Melissa Paris Fitness

Jun 17, 2013

Do You Wear Protection?

by Melissa Paris

PLEASE tell me you put on SUNSCREEN. You may notice that there are many different levels of sunscreen, some with higher SPF's and some with lower amounts of SPF... so which one should you get? Let me just give you a quick background on sunscreens. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and only protects against ultraviolet B rays (UVB), which causes sun burn and increased risk of skin cancer. The other type of ultraviolet radiation (UV) is called ultraviolet A, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB but contributes more to aging, wrinkly skin and loss of elasticity. Both UV rays contribute to skin cancer, and no matter how much sun screen you put on, there is no full protection against skin cancer. But know this!

-The SPF number is based on the amount of time it would take for you to sunburn, however an SPF 30 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays and an SPF 100 product protects about 97% UVB rays. It’s not much different, although the numbers can be deceiving. As long as you have SPF 30 or more, you should be good to go!
-Water-resistant vs waterproof? Water resistant means that the SPF starts to wear off after about 40 minutes in the water. Waterproof sunscreen maintains its SPF levels for about 80 minutes in the water.
-Sunscreen vs sunblock? Sunscreen chemically penetrates the skin and absorbs the UV light, while sunblock physically reflects and scatters the sun’s UV light rays. Both are fine, as long as they are SPF 30 or higher. Sunblock tends to be a thicker cream, so it depends on your preference.
-Apply, reapply, reapply, and REPEAT! After two hours, no matter what type of sunscreen you have, it starts to wear off! Reapply every two hours to get maximum protection against the sun.

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