Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Facts about Sun Protection


It may seem like an exaggeration but using sunscreen is truly the number one anti-aging product available to you. Here are my recommendations on SPF (sun protection factor) use and some facts about sunscreens. Use this information for yourself and your family.

WHAT DOES A SUNSCREEN DO? Protect you from ultra violet rays coming from the sun. There are 2 types of rays that can damage the skin: UVA and UVB. UVB rays penetrate just below the epidermis and cause the skin to burn. Hyperpigmentation, sun spots, an unattractive skin texture are the long term result of unprotected UVB damage as well as the possibility of skin cancer.
UVA rays pentrate deeper in the skin causing damage to the dermis and results in wrinkles and premature aging of the skin as well as the possibility of skin cancer. UVA rays can penetrate cloud cover, light clothing and untinted glass.


The spf number goes up as the effectiveness of a product goes up. Spf 15 blocks 93% of UV rays.
spf 30 blocks 97% of rays and spf 50 blocks 98%. The number also can be put into an equation to determine time out in the sun you are protected at the above rates.

If you burn in 10 minutes multiply your spf number by 10 and you will get the amount of minutes you are protected. Example: I burn in about 10 mins. I wear a 30 spf everyday, 10 x 30 =300 minutes of 97% protection from UV rays. But don't be fooled by that high number of minutes. It is actually recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours regardless of number.


Ok, My recommendations:

Wear sunscreen everyday of the year. At least an spf 0f 15. I personally recommend 30 Spf.
Find a sunscreen you like and you will be more likely to wear it.
Apply sunscreen over your moisturizer if you also wear one.
Apply 15 to 30 minutes before exposure.
Apply liberally, spf numbers are calculated with the use of 1 oz of sunscreen per application to body, that's about 2 tablespoons to cover body and face.
Reapply every 2 hours, more frequently if swimming or playing sports.
Wear suncreen no matter what skin tone you are.
When applying to the face do not forget the ears, neck, back of the neck. Never forget your hands or feet.
Apply two coats to insure maximum and complete coverage, no kidding.
Do not forget your children going off to school with outdoor play time.


Your sunscreen should contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide which are physical blocks Or Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) which is a chemical block . The oxide minerals work very well by scattering the rays or bouncing the rays off of the body. The newer physical blocks are transparent and do not leave the skin white. Avobenzone absorbs the sun rays.
A third type of sunscreen is Mexoryl which has been recently awarded FDA approval on a limited basis in the US, it is widely used in Europe and is also a chemical block that works very well.

Sunblocks should have a three year shelf life which will be indicated on the jar/tube.

Please take a little time in the morning and apply your Sunscreen, like I said it is the number one anti-aging product available.

Take Care, Diane.


DJ Broo said...

Diane, I love your blog--and you are SO right about sunscreen. You know why they call it a tan, right? Just look at some of those tanned 40-year-olds with their creased, leathery faces like old handbags! So nasty.

Another great reason to wear sunscreen is that it is the simplest way to help protect against skin cancer. I was careless aboiut sunscreen because I thought just avoiding tanning would protect me. As a result, I had skin cancer on my face at a very early age. Don't think because it's "just" basal cell the doctor can simply scrape it off and you'll be fine. I don't want to get too graphic, but I had to have a 5-hour operation and I could have lost my eye. Now I have an L-shaped scar running across the length of my eye and down the side of my nose, and you'd better believe I put on sunscreen every day of my life!

What other product can help prevent signs of aging AND protect your health at the same time? YAY SUNSCREEN!

Joan said...

Your blog and Web site are great, Diane!

A couple of questions about this sunscreen post:

Do you sell any sunscreen products? If not, what kind/brand do you recommend for old, dry skin?

As someone with osteoporosis, I'm curious if there's any way to get natural vitamin D from sunlight without risking skin damage or skin cancer. Would exposure early or late in the day be "safer"? After reading dj broo's comment, though, I'll give up the natural vitamin D from sunlight if there's no way to get it safely!

Thanks, Diane, and all the best.

Diane Higgins Beauty Basics said...

Dear Joan, Regarding getting natural vitamin D from sunlight: I have heard early morning exposure for 15 minutes is a good way to get a dose of vitamin D. By Early I mean between 7 and 9 am. I do carry a sunblock that I love. It is not on the website as of yet but you can always e-mail me a request. It is a 30 spf with transparent zinc and titanium. You might want to consider using my Rejuvenating Facial Oil under it if your skin is very dry. My sunblock is $24. for 4ozs.

You can always e-mail me at or comment through the blog.
Thanks, Diane Higgins.

Diane Higgins Beauty Basics said...

Hi djbroo, Thank you for your excellent comments on Skin Cancer. I try really hard to explain how important Sunscreen is and I think your story will drive it home. Diane.