The Mid-Atlantic has been hit with a record breaking heat wave, hitting records in the triple digits from Baltimore to Boston. The sweltering heat has caused a scattering of power outages, transportation delays, park closings and not to mention, health concerns. All of which, has left people like myself, trying to make the best of these sizzling days of summer. Aside from pool parties, AC, and an abundance of 7-11 Slurpees, sun protection has been one of my top priorities.
Believe it or not, the leading cause of aging is sun exposure. Sun exposure causes 80% of visible skin aging, such as crows feet, wrinkles, loss of firmness, age spots, uneven color or texture, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and a rough leathery look. Most of us get half our lifetime exposure to sun before we’ve reached voting age. The reason we don’t notice it, is that much of the damage to our skin will only appear decades later.
Sun exposure not only increases the signs of aging, but it also increases your chances of developing skin cancer. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer.
There is no way to hide from the sun, not unless you stay inside your house 24/7, but realistically, we all have to get out for work, school, errands, etc. so sun protection is essential – - WEAR SUNSCREEN OR SUNBLOCK!!!!!!
Here are some important info about sunscreen from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
Sunscreens are chemical agents that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.
UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other effects of photoaging. They also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.
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 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours.
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. 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.
Although some believe that sunblock and sunscreen are both the same, they are not. Although they have similar properties and are both important in caring of the skin, sunblock is opaque and is stronger than sunscreen since it is able to block a majority of the UVA/UVB rays and radiation from the sun, thus not having to be reapplied several times a day. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock.
Sunscreen is more transparent once applied to the skin and also has the ability to protect against UVA/UVB rays as well, although the sunscreen’s ingredients have the ability to break down at a faster rate once exposed to sunlight, and some of the radiation is able to penetrate to the skin. In order for sunscreen to be more effective you’ll have to consistently reapply and use a higher spf.
I’m currently using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock which ROCKS!!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock with helioplex broad spectrum UVA UVB is fast absorbing leaves skin soft and smooth waterproof. Number one dermatologist recommended suncare. Neutrogena ultra sheer sunblock is a breakthrough in skin protection. Stabilized with Helioplex, it provides superior balanced broad spectrum protection against skin aging UVA and burning UVB rays, and combines it with dry touch technology for a lightweight, non; shiny finish. Lightweight clean feel, waterproof, and sweatproof. Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores). Oil free and PABA free. Made in USA of domestic and foreign components.