SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor” and is a measure of the sunscreen's ability to protect your skin from UVB rays. The basic calculation works like this: If it takes 1 minute for your unprotected skin to start turning red [in the sun], using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer. Research has shown that SPF’s higher than 15 do no provide a significant benefit, so in order to enhance the effectiveness of your sunscreen focus should be placed on more frequent application as opposed to higher SPF. Your sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours of exposure, as reapplication is vital in enhancing sun protection, slowing down aging and decreasing your risk of skin cancer.
The depletion of the ozone layer has increased our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays. Sunscreen blocks these rays, greatly reducing the likelihood of sunburn. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays, breaking them down and discarding them. Physical sunscreens reflect the UV rays, preventing them from coming into direct contact with your skin. In practice, chemical sunscreens do not provide as much protection as physical sunscreens, and I highly recommend the use of physical sunscreens for the best protection.
Ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, because it has shorter wavelengths than the light we can see. There are two types of rays that can damage the DNA in your skin cells and lead to skin cancer. It’s important to protect your skin from both types:
UVB rays cause sunburn and play a key role in developing skin cancer. A sunscreen’s SPF number refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection it provides. These rays are the strongest between 10 am to 3pm.
UVA rays cause skin damage that leads to tanning as well as skin aging and wrinkles. The shortest wavelengths of UVA rays also contribute to sunburn. UVA is strong from the time the sun comes up, till it goes down. UVA is present even on cloudy days.
I recommend Elta MD Sunscreens whole heartly. They contain zinc and titanium dioxide, which provide skin protection, and some contain hyaluronic acid for rehydration. They have a wide variety of sunscreens for any skin type. SPF 41 and 45 can be reapplied to oily skin with no residue or oiliness left behind.
SPF 40 comes in a tint and untinted formulation for skins normal to dry. SPF 40 contains; zinc oxide, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
SPF 46 comes in a tint and untinted formulation for sensitive skin types; like rosacea, problematic and discoloration. Contains zinc oxide, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
Biologique Recherche SPF 25 protects the skin from the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and infrared rays. This sunscreen adds extra hydration to your skin without feeling greasy, and also offers great anti-aging ingredients to help slow down the aging process.
Combating aging skin can be difficult, but prevention can be a breeze. Regular application of sunscreens can do wonders for your skin, and it is one of the products whose use I stress the most. For more information, feel free to contact me anytime!