Did you know that 90% of melanomas (a deadly form of skin cancer) are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation? This is tragic, especially given that the simple use of the right sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by up to 73%.
Of course, daily use of sunscreen is key. But it’s also important to know that not all sunscreens offer the same protective power. Knowing what to look for in a sunscreen makes all the difference. Read on to learn what you need to know about sunscreen:
Why SPF matters
SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays. UVB rays burn the superficial layers of your skin and can lead to the development of skin cancer, so choosing a sunscreen with SPF is a big deal. SPF of 30 is recommended by the Melanoma Research Foundation in order to ensure protection against those harmful rays.
SPF is not all that matters
“Broad spectrum” sunscreen protects against both UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays lead to darkening and aging of the skin. It penetrates deeper and affects your collagen, so you lose elasticity, which then creates fine lines and wrinkles. Choose a sunscreen with a label that has broad spectrum and SPF 30. Your skin will thank you.
Zinc oxide makes a difference, too
While SPF and “broad spectrum” work on a chemical level, zinc oxide actually works to block the sun physically. So, when zinc oxide is listed as an active ingredient in your broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, you’re well protected.
One application will not last all day
You cannot rely on a single application of sunscreen to protect you all day. Carry it with you and reapply every one-and-a-half to two hours, no matter how high the SPF, and no matter whether or not the label claims it to be water resistant. In fact, if you’re sweating a lot or playing around in the water, you should reapply every 40 minutes or so.
Sunscreen does not cause vitamin D deficiencies
Vitamin D plays a role in bone health and may also reduce the risk of certain cancers. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to depression or seasonal affective disorder. Because exposure to sunshine helps the body create vitamin D, some people believe that use of sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiencies, but studies have shown that this is not true. Anyone concerned about their vitamin D levels should speak with a doctor.
If sun exposure has prematurely aged your skin, we can help
Unfortunately, even if you start using the right sunscreen now, all those years of not doing so may still be evident on your skin. Sun damage shows up as discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, and other blemishes that decreases your self-confidence and make you look older than your are.
At San Diego Cosmetic Laser Clinic, we offer a number of skin-rejuvenation services to treat various conditions related to sun-damage. Give us a call to ask about photorejuvenation (IPL), Fraxel, microdermabrasion, Cosmelan, and more.
Even if you’re not exactly sure which service would be the best fit for you, Dr. Parvin Mani will examine your skin, listen to your concerns, and develop a customized treatment plan designed to give you back your youthful glow – and your confidence.
Call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mani today.