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More and more, we’re hearing about the importance of sunscreen. Why is it so important? SPF protects the skin from photo-damage resulting from potentially damaging ultraviolet light rays.
UVA rays are the longest wavelength of the UV light spectrum. It’s also called the AGING ray, as it’s responsible for damaging collagen and elastin. Typical exposure is from tanning beds. UVB rays, often called the BURNING ray, are most associated with sunburns. Both UVA and UVB cause skin cancers.
It’s important to strike a delicate balance with sun exposure. Remember: tanned skin is damaged skin. Tanning will eventually cause photo-aging (premature aging due to sun exposure) and irreversible damage to the skin’s collagen-building properties.
Chemical sunscreen is made up of organic compounds that chemically absorb ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). On the other hand, physical sunscreen contains inorganic compounds that reflect or scatter UV radiation. This type of sunscreen is usually known to create white film due to titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Approximately 80% of premature aging is caused by the sun. At least 70% of solar damage result from incidental light exposure, not sunbathing.
This is why the use of SPF daily is important, even if it’s not sunny or you’re not outside often throughout the day. UVA rays can come in through clouds and windows; the rays are even stronger through glass. For optimal protection, the standard daily wear sun protection factor is at least 30+ SPF.
SPF is especially important for those receiving skin treatments, such as HydraFacials, chemical peels or laser, as these treatments heal and rejuvenate the skin, thus needing further protection. Wearing sunscreen will sustain the results gained from said treatments and will prevent further solar damage.