PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE SUN’S HARMFUL ULTRA-VIOLET RAYS- BE INFORMED
What are sunscreens?
Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from harming the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA (think of Aging) and UVB (Burning), damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn (B for Burning), while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of Aging (photoaging).
Traditionally they are a lotion or cream, but next generation products use convenient sprays to apply protection quickly and easily. Sunscreen active ingredients can be Organic chemical absorbers (ex. Oxtinoxate or Avobenzone (Parsol® 1789)) and/or Inorganic physical blockers (ex. Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide).
Chart below shows “Prime Time” for UV radiation:
What is SPF?
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the result of a biological procedure for measuring the effectiveness of UV protection products on human subjects against erythema. First devised in the 1950’s by Schulze and has undergone a number of refinements to result in the test which is known today.
Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. SPF — or Sun Protection Factor — is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Here’s how it works: If it takes 10 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer (150 minutes) — about 2 hours.
But there are problems with the SPF model: First, no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Second, “reddening (erythema)” of the skin is a reaction to UVB rays alone and tells you little about what UVA damage you may be getting. Plenty of damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.
% UVB Absorbed (Sayre)
- SPF 2 absorbs 50%
• SPF 15 absorbs 93.3%
• SPF 30 absorbs 96.7%
• SPF 50 absorbs 98%
- SPF 60 absorbs 98.3%
BREAKDOWN OF UV RADIATION (UVA/UVB/UVC)
- UVAI (340- 400nm) – Can cause tanning but has minimal erythemal affect. Can cause long-term damage. Penetrates deeply.
- UVAII (320- 340nm) – Slight erythemal contribution.
- UVB (290- 320nm) – Causes sunburn and is a major contributor to skin cancer development.
- UVC (200- 290nm) – Very energetic radiation. Absorbed by the Ozone layer (doesn’t reach earth).
Who Should use sunscreen?
Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen daily. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day, especially if they work near windows, which generally filter out UVB but not UVA rays.
Children under the age of six months should not be exposed to the sun, since their skin is highly sensitive to the chemical ingredients in sunscreen as well as to the sun’s rays. Shade and protective clothing are the best ways to protect infants from the sun.
What type of sunscreen should I use?
The answer depends on how much sun exposure you’re anticipating. In all cases we recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Many after-shave lotions and moisturizers have a sunscreen (usually SPF 15 or greater) already in them, and this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun. However, if you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant, beachwear-type sunscreen that holds together on your skin. The “water resistant” and “very water resistant” types are also good for hot days or while playing sports, because they’re less likely to drip into your eyes when you sweat. However, these sunscreens may not be as good for everyday wear. They are stickier, don’t go as well with makeup, and need to be reapplied every two hours.
Many of the sunscreens available in the US today combine several different active chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum protection. Usually, at least three active ingredients are called for. These generally include PABA derivatives, salicylates, and/or cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate and cinoxate) for UVB absorption; benzophenones (such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone) for shorter-wavelength UVA protection; and avobenzone, ecamsule (MexorylTM), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide for the remaining UVA spectrum.
Do all sunscreens block UVA?
Many sunscreens provide some UVA protection but to be a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protection must be across the UVA range. In the United States there is currently no accepted rating system for protection against UVA radiation. Excessive exposure to UVA radiation is linked to premature aging and the occurrence of skin cancers like melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. Ingredients found in broad-spectrum sunscreens include Avobenzone (Parsol® 1789), Ecamsule (Mexoryl®), Zinc Oxide, and Titanium Dioxide.
How much sunscreen should I use and how often should I put in on?
Using a traditional cream, ensuring that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.
Does a high SPF sunscreen protect me all day long with one application?
Research has shown that high SPF products can actual lead to changes in behavior that will result in a higher incidence of sunburn. Users mistakenly think a high SPF product will protect them all day with one application when in fact ALL sunscreens must be reapplied regularly regardless of SPF (even the labels on high SPF products advise users to reapply regularly).
Common things like swimming/drying off, perspiration during activity and clothing (abrasion between skin and shirt collars, hat bands, wrist watches, sock cuffs, etc.) can all remove sunscreen – even a well-bonded sunscreen. Regular reapplication ensures the best results irrespective of the claimed SPF.
Does the claim “no tears” means it won’t sting my eyes?
Eyes are not designed to allow foreign substances or materials in – although some formulas that use volatile silicones instead of alcohol may minimize potential irritation. All sunscreens contain ingredients which potentially could cause eye sensitivities. Eye irritation depends on the person and the circumstances.
Are some sunscreens water-proof or sweat-proof?
The FDA has deemed the terms ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweatproof’ as misleading. The allowable description is ‘water-resistant’ (up to 40 minutes in the water) or “water resistant” (up to 80 minutes in the water) to better reflect the reality that no topical product can be ‘waterproof’. Due to the fact human skin is designed to be ‘shed’ and sunscreen will be removed in this process. Water-resistant sunscreens use special ingredients to better bond to the skin and shed water better, but they still need to be reapplied regularly for best results.
Are some sunscreens actually sunblocks?
This is another term the FDA will no longer allows as it creates the erroneous implication that a sunscreen can actually ‘block’ UV radiation. In fact, no sunscreens are complete UV blocks. All sun protection products allow some level of UVA and UVB radiation to penetrate the skin regardless of the claimed SPF level of protection.
What about sunscreens are advertising ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic’?
There are actually several ‘all-natural’ sunscreens (ex. Mud, clay, hippopotamus sweat, coral amino acids, etc.). However, the FDA only permits 16 active ingredients in products claiming to be a sunscreen (‘legal’ sunscreens are drug products and are made to very strict pharmaceutical standards) and all require some degree of purification or manufacture and therefore do not meet the criteria of an ‘all natural’ ingredient.
The term ‘organic’ is also misused and since it is unregulated when it comes to topical drugs and cosmetics there is no uniformity among products making this claim. In food products, ‘organic’ is a term applied to foods with at least 70% certified organic content and this is governed by various bodies, including the FDA.
There is no organic certification for sunscreens. If a sunscreen were truly ‘organic’ in a food sense, it would require an aggressive preservative system or refrigeration. To make matters even more confusing, ‘organic’ in a chemical sense refers to the presence of carbon and hydrogen molecules – which is a given with current UV absorber ingredients (making almost all sunscreens ‘organic’ in that sense).
Inorganic molecules like Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as the exclusive UV screen are possible, but to be effective they must be present in very high concentrations and this creates a very white cream or lotion that looks like white paint on the skin. New advances in nanotechnology will help to eliminate the white look.
What is M.E.D ?
Minimal Erythemal Dose: The M E D is the minimum dose of UV radiation required to show the first signs of burning, or reddening of the skin.
Why is bu sunscreen – Best in Class
• Oil free, Alcohol free, PABA free, Preservative free & Paraben free
• Hypoallergenic, Non-comedogenic
• Water & sweat resistant (80 mins)
• Topical anti-oxidant Vitamin E to scavenge free radicals
• No Nuts or nut oil, Eggs, Dairy, No colorants, No synthetic fragrances and Gluten free
• Not tested on animals and Vegan
• Recyclable packaging and Carbon neutral (solar powered used during production)
Sensitive Skin Formulation:
Irritants such as fragrance, oil, alcohol, PABA and preservatives have been eliminated, to help with sensitive skin.
Suitable for use by individuals with special conditions such as : diabetes, lupus, vitaligo, dermatomyositis, scleroderma and those taking Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.