You know many believe that the darker your skin tone the less sun protection you need and the lighter your skin tone the more you will need. That older skin needs more protection and that younger skin needs less. That you can use the same SPF level here at home for everyday and on vacation in places like Jamaica or Puerto Rico. That this and that, that this and that, this and that…on and on. The bottom line that EVERYONE agrees on is that EVERYBODY should wear some type sun protection to help reduce the chance of getting sunburn and any chance of getting skin cancer.
Differences between sunblock and sunscreen Source: Wikipedia
Although it is a common misconception that sunblock and sunscreen are both the same, they are not. 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 the user needs to consistently reapply at least every two hours, and use a higher SPF.
However, that distinction is mostly used for marketing, and the FDA has in fact considered banning the term “sunblock” from marketing claims as it considers it misleading.
For total protection against damage from the sun, the skin needs to be protected from UVA, UVB and IRA (Infra Red Energy). Roughly 35% of solar energy is IRA.
How to choose Sun Protection Source: care2.com
Adapted from “Anti-Wrinkle Treatments for Perfect Skin” by Pierre Jean Cousin (Storey Books, 2001).
Here is the first chart we have ever run across that tells us what SPF protection we need depending on our skin type. Now you can find out which sunscreen to use if you are a slightly dark African-American, or an African-American with darker skin, or how to prevent burning if you are fair with a moderate amount of freckling, as opposed to fair with a light tan.
We are all so different: prevent premature aging, wrinkling, and drying skin by finding out which SPF is best for you.
People burn at different rates, even within the same skin type, so you must decide if you are more or less sensitive to sun exposure and take appropriate measures.
To be on the safe side, always reduce by half the stated protection on any product (for instance, if a product says it has an SPF of 8, only count on its being a 4. If you need an 8, get a 16.)
This chart will give you the recommended SPF for your skin color.
Albino. Tan type: none. Red sunburn with pain, swelling and peeling. SPF 50.
White. Tan type: as above. Great risk of freckles. SPF 50.
Fair. Tan type: very light after minor pink or red burns. Some risk of freckles. SPF 30.
Fair. Tan type: light. Slight risk of freckles. SPF 30.
Slightly dark. Tan type: dark. SPF 30.
Slightly dark. Tan type: dark, with less risk of sunburn. SPF 15-20.
Dark. Tan type: very dark. SPF 8-15
Black. Tan type: black. SPF 8.
Sun Safety Made Simple from the University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter.
Head off sunburn this summer with these smart application tips:
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS For most people, a sunscreen with a SPF (measure of a product’s ability to block out UV-B light) of 15 or 30 is adequate.
CHOOSE BROAD SPECTRUM Look for a sunscreen’s that says “broad spectrum” on the label. These protect against UV-A light as well as UV-B. UV-A rays cause premature skin aging; UV-B rays cause sunburn. Both increase the risk of skin cancer.
USE ENOUGH For full protection, an average size adult in a bathing suit needs about an ounce of lotion – enough to fill a shot glass.
REAPPLY OFTEN Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going out. Reapply at least every two hours. There’s no such thing as completely waterproof sunscreen, so be sure to slather on more ever time you come out of the water.
Well people I think that “covers” it…LOL. Cover up, be safe and have a great summer.