What You Need To Know About Sunscreen In 2021
The way we connect with others has looked a little different lately, and whether in person or over zoom, we still have the amazing ability to connect with others for our jobs, friendships, relationships, or new connections. However you are showing up with others, you want to look and feel your best - which can be challenging right now with the mask-ne, increased redness and inflammation from masks, increased sugar intake or whatever else has helped you get through the pandemic. Lots of things can irritate and cause facial reactions beside masks – from skin care products to cosmetics to chemical agents such as detergents, solvents, and related agents.
In these summer days we have the ability to get out in the sun more often. Typically, we know the sun can help some facial reactions, but too much sun can lead to long-term damage. We all know the dreaded feeling of a sunburn - that painful sting after too much sun. It may come with swelling or even blistering, followed by scaly peeling as you heal. If you are lucky you walk away with a little “pink that will turn to tan”, but even the smallest amount of sunburn can do quite a lot of damage and increase the signs of aging significantly.
Here are a few golden rules to prevention: limit sun time to 30 – 60 minutes and always use sun protection; reapply sunscreen every 40 minutes and more often if you go into the water (we have some great options to make reapplication easy!). A wide brimmed hat paired with sunscreen is fashionable and will help keep your skin glowing. There are also many SPF clothing options out there to protect you while enjoying the sunshine.
Not all sunscreens are created equal, so it is important to find the one that works best for you that you ENJOY using. Otherwise, it won’t be on your mind to reapply SPF. We can help you find the perfect fit with our product descriptions and “Product Pearls" under our sunscreen tab. Sunscreens provide definite reduction in long term sun damage, photoaging, and skin cancers.
We have hand selected some of the best medically backed sunscreens in the industry that will feel great and protect you from exposure to UVA ( Aging Rays), UVB ( Burning Rays), and also the newest aging element, Blue light. We are starting to hear more about people purchasing Blue light glasses to use while working on computers, but that Blue light is also affecting our skin, and not in a good way. Blue light can accelerate aging and slow cellular turnover and collagen synthesis. We have many sunscreens that will protect you from Blue light and we have added a special icon to help you differentiate them.
Sunscreens with mineral filters have excellent safety profiles and don’t cause significant systemic absorption. The best mineral sun filters are zinc oxide and titanium oxide since they provide optimal broad-spectrum protection against UVB, UVA1, and UVA2 sun radiation, yet avoid the potential irritant and allergic problems found with many of the organic chemical filters.
There are a few chemical products that irritate the skin, so if you are sunscreen sensitive try to avoid PABA and benzophenone-10. Fortunately these are rarely used in sunscreen production today. Oxybenzone is the most widely used chemical UVA filter globally, and is the most frequent cause of sunscreen associated contact dermatitis. Avobenzone provides superior UVA protection and is widely used, but may also cause dermatitis is some individuals.
The goal is to find a sunscreen you love, that's easy to apply, feels good on your skin, and has great appeal so you will use it every day. Sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging product you can use, so it's important to invest in one that has the science and clinical studies behind it. Stick with safe, elegant, quality sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, titanium oxide and / or avobenzone. Use every 2 hours and remember to limit your sun exposure to maintain youthful, glowing skin.
Steven Johnson, MD