Friday, April 20, 2012

pretty for summer SPF edition

I, like the majority of people out there, don't use sunscreen correctly (by that, I mostly mean that I do not wear enough). I use a sunscreen on my face daily...but for my body I tend to only use that when I'm going to be in the sun (which is where the problems start).  Sun damage is cumulative, so even non beach days count for sun exposure...and here I am only protecting my face, when it turns out that most people show the signs of aging on their hand and neck areas...yep, I need to be protecting my skin more.

To cover your body with sunscreen you should use about two ounces, (or a full shot glass).  My average size sunscreen bottle is 6 ounces...even if I use less on days when I don't expect to be in the sun (days working or running errands) I should still be using probably at least an ounce or so to cover my arms, hands, neck and chest areas.

Here were my basic questions about sunscreen, and the answers I found to be useful (be advised: as with all beauty topics, there is also information to the contrary out there).

What's new in the world of sunscreen? (Yes, this was my first question, because I received an email newsletter with a topic of "New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen")
  • Products will have to pass FDA tests for UVA and UVB exposure to be labeled broad spectrum
  • From now on all sunscreens will be required to have the standard 'drug facts' on their labels
  • Products will no longer be able to claim 'sweatproof' or 'waterproof'; the FDA will only allow 'water resistant 40 minutes' or 'extra water resistant 80 minutes'
What do the SPF numbers really mean? (I knew they had to do with exposure time, but could not remember what exactly)
  • If it takes you 15 minutes to burn an SPF of 15 would keep you from burning for 15 times that long...however, that is only true if you were getting the exact same amount of sun exposure the entire time...which is pretty impossible considering the whole Earth rotating the Sun thing we've got going on. From what I understand, the FDA is tackling this kind of outdated logic too, so as more regulations pass the SPF guides will either change or drop away.

Is a higher SPF better? (I've held strongly to the notion that there is really no need to go higher than 30 for a long time...but have things changed?)
  •  For that, I trusted this article on WebMD. I feel the info on there is well worded and worth a read, if you're so inclined.
Basically, in regards to sunscreen use the correct amount of coverage or you'll just be fooling yourself about how protected you are...always always reapply...and make it a part of your daily routine or you may end up an old leather lady before your time.

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