That’s right – summer and the sun are here.. and it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere any time soon, but we’re okay with that. So, so, okay. That being said – wear your damn sunscreen people! I know we probably sound like a broken record at this point, but hey, if it saves one person’s skin from getting brutally sun burnt then we have done our jobs and we are happy girls. So here are the ins-and-outs of SPF and how to still get that awesome summer tan, but without the burn and without the damage.
If you wear sunscreen you can’t get tanned, so if you want a glow its better to go without. WRONG. SO WRONG. Hearing people say this literally makes me cringe. You can still wear your sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful UVA/UVB rays – while still getting your tan on.
What even are UVA/UVB rays? We know you’ve heard them before but what really are they? They are those harmful rays shining down on these beautiful days that penetrate into your skin. Put simply, UVA are the rays that dig deep and start to harm the lower layers of your skin, your dermis. When the dermis gets harmed it causes premature aging and wrinkling to the skin, and can even suppress your immune system. You heard it guys, after a big day in the sun without protection you are actually more susceptible to getting sick! Crazy, we know.
UVB rays are the rays that give you a sunburn and burn the outermost layers of your skin – the epidermis. When the epidermis gets damaged, it significantly raises your chances to actually develop skin cancer. UVB rays play a major role in skin cancer. There are many different types of skin cancer but the most common of them all is Basal Cell Carcinoma. It often will appear as a painless but raised area of the skin, often shiny or even with blood vessels running over it. It can also take form as a raised area with an ulceration. The most common and effective way to remove Basal Cell Carcinoma from your skin is by surgery, cutting out the tumorous area as well as some of the healthy skin around the area, to make sure that it is all taken out and nothing is left behind.
So after reading this you’re probably reaching for the sunscreen (about time!) and trying to find the highest SPF possible to bathe yourself in for the rest of the summer. Please don’t! SPF ratings are getting a bit out of control. Did you know that SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocking 97%, and SPF 45 blocking 98%. After that, what are you really putting on your skin? No product is going to block 100% of UVB rays reaching your skin, so be mindful when choosing what SPF to use, and what ingredients are in each product. The best method for using sunscreen correctly is to reapply every 2 hours, or after you have gotten wet (swimming/sweating) and use a water-resistant sunscreen.
We hope that this has enlightened you on the world of sunscreen and those harmful little rays beaming down from our oh so glorious sun.
stay cool and until next time,