Sun Care Guide
With summer fast approaching, many are looking to stock up & prepare for their summer essentials including sun protection. What many people don’t realize is that sun protection is important all year round. As US Food & Drug Administration (FDA,2022) states, “sun safety is always in season. It’s important to protect your skin from sun damage throughout the year”. So how do you protect yourself from sun damage and what could happen if you don’t? Below I go over tips & information about protecting yourself from the sunalong with sun care recommendations from Avon to help minimize & care for sun damage.
Why You Should Protect Yourself from Sun
Being some one who lives in Massachusetts, I look forward to feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin after a long, dreary winter & spring. I know for most, they only think of using sunscreen & protecting themselves from the sun when they actually “feel” the heat of the sun. Hate to break it to you, but according to the America Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD, 2022), you should be protecting your skin from the sun all year round, whenever you are outdoors. No matter the weather or what your skin color is, the sun’s UV rays can cause damage.
What type of damage? According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, sun light consists of two types of harmful rays that reach earth:
- UVA Rays:
- AKA “Aging rays”
- Cause wrinkles & age spots
- Can pass through window glass
- Penetrates our skin more deeply
- Tends to have the same intensity all year round
- UVB Rays:
- AKA “Burning rays”
- What causes our skin to tan or burn
- Main cause of skin cancer
- Most intense in the U.S. April through October from 10am to 4pm
* Info from Alba Botanica & AAD)
If sun burns, aging skin or sun spots aren’t enough for you to use protection, I would hope skin cancer will be. Though it is the most preventable cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI, 2023) “new melanoma of the skin cases have been rising on average 1.2% each year between 2010-2019.” In 2023, they estimate 97.610 new melanoma cases with an estimated 7,990 related deaths. If that’s not scary enough, according to American Academy of Dermatology (AAD, 2023), “it is estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.” As you see in the map below from US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), you are seeing an increase in states that are not known for their hot, sunny weather year round.
Though everyone is at risk for sun damage on their skin, there are some that are at a higher risk:
- Lighter skin tone
- Have blonde, red or lighter color hair
- Have personal or family history of skin cancer
- Taking certain medications (ie antibiotics, naproxen, chemotherapy & many more. Click here for more examples. Make sure to check with your doctor & read medication warnings)
How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Now that you know the importance of why you should be protecting your skin from the sun, I’m sure you are wondering, now how do I prevent sun damage? To be honest, there isn’t one way to provide 100% fool proof protection. As I stated above, even though you may not see or feel the sun, your skin can be exposed to UV rays. According to the AAD, the best course of action is to:
- Limit the amount of time you are in the sun & seek shade/shelter as much as possible.
- Apply water resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher all areas not covered by clothing.
- Ensure to reapply every 2 hours when applicable as well as after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing as much as possible (long sleeve shirts, pants, brim hats, sunglasses).
- Use caution around water, snow & sand as they reflect UV rays which can actually increase chances of being sun burn.
- Take Vitamin D supplements and/or have a Vitamin D rich diet to ensure you receive appropriate amount needed for your body.
- AVOID TANNING BEDS… they too produce UV radiation which can cause skin cancer & wrinkling. Use sunless self tanners instead.
- Do regular checks of your body for anything changing, itching or bleeding and see a board certified dermatologist as needed. Early detection increases treatment success.
What is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a product designed to help provide your skin protection from the sun’s rays. Now I’m sure if you look at your local drugstore or Walmart, you will see that there is a variety of sunscreens out there. So how do you know which one to choose? All the professionals will state, that is up to you… just as long as it’s one you will put on consistently. So first off, there are two types of sunscreen formulas (AAD, 2022)…
- Chemical Sunscreens absorb sun’s rays & contain ingredients like:
- Physical Sunscreens “shield” skin by sitting on the surface of your skin & deflecting sun’s rays. (Recommended for sensitive skin). They contain ingredients like:
- Zinx oxide
- Titanium dioxide
Now when it comes to choosing what type of protection, there are two terms you need to look out for… SPF and Broad Spectrum. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. You will typically see it followed by a number to represent the level of protection. SPF is designed to refer to protection from UVB rays only. Now, if you are looking for protection for both UVA and UVB rays, you will want to look for products that state “Broad Spectrum” AND have a minimum of SPF 15. To help ensure consumers are making informed decisions when choosing the best type of sunscreen protection, the FDA has established strict guidelines:
- Products with “Broad Spectrum” have met FDA’s requirements
- Any sunscreen not broad spectrum or under SPF 15 must state a warning on their product.
