Summer Sunscreen Guide

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Summer Sunscreen Guide for 2017!

While you used to get away without putting on any sunscreen before running out and playing outside, that just doesn't cut it anymore. While the risk of skin diseases such as skin cancer should certainly be considered, we all know that the sun is our worst enemy regarding looking young. So if you're planning a fun family outing that is mainly outdoors, don't hesitate to apply, reapply, and use again.

While we all get the general gist of sunscreen and how it works, modern marketing of products may have us a little confused. Every company boasts that they're the product is the best, leaving the consumer to only stare at arbitrary ratings of SPF and claims of being waterproof. While there are certainly experts among us, the majority of the populations may just stick to the brand they've always been buying for simplicities sake.

We've compiled some information to help you sift through the products on our summer sunscreen guide and find the right sunscreen for you!

  • What's the deal with SPF? The reality is that we see SPF printed on everything to do with sun protection and sun-related products. SPF stood for Sun-Protection Factor and was developed by a Franz Greiter in 1962 to measure the capacity of sunscreen to block UVB radiation emitted by our sun.
  • How does it work? SPF measures the length of time a sunscreen will protect your skin from reddening/ burning from UVB rays, compared to your skin doing the same without applying sunscreen. This means an SPF 15 sunscreen should protect your skin 15 times longer than what it would usually take you to start burning.
  • Does it work? We all know that applying sunscreen has certainly helped us with preventing sunburns in the past, but how well does the product work? If used correctly, which is the big issue, the sunscreen should work as claimed. The problem is that we don't typically apply the sunscreen correctly, severely limiting the amount of protection time we get.
  • How to avoid scams? The best way to avoid getting duped in the checkout line is to check for some key ingredients. This includes titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, and Mexoryl SX. Look for products that have at least an 8-10% ingredient listing for some of these and look for products that are sweat proof.
There you have it! Remember to slather it on before going outside and reapply every two hours for maximum protection! 

Contact us today with any questions!UVA UVB protection from sun damage

Written by Tech Support

Part of a healthy skin routine includes protecting yourself from excessive sun exposure. But did you know some of the most popular and widely used sunscreen brands in the United States contain toxic chemicals that may be as harmful as excessive sun exposure? This week’s chemical to avoid is octinoxate, a common ingredient in sunscreen that only blocks ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, and which has also been found to have hormone-mimicking effects.

What is Octinoxate? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) in-depth study in many to most of the sunscreens offered in stores are misleadingly labeled and contain chemicals considered to be dangerous. Enter Octinoxate or Octyl Methoxycinnamate. This common sunscreen ingredient functions as a UV filter and a UV absorber. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruptors has found substantial evidence that this chemical is an Endocrine disruptor. They are natural or synthetic chemicals that can interfere with hormone production or behavior in the human endocrine system. The EWG lists other concerns for octinoxate as including biochemical or cellular level changes, bioaccumulation, and possible non-reproductive organ system toxicity, and the chemical has been found in mother’s milk among other examples. Synonymous names to look out for on your sunscreen bottles include:
  • ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE,
  • 2-ETHYLHEXYL
  • P-METHOXYCINNAMATE or ESTER P-METHOXYCINNAMIC ACID
  • 4-METHOXYCINNAMATE
  • AI3-05710
  • CHRIS 6200
  • EINECS 226-775-7
  • ESCALOL
  • NEO HELIOPAN
Is Octinoxate helpful in reducing sun exposure? Dermatologists and the FDA recommend using a broad spectrum ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB sunscreen to protect our skin from these harmful rays adequately. UVA rays contain about 95 percent of all UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface, shine down consistently through all daytime hours, and can even. According to, UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays and damage skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. UVA is now thought to have a significant role in the development and growth of skin cancers. UVB rays exist in higher concentrations from around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during certain times of the year. They penetrate the most superficial layers of the epidermis and are the cause of discoloration and sunburn. They were previously thought to be the chief cause of skin cancer. Skincancer.org reports that octinoxate only covers the UVB spectrum of the sun’s rays, which leaves its wearers unprotected from the rays that make up the majority of the radiation to which we’re exposed. Consumers shopping for sunscreen should be aware that any product listing the only octinoxate will not sufficiently protect them; they should also refer to the EWG’s guide to sunscreens to make sure the product they slather on daily isn’t full of toxic chemicals and provides the protection advertised.

Controversy about UVA and UVB Rays and Sunscreen We are admonished by our dermatologists to wear sunscreen and protective clothing anytime we step out of the house; thus, it’s no wonder we take it for granted that blocking all solar radiation is healthy. But there is a mounting body of research and evidence that suggests that UVB rays are healthy and deliver precious vitamin D to our bodies, at least in moderation. If this research pans out, sun blocks with chemicals like octinoxate may be contributing to vitamin D deficiency. Insufficient amounts of vitamin D are associated with a laundry list of diseases. According to the study “Vitamin D: Its role in disease prevention” published in the journal, UVB rays can be quite beneficial. The study states that some benefits to UV exposure include the following:
  1. UVB as Sunscreen: induced, delayed tanning increases melanin in the skin after several days and protects the body.
  2. Heliotherapy and phototherapy: several human skin diseases, like psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma, can be treated with solar radiation (heliotherapy) or artificial ultraviolet (phototherapy).
  3. Multiple Sclerosis: sufferers experienced suppression of clinical symptoms thanks to UV exposure, independently of vitamin D synthesis.
  4. Nitric oxide (NO): UV exposure generated, found to reduce blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, may have antimicrobial effects, and act as a neurotransmitter.
  5. Mood Enhancer: Exposure to UV light may improve mood through the release of endorphins.
Other show similar benefits to increased vitamin D consumption, a stark contrast to traditional messages. More and more studies challenge our ideas about vitamin D consumption levels; the now recommends 1,500-2,000 UI for adults to prevent vitamin D deficiency.  At the very least, the evidence is clear that vitamin D is a necessary, natural substance which the human body evolved with, and that it is beneficial in reducing the risk of both skeletal and non-skeletal diseases.

Solutions: Sunscreen Choice and Natural Vitamin D Intake

Keeping your skin and body healthy takes daily, informed decision-making. There is enough evidence to support that, like in most things in life; moderation seems to be key to health. It is unhealthy to spend hours on end in the sun without any sunscreen. It is also unhealthy to avoid the sun altogether. But some people may have to limit their time in the sun due to certain diagnoses. For that, vitamin D is also readily available in many natural forms aside from the sun, as well as in pills. Natural sources of vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and cod, as well as egg yolks and mushrooms. Leaving mushrooms in the sun for a day before eating them increases their vitamin D content by 400%. There are many fortified milk and cereal options as well. Regarding choosing the right sunscreen for you, the EWG has many suggestions for great options which are proven to be non-toxic. Their sunscreen database is a crucial component of your decision-making process. Remember, when choosing a sunscreen, the lotion’s SPF rating may not have much to do with its ability to block UVA rays; especially products with the highest SPF. There are that meet the EWG’s criteria. Heading over there is a start; informing yourself daily of what you put on your skin, and ultimately into your bloodstream, is an ongoing challenge, but one we must all embrace to live healthy, happy lives.