 and I am very fair and burn easily. My preference is jane iredale's Powder-Me SPF30. It is a dry sunscreen meaning it uses mineral powder that sits on the surface of the skin acting like tiny mirrors to reflect the suns rays away from the skin. It is highly effective and very easy to carry around and top up during the day. Also because it is not a cream it is great for backs of hands and mens bald spots.
Once Is Enough
Don't be fooled into thinking that an application of sunscreen in the morning is enough to protect you throughout the day. Dr Des Fernandes, founder of Environ Skincare advises applying your first layer 30 minutes before sun exposure and then reapplying your sunscreen every 1-1.5 hours. It is also important to ensure you use the correct amount of sunscreen product. For the face, neck and ears a 3cm blob should be enough. For the body you may need as much as 2 tablespoons (equivalent to a shot glass) for just arms and back. One 100ml tube that I showed you earlier would be sufficient for one person on a sunny beach holiday for one week.
I'm Brown, I Don't Need Sunscreen
I was on a course the other day and a fellow beauty salon owner told me her Indian clients say this to her all the time. Sadly they are misguided. A person with fair, mid brown or olive skin with a tan only gains around SPF2 from their tan. For a person with medium to dark skin their melanin only gives them a natural protection of around SPF 8-14 at the most. By the time the skin has become just slightly pink from sun exposure, the skin is damaged, the DNA is injured and we have promoted photo-ageing.
Remember this: A sun tan is a scar!
Useful Explanation Guide to SPF
SPF = time taken for a persons bare skin to reach minimal pinkness after sun exposure multiplied by how many times longer the same skin stays protected with sunscreen applied.
SPF12 = bare skin takes 10 minutes to start to burn X 120 minutes (12 times longer) with sunscreen.
SPF30 = bare skin takes 10 minutes to start to burn X 300 minutes (30 times longer) with sunscreen.
My Final Point - Protecting The Skin From Within
Oral supplements can can help support antioxidant levels in the body, as well as the skin. In addition to vitamin A, lycopene, betacarotene and lutein all help support the skin from within. If you would like more information regarding skin supplements please follow this link to my products page to find Advanced Nutrition Programme. You will also find Environ and jane iredale product ranges there too.
I hope you have found these 5 myth-busting facts about sunscreen useful, please feel free to share them with anyone else you know who has skin!
If by chance you are unlucky to have had sun damage in the past and now suffering with pigmentation or wrinkles and fine lines, please get in touch with me as I still can advise you and help you to make improvements to your skin. Get in touch here either by my contact page or by booking an online skin consultation.
Bye for now and safe sunning. Ema x