- Can not claim waterproof or sweat proof.
- Water resistant claims must let you know the time you can expect for the labeled SPF level while swimming or sweating
- Products can NOT state “sunblock” or claim instant protection or protection for more than 2 hours w/o reapplying.
Avon Sun Care
Now that you know all about why it is important to protect your skin from the sun, below are recommendations & options you can shop for from Avon, online or through your local representative
Keep your skin protected from head to toe.
Avon Sun Protection+ Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body SPF 40: natural sunscreen collection protects your skin with non-toxic, mineral-based ingredients so you can freely enjoy the outdoors while staying safe under the sun. Think of the minerals as millions of little mirrors on your skin, bouncing away the sun’s harmful rays. Water/sweat-resistant up to 80 minutes.
Isa Knox Anew Solaire Active Face & Body Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50: Advanced sun protection and luxury skin care in one. Enjoy our highest SPF protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, with hydrating panthenol, niacinamide and peony extracts to help keep skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. It’s a great complement to any morning skin care routine.
Isa Knox Anew Solaire Everyday Face Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50: Advanced sun protection and luxury skin care in one. Enjoy our highest SPF protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, with hydrating panthenol, niacinamide and peony extracts to help keep skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. It’s a great complement to any skin care routine. Wear alone or under makeup.
*COMING MAY 24* Isa Knox Anew Solaire Everyday Mineral Face Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50: Enjoy our highest SPF protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, with hydrating panthenol, niacinamide and peony extracts to help keep skin feeling soft and smooth. Lightweight formula with zinc oxide. Suitable for sensitive skin. Water-resistant up to 40 minutes.
Got too much sun? These products will be your best friend as they help your skin heal & repair sun damage.
Farm Rx Super Greens Cooling Gel: Nourish your skin with fresh greens. Super Greens Cooling Gel works as a lightweight moisturizer to help soothe and cool skin, and can also be used as a mask to hydrate skin while you sleep. Formulated with super nutrients like broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, moringa oil and green tea to keep skin looking softer, brighter and healthier.
The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Ice Refreshing Soothing Gel: Get soothing with a 3-in-1 gel with aloe that contains antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins A and C, and helps calm, soothe and soften irritated skin. Use as a moisturizer, soothing after-sun care or as a facial pack. Can also be refrigerated for a cooling effect. This is what I use for me & my boys with sun burns, cuts, scrapes or rashes.
The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Soothing Gel: Aloe…nature’s miracle moisturizer. Formulated with 95% aloe vera extract and 9 other soothing herbs like chamomile and sage, this gel instantly hydrates and soothes dry, sensitive skin while restoring its moisture level.
The Face Shop Jeju Aloe Soothing Mist: Add this refreshing mist to your daily routine. Instantly soothing and cooling facial mist for face or body, with 90% aloe vera extract. It contains antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins A and C, and it helps calm, soothe and soften irritated skin.
Veilment Lumiere Sunless Tanning Serum: Get a customized sun-kissed tan, even in the comfort and privacy of your home! Mix and blend into daily body moisturizer for the look of a natural glow that suits the hue that is you, with the more drops you use the deeper the tan. Color-correcting technology visibly evens tone. Available in Light/Medium and Medium/Dark
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If you are interested in learning more about sun care & protection, I highly recommend checking out my references & other resources, found below, that I’ve come across in my research for this blog post:
- Alba Botanica Protect Your Skin & the Earth (2017)
- American Academy of Dermatology Association Shade, Clothing & Sunscreen (2023)
- Avon Insider Blog Why SPF is Important for Your Skin (2023)
- Avon The Best SPF Tips (2023)
- BYRDIE Sun Care articles (2023)
- Good Rx 12 Medications That Can Make You More Sensitive to the Sun by Christina Aungst, PharmD (2023)
- National Cancer Insitute Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin (2023)
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Melanoma of the Skin Statistics (2023)
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun: From Sunscreen to Sunglasses (2022)
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