Broad Spectrum Sunblock
Most people are familiar with seeing an SPF or Sun Protection Factor. They feel if they choose a higher number SPF they are protected better. In reality what people aren’t aware of is that SPF only relates to UVB rays. UVB rays are the rays that cause your skin to burn. UVB rays penetrate the epidermis, or top layer of your skin. Whether you choose SPF 15 or SPF 30, if doesn’t protect from UVA rays, you have a problem. It is imperative to select a broad spectrum sun block which offers both UVA and UVB protection.
UVA rays are the rays that cause aging to the skin. The damage caused at this level is what causes things such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin cancer, collagen and elastic breakdown, free radical damage and more.
One false notion people subscribe to is if they get a “base tan” they won’t burn. A “base tan” will not protect you from further damage from the sun. In fact, the skin tans because of the melanin reaction. This is not considered a healthy reaction. A skin care specialist sees this as damage to your skin. One eye opening way to convince some people of the damage they are doing is to let their client seeing how their skin looks through a Wood’s Lamp. This is a black light based lamp that lets the professional see the damage that is not visible to the normal vision. Just because you can’t see the damage, doesn’t mean the damage doesn’t exist.
The only safe way to prevent further damage to your skin is to always use a broad spectrum sun block. Be sure that your brand of choice has both UVA and UVB protection. It is the smartest way to protect your skin today and from future damage. Also be sure to apply it daily through the year, whether it is winter or summer. Apply it often, and be sure to apply enough. You should use the amount that would fill a shot glass for each application.
If you are unsure how to recognize potential sun cancer, be sure to check with your medical advisor. Any new or changeable spot on your skin is worth checking out. See your doctor or dermatologist immediately if something looks suspect on your skin.