It’s the summer months and you don’t have what you call a “base tan.” So you apply your sunscreen like your mom has always nagged you to do, so you don’t get burnt. Your mom has taught you that you don’t want to burn your skin, but what about aging your skin? You wouldn’t think as a teenager you should have to protect your skin from wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. I mean that’s stuff your mom complains about, right? Once you get your bronzed look that you have been waiting for you toss the sunscreen aside. Sun kissed is beautiful, so you think. Only if you knew the damage you are doing to your skin by not wearing sunscreen now, but you’ll find out as you get older.
Now the Fall is here and you start to put your Summer things away, including your sunscreen. Why do you need sunscreen if you are not basking in the sun? Believe it or not, the rays are out even if they are hidden by the cloudy, dark Washington weather. During the Fall, Winter or Spring the sun’s rays are still just as damaging as they are in the Summer. How? Here are a few facts about the sun’s rays.
What are UVA rays?
- UVA rays are called “aging rays”
- UVA rays prematurely age your skin causing wrinkles and age spots.
- UVA rays can pass through window glass, you wouldn’t think but even the windows in the car.
- UVA rays are longer than the UVB rays penetrating through your skin down to the dermis injuring the collagen and elastin that give your skin the young appearance.
- The UVA rays are out even if the sun isn’t out; they poke through the clouds causing damage to your skin.
- It’s estimated that 70 to 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun.
What are UVB rays?
- UVB rays are called “burning rays”
- UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn.
- UVB rays can be blocked by window glass.
- UVB rays are shorter, damaging the outer layer of your skin.
Sun is strong even when it’s not sunny out
- Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate your skin.
- On cloudy days 80 percent of the sun rays pass through the clouds.
- Snow, sand and water increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays.
- Hikers and skiers; the sun’s UV rays increase 4% with every 1,000 feet of altitude gained.
- UVA and UVB both cause skin cancer.
The UVA rays are powerful and damaging. They appear every single day, 365 days a year. Even when you think you are protected by the clouds or the rain, you’re not. Sunscreen is important every day so that you don’t have signs of premature aging and to decrease your chances of skin cancer. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the highest rates of skin cancer are in some of the cloudiest states, like Washington, Oregon and Vermont.
Sunscreen protects every skin type
- Anyone can get skin cancer; it does not discriminate against age, gender or race.
- It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.
- Most common area for women to have skin cancer is her legs.
- Most common area for men to have skin cancer is his back.
- Research has shown that people who wear sunscreen daily have 24% fewer issues related to aging skin than those who don’t wear sunscreen daily.
How to be compliant with sunscreen
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside whether you are going to be swimming, hiking, skiing or even driving.
- You are supposed to use 1 ounce of sunscreen for your entire body if exposing your entire body to the sun.
- Always apply sunscreen to all areas exposed to the sun, face, arms, hands, legs, shoulders, back, feet, scalp and even your ears.
- Reapply your sunscreen every 90 minutes or after swimming and sweating if you are outside.
- If inside and going back outside after 90 minutes, reapply your sunscreen.
- Even if using a waterproof or water resistant sunscreen you want to reapply every 90 minutes.
- A higher SPF needs to be reapplied just as often as a lower SPF.
What do I look for in a sunscreen?
- SPF means Sun Protection Factor
- You want a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB Rays.
- You want an SPF of 30 or higher.
- An SPF 30 blocks 97% of the sun’s rays. A higher SPF can block slightly more of the sun’s rays but there isn’t any sunscreen that can protect against 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.
- There are 2 types of sunscreens: chemical and physical
- The ingredients in Chemical sunscreen help filter the UV rays and typically only protect against the UVB rays.
- Physical sunscreen typically contains the ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which protect our skin against both UVA and UVB rays. These sunscreens are called “broad spectrum sunscreen.”
Everyone, start using sunscreen now! It is never too late to start protecting your skin from the sun. The sun is hard at work and it is not bias to the skin it destroys. It’s not too late to prevent additional damage or from happening altogether: wear your sunscreen
Women, it’s easy to wear sunscreen. It can be applied underneath your makeup. Some foundations even some powders contain sunscreen in them. You reapply your powder throughout the day so why not include sunscreen in it. Sunscreen even comes in tinted now! So you could pass the foundation and trade it out for a tinted sunscreen if you wanted.
Men, we know you think you are too masculine for sunscreen, but did you know that you have a 55 percent higher chance of dying from melanoma skin cancer than women? Fifty- five percent! That’s a lot. Sunscreen is made for you too; others will not even notice you are wearing it. So be masculine enough to wear sunscreen and protect your skin.
At Northwest Aesthetics we have all the right sunscreens for your needs.
Face sunscreens at Northwest Aesthetics:
- PCA Weightless Protection SPF 45: Goes great underneath your makeup as a primer. It is light weight and has no tint.
Our staff favorite
- SkinMedica Total defense and repair SPF 34: We offer in tinted or non- tinted. It’s great for outdoor activities because it also has infrared protection which protects your skin from the heat of the rays. The tinted has great coverage for when you are looking to not wear full face makeup. Our Master Esthetician, Alex’s favorite sunscreen with the tint.
- EltaMD UV clear SPF 46: This is a non-tinted sunscreen, light weight and safe post procedure.
Sunscreens for the body at Northwest Aesthetics:
- EltaMD UV lotion SPF 30+: This sunscreen comes with a pump and spreads on like lotion. Excellent to protect your body and children from the sun. Our Master Esthetician Alex puts this one next to her daughter’s toothbrush so sunscreen will become part of her routine in the morning.
- EltaMD UV Aero SPF 45: For you busy parents this is a great sunscreen to spray on you and your kids.
You may think a tan means beautiful skin, but as an esthetician we know a tan equals unhealthy skin. It creates damage that you may not see now, but the effects of sun damage will appear sooner than you think. Its underlying damage that will appear when you least expect it. So prevent and protect yourself from wrinkles, brown spots and even the chance of skin cancer now while you still have the chance. Sunscreen is a must every single day, 365 days a year without a question. Your natural skin tone is beautiful, embrace it.