Some Things about Sunscreen You May Not Know

As we head toward a beautiful summer season in which more of us are spending time outdoors, it’s time to revisit the value of sunscreen use. You may know that you should apply sunscreen every day before leaving the house regardless of how much time you plan to spend in the sun. There may also be quite a few things you don’t know. We’ll point out a few details here. 

  1. Your car windows are not protective against ultraviolet light. People often think that the sun damage showing up on their arms is because they sit with their car window open when driving. The truth is that ultraviolet A light, the rays responsible for aging, is not blocked by most of the glass used to make car windows. If you drive a lot, or even a little, wear broad-spectrum sunscreen on your arms, chest, neck, and face. 

  2. You  need to rub in spray-on sunscreen for it to work. Many people use their spray-on sunscreen just as a spray. It would seem logical to do so, but it is a mistake. If the sunscreen is not rubbed into the skin, only small droplets of product are in place to block UV light. 

  3. Something to know before you go. Hawaii recently banned chemical sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate due to potential risks to reef systems. Whether you plan to visit Hawaii this year, any other locale that has a reef system, or you just want to be more eco-friendly, choose a mineral sunscreen. These products contain titanium or zinc, which have not shown the potential to harm the environment. Even better, cover your skin with a cute, UV protective swim shirt.

  4. Waterproof sunscreen does not exist. When you see sunscreen labeled water-resistant, it means just that. These products are water-resistant for 40 to 80 minutes only. To stay protected from a nasty burn, you need to reapply your sunscreen every hour or two, especially if you’re in the water.

  5. Damage occurs faster than you may think. We know that a bad sunburn overwhelms the body’s DNA-repair mechanisms. What we might overlook is the cumulative damage that can occur from time in the car or walking to and from various places. DNA damage is primarily caused by UVB rays and it begins immediately, so those 5 to 10 minutes a day can add up over time if you’re not wearing sunscreen. 

Are you interested in learning more about your skin and the ways that sun exposure has affected the dermis? Contact our Sarasota office at  (941) 379-6647 to schedule a Visia Skin Analysis.

Posted in: Skin Care

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