Friday, July 1, 2016

Sunscreens protect my skin from all sun damage—True or False?

FALSE! Unfortunately, we have succumb to the notion that creams with SPF are totally protecting our skin from the sun’s damaging effects. That would be nice, but unfortunately sunscreen can only do so much to protect your skin from sun damage. And—it is important to use daily!

SPF stands for is Sun Protection Factor. This is a numeric system set up to alert us as to how long it will take for our skin to burn in the sun while using the product. An SPF 15, for instance, says that by using the product you should be able to stay out in the sun for 15 times longer than if you didn’t have it on—and not burn.

Can you start to see how SPF and sunscreens in general are not going to give you an umbrella of protection? They are only truly set up to keep your skin from burning. You can and may still tan while wearing sunscreen. You will also still receive the damaging UVA and UVB rays from the sun—but your skin shouldn’t burn with the sun protection product on.

Obviously there is great benefit to wearing sunscreen. I recommend wearing it daily. If this is not you, please at least wear a sunscreen when you will be outside and exposed. Again, don’t feel falsely protected when wearing a cream on your face—whether it is an SPF 15 or 50.

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