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Published on: 02 Feb 2017 by angina
People have a natural tendency to keep forgetting the lessons of history. That is true even when it comes to sunscreens. In the 80’s people were all the rage about suntanning and even applying suntan lotions that enhance burning of the skin. Suntanning beds also made a hype. That’s about the time when skin cancer cases started to spike. People then started to fear UV and sunscreens became a daily must.
Fast-forward to the present day, most people either put on too much sunscreen or, they’ve completely stopped wearing one. Below are five sunscreen facts you must know. These facts will guide you on the correct sunscreen tips and uses.
Fact No. 1: Most sunscreens are packed with synthetic chemicals.
The piling evidence of the toxicity of most commercially available sunscreens have almost caused a global panic. Many of which have been found to be carcinogenic, highly toxic, hormone-disrupting, UV enhancing and irritating. This is the primary reason why people have decided to discontinue wearing their sunscreens everyday. Some though, reason out vanity and the white streak that most sunscreens leave on their faces for quitting their personal sun care program.
By consisting of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), synthetic sunscreen actives such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and homosalate, fool processes in your body that are regulated by hormones, particularly that of estrogen. EDCs have been blamed for earlier onset of menstruation among young girls as well as increasing women’s risks for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Fact No. 2: Commercially available sunscreens are broadly classified as either chemical or physical sunscreen.
Some will have a combination of both chemical and physical sunscreen actives. A physical and a chemical sunscreen will have two very distinct mechanisms of protecting your skin from becoming harmed by UV.
Chemical sunscreens work by catalyzing a chemical change in the composition of UV. Once UV makes contact with these sunscreens’ active ingredients, a series of chemical changes are triggered which transforms the UV to less harmful derivatives such as heat. The mechanism therefore draws the UV in. Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, reflect back UV. These mechanisms make chemical sunscreens so much more toxic than their physical counterparts.
Other less heard of alternatives are commercially available botanical sunscreens and homemade sunscreens also made from herbs and essential oils.
Fact No. 3: SPF and broad spectrum labels tell you two very different information about your sunscreen.
When sunscreen use was just beginning to pick up popularity of use, these were designed to either protect users from UVA or UVB. These days, most sunscreens are broad spectrum. Why is this important? UVA and UVB can hurt your skin in very different ways. Although both can cause permanent damage to your skin, UVA is capable of inflicting the damage in the deeper layers of your skin. UVB is what causes you to get sunburned.
On the other hand, SPF tells you how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning and therefore only validates that your sunscreen blocks UVB. A label that reads, “SPF 20” simply tells you that when you use the sunscreen, it will take 20x more minutes for you to burn under the sun when you use it as compared to without. Anything beyond SPF 50, however, cannot be for real.
Fact No. 4: Sunscreen application was widely promoted to help prevent skin cancer.
The downside is that sunscreen use has been associated with many other types of cancer, including breast and ovarian cancers. Other than that, experts have also been worried about how sunscreen is causing Vitamin D deficiency among majority of the population. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with stunted bone development, early menarche, muscle weakness and depression.
“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows,” advised Hellen Keller. It seems that out of all the sunscreen tips and uses, one lesson can be deduced and that is: in all things we do, even sun exposure requires a mindful balancing act.
Fact No. 5: Any sunscreen will not be able to give you 100 per cent sun protection.
That’s why you better not rely too heavily on your sunscreen to give you a magic shield from the sun’s UV. Use an umbrella, put on your sunglasses, darker your car window tint and simply take cover whenever you can. Yes, you should put on your sunscreen everyday and reapply every two hours throughout the day.
So, make sure to get enough of the early morning sunshine and less of the midday sun.