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Real Talk on the Sun and SPF!

Every day, rain or shine, we are exposed to two types of UV sun rays–UVA and UVB. The deeper penetrating UVA represents about 95% of the rays and contributes to significant wrinkling, aging, and free radical damage over our lifetime. UVB represents only 5% of the rays, and they are the rays that can lead to skin cancer. You can't hide from the Sun, and you really shouldn't for your overall health, but you can reduce its long-term effects. Let's get into the facts about sunlight and SPFs…

  1. We need the Sun for our health! Twenty minutes of sunlight a day is essential for the formation of Vitamin D in the body (which is essential for bone and immune health!). Replenishing antioxidants daily improves the balance of sun exposure and protection.
  2. Choose Mineral SPFs, not chemical-based ones. Minerals like zinc and titanium dioxide sit on top of the skin and scatter rays, reflecting them off the skin's surface. They are gentle and generally non-irritating. Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin, absorbing rays, changing them into heat, then releasing the heat from the skin. These can also be irritating, especially in high SPF products, and the jury is out if they are problematic for pigmentation forming. To quote the great Dr. Des Fernandes of Environ Skincare, "Sun reflection is undoubtedly more effective and scientifically shown to be safer than chemical absorption."
  3. Choose SPF 50 or lower. To achieve high SPF ratings, increased chemical ingredients must be added to sunscreens, but these products have been scientifically proven to offer minimal added protection. There is less than a 5% difference in UVB protection between SPF15 and SPF50. Higher number ratings increase free radical activity in the skin, which ages the skin.
  4. One is not done! SPFs degrade in sunlight. Choose low SPFs (less chemical sunscreen ingredients) and reapply multiple times a day (every two hours if directly in sunlight). 

To effectively protect your skin against long-term damage from UV light, employ the Three Feed Your Skin philosophy Essentials~

  1. Use broad-spectrum UVA and UVB in mineral-based SPFs with zinc or titanium dioxide. (Tizo is a great brand).
  2. Use SPF 50 or lower, and reapply every two hours in direct sunlight.
  3. Apply antioxidants and Vitamins A, C, and E daily to protect against wrinkles, pigmentation, and general aging. Most importantly, use products from lines like Environ Skincare that are sun-protective and skin-friendly!  (Shop Environ's Vitamin A's in the Store!)

Happy Summer!

Lisa