When I was 7 years old living in sunny Florida, my mother would send me out to play in my sun-suit (remember those?). While I was playing, she would be in her lounge chair….tanning. Even if we’d been aware of the damage the sun could do, in those days sun protection was unheard of. In fact, tanning was promoted. How well I remember, even so young, the Coppertone Tanning Lotion billboards which advertised the little tan girl with the puppy pulling on her bathing suit revealing a white bottom (remember that?).
There are many of my generation now trying to repair our sun-damaged skin. It seems to me that for every facial pre-skin cancer Actinic Keratosis I have treated on myself, 2 more come in to take its place.
These days we really are more sun-savvy yet too many of us are still under-protected and under-educated when it comes to sun exposure. We’ve heard about UVB rays but many are unaware of the more damaging UVA radiation.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so here are some facts about:
Skin Cancer Prevention
UVA Rays: The Aging Rays
- Penetrate deeply into almost all skin layers damaging collagen and cells
- Cause wrinkling, pigmentation and loss of elasticity
- Can pass through glass! (Think – car windshield)
- Are not affected by weather or altitude
- Are present all day, every day of the year
- Increase the risk for skin cancer
- Are up to 50 times more prevalent that UVB rays
UVB Rays: The Burning Rays
- Mostly affect the outer layer of the skin
- Cause sunburns and tanning all of which, increase the risk of skin cancer
- Vary with time of day and seasons, and are stronger in summer
- Are the rays that SPF refers to when indicating protection
Sun Protection Factor
- SPF = Sun Protection Factor and SPF over 30 confers no further sun protection than 30. SPF higher than 30 only creates a false sense of protection
- Broad Spectrum sun protection means it is effective in blocking both UVB and UVA rays. The most broad-spectrum sun protection is obtained with the minerals Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide and the chemical Octinoxate
- Sun screens should be reapplied every 2 hours
- Don’t forget your eyes! UV light damages the retina. Wear sunglasses
Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin – the Face – Kids
Knowing the importance of skin health, the Randali Centre offers premium products for sun protection: EltaMD.
These sun protectors are effective, elegant, noncomedogenic and free of sensitizing fragrances and parabens. There is a product for everyone; babies, acne-prone teens, sports enthusiasts and the regular girl-about-town like me. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sun protection is no longer a choice; it’s a skin-saving necessity!
P.S. How much hidden sun-damage do you have on your face? Come in to the Randali Centre and look at your face through our Skin Scope. You may be surprised at what it reveals…