Beauty & Skin Health  

Are You Getting Enough Protection from Your SPF?

According to Jamie Fox, our Lead Medical Aesthetician, sun protection for our skin is vital – we only have one skin, so we need to take care of it!  Do you think you’re getting enough sun protection from your SPF?

Common things that Jamie hears from patients are:

  • There is SPF in my makeup/moisturizer.
  • I never go out in the sun.
  • I wear an SPF 100 when I am out in the sun.
  • My face breaks out when I wear SPF.

Let’s take a moment and break down some facts and help you find an SPF that’s best suited for you.

We know the sun gives off UVB and UVA rays – but do you know the difference between them?  UVB rays are responsible mainly for sun burns and is the greatest cause of skin cancers. The SPF rating is given to sunblocks for its UVB rays. UVA rays are not filtered through the ozone therefore penetrate more deeply and are responsible more for skin aging and photo damage. When you choose a sunblock that states “broad spectrum” protection you can be sure you are covered against UVB and UVA rays.

We can’t hide from the sun, really. We get UV exposure from daily life activities like driving in a car or sitting inside by a window. You might even feel you are protected because your makeup or moisturizer says it has a sunblock in it already. If you take a look at the active ingredients on the label, is there an ingredient that gives sun protection? Do you know what you should be looking for?

Ideally, you want to look for Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide as an active ingredient.  This will ensure that what you are using for sun protection is a physical block of the UVB/UVA rays.  This means that Zinc and Titanium sit on the surface of the skin so the UV rays actually are deflected from the skin, while other chemical sunblock ingredients are absorbed into the skin and do not provide UVA protection.

Zinc Oxide is also non-comedogenic, non-irritating and non-allergenic. So, it’s very safe for acne-prone and even the most sensitive skin types.

The minimum recommended sun protection is an SPF 30. If you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, it is important to reapply your sunblock every couple of hours regardless of the SPF number on your sunblock.  But even if you aren’t spending a lot of time outdoors, your skin can still be compromised with UV damage when you are taking photo sensitizing medications, like antibiotics or birth control – also, if you are using any form of acne medication, retinols, glycolic or salicylic ingredients in your skin care.

Jamie always tells her patients that the best age-defying thing you can do for your skin is wear a good sunblock every day. Her patients are making an investment in their skin health when they come see her for treatments. Getting in the habit of applying a good sunblock every day will help your skin stay healthier for longer.

We are proud to carry Medical-Grade Skin Care products including our own private-label line, SkinMedica®– stock up on our best-selling SPF’s to get ready for the summer!