Tuesday, July 21, 2020

EVERYTHING you NEED to Know about Sunscreen | From an Esthetician

Hello and welcome to today's Skin Therapy session. I will going over the 5 W's of sunscreen. The Who should be wearing sunscreen, When to wear sunscreen, Why do we wear sunscreen ?, How to wear sunscreen and What kind of sunscreen is best. I will also be going over the difference between physical / mineral sunscreens and chemical / organic sunscreens. At the end of this video I will share a list of sunscreens I recommend that various price points. Links to each of these are below. There will actually be two links per item. One is to a traditional store like Target or Ulta and the second link because everyone is shopping online right now for Amazon. Each link is an affiliate link and I do earn a small commission at no cost to you if you click my link and make a purchase. These funds help support my family and I appreciate you using them.

I would like it to be known that I am a Licensed Esthetician in the State of Arizona. I am not a Doctor or Chemist and I am unable to diagnose anyone.

I am going to be using the term SPF a lot. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and measure's UVB protection. Please know that NO sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays.

SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays 

SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays

SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays

As for UVA protection we need to be looking for a sunscreen that says it is a broad spectrum sunscreen (also known as full spectrum sunscreen). Most sunscreens are broad spectrum nowadays but figured it was worth mentioning.

Something I have heard some of my clients say and it kind of makes sense but unfortunately it is a myth. Is that if you layer a 15 SPF and a 30 SPF you will get 45 SPF coverage. And that just isn't' the case. You can layer sunscreens but they do not add onto each other.

Who should be wearing sunscreen

Everyone. No matter your age, skin type or skin tone. Everyone benefits from wearing sunscreen.

When to wear sunscreen

Growing up I pretty much only wore sunscreen on days we were going to be outdoors at pool or the beach. Which, in New York was pretty rare. So I don’t have many memories of wearing sunscreen other than I remember the way it smelled. Then as an older teen I tried my best to burn / tan any chance possible. I even visited tanning beds. I know, I know, I’m disappointed in myself too. The reason I’m giving you this background is because I too was once unaware of the importance and benefits of wearing sunscreens everyday. So, the answer to when to wear sunscreen, its best to wear it every single day. Rain or shine, indoors or outdoors. Like underwear or deodorant. It should be worn all day, everyday and cleansed off at night. So that you can apply fresh in the morning.

It is interesting to think of all the times we are receiving UV exposure but might not have thought of. For example the windows in your house and car only blocks UVB rays but not UVA. UVA is strong enough to penetrate through clouds and even your clothing. Whereas UVB exposure is doubled when reflecting off of snow, ice and water. Something else to think about is your UV exposure from ambient sunlight light and even indoor lighting. I like to remind my clients is that those indoor plants in the corner or middle of the room are still getting energy. Therefore your skin is too.

Why do we wear sunscreen ?

So now that you know you should wear it daily. Let’s talk about why we wear it.

Lets talk a little science. The sun emits 3 different types of ultraviolet radiation. UVA, UVB & UVC rays. Today we will be focusing on protecting you from UVA and UVB exposure. Luckily UVC is blocked by our Earths ozone layer.

UVA rays are known as the premature aging rays. They damage collagen and accelerate the loss of elasticity which causes sagging and wrinkles.

UVB rays are known as the burning rays because they are the cause of sunburns. These rays activate the bodies defense response resulting in inflammation, heat and erythema. Erythema is redness of the skin signifying cell damage and blood vessel dilation.

Both UVA and UVB rays are cumulatively damaging to the skin. Which means your skin is becoming damaged by sun exposure over your lifetime, whether or not you burn.

Now when I say skin damage. Let’s dive a little deeper into to really understand what that means.

When the skin is exposed to UV radiation a chain reaction occurs. The radiation causes free radicals in the skin which are chaotic, aggressive electron stealing molecules. These free radicals damage the DNA in our skin cells, accelerate DNA mutations and activate an enzyme called Tyrosinase. Tyrosinase then stimulates melanocytes which produce pigment carrying melanosomes who then produce a complex protein called melanin. Melanin is the pigment that protects the cells below by absorbing and blocking UV radiation. Once melanin is produced it is sent up your layers to protect you closer to the surface. This is called melanin transfer. So in short, being tan means your body is trying to protect it self. Some medications, hormonal imbalances and of course over exposure to UV can cause an over production of melanin leading to hyperpigmentation also known as sun spots.

There are ingredients out there known as Tyrosinase inhibitors. Look for products with hydroquinone, azelaic acid, L-ascorbic acid ( vitamin C ), retinol and arbutin. Another ingredient to look for is niacinamide. Niacinamide helps to inhibit melanin transfer. It is best to pair niacinamide with one of the Tyrosinase inhibitors.

Now if you already have hyperpigmentation you’ll want to start wearing your sunscreen ASAP and incorporating the inhibitors I just mentioned along with regular exfoliation. Gently exfoliating with an Alpha Hydroxy Acid such as Glycolic or Lactic acid helps turnover the skin calls allowing your skin to cycle through the unwanted pigment.

Now lets back up a bit for a moment. Do you remember those free radicals from the Sun I was telling you about? Not only do they start the change reaction of tanning the skin. This damage also accelerates mutations in our DNA. Which can potentially causing one of three types of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Not to scare