Wednesday, June 5, 2013

10 sunscreen tips for hot summertime fun

Try other options other than sunscreen - 10 sunscreen tips for hot summertime fun 

 International Business Times

 By | July 03 2011 9:50 AM

Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up! Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start. Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin. Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead. Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.
Sunscreen may not be the best defense against UV radiation. Truthfully, “sunscreen” is not “sunblock.” No sunscreen product will completely block harmful rays from the sun and it remains effective on the skin for only several hours. Environmental Working Group recommends options other than sunscreen: protective clothes, shade and timing. Here is a useful checklist from EWG prepared:

[2] Key protective ingredients should be included on your sunscreen - 10 sunscreen tips for hot summertime fun

FDA plans to introduce a new UVA protection rating system in 2012. But till then consumers are advised to check the ingredient list to make sure their choice of sunscreens contain the most essential protective ingredients. A sunscreen’s ingredients are directly connected to its level of protection. The key protective ingredients should include: avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, Tinosorb, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. “Broad spectrum” sunscreen are composed of one or more of these ingredients. In specific, the first three are chemical ingredients while the last two are more natural as they are mineral ingredients. The best formulas should contain broad spectrum sunscreens either chemical or natural, or a combination of the two. For example, one of the most commonly used ingredient, oxybenzone, does not protect against long-wave UVA. Therefore, unless a product contains the above mentioned key protective ingredients, it does not actually protect against the harmful UVA but a portion of UVA waves only. Here are some helpful details on the key chemical formulas: Avobenzone is an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen and more commonly used ingredient which has 3 percent for the best UVA protection. Mexoryl SX is another good option that some beauty magazines and reviewers praise it, commenting that it contains an ideal mix of ingredients for the best possible protection. However, it is expensive and sold in very few formulations. Tinosorb could be a good option but regrettably, it is not yet available in the US.    

[3] Higher SPF is not always equal to higher protection - 10 sunscreen tips for hot summertime fun

SPF (sun protection factor) is frequently misunderstood by consumers. Take an SPF 30 and an SPF 15 sunscreen as an example. While the SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of rays, SPF 15 blocks 93 percent. SPF 30 does not mean double the UV ray protection compared to SPF 15. Between the two, the difference is slight in its actual efficacy. Experts say that ultimately SPF ratings higher than 30 do not offer more protection and no sunscreen can block more than 97 percent of UV rays. Therefore, it is generally recommended that SPF 30 be used under extended sun exposure and SPF 15 be suitable for everyday use. It also reaffirms that sunscreen should be applied daily. The daily use of a SPF 15 has been shown to be more effective in preventing skin damage than the intermittent use of a higher SPF sunscreen. Additionally, FDA also commented that higher values were inherently misleading, and there was no assurance that the specific values themselves were in fact truthful, according to its draft regulations in 2007. On this publication FDA proposed prohibiting companies labeling sunscreens with an SPF higher than SPF 50+.

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Under the scorching sun your sunscreen is not an option but a necessity. Before heading out to have some hot summertime fun it may be best to brush up on your knowledge of sunscreen. Try asking yourself these questions about your sunscreen:

'Are sunscreens the best defense against UV radiation?; Does higher SPF rate always mean higher protection from the sun?; Do you ever check the ingredients list before you get your sunscreen? If you do, do you know what you should be looking for on the list?; Do you know chemical sunscreen may cause potential hormone disruptions?'

If you cannot confidently answer to these questions, then check our 10 sunscreen tips. Click Start to see:

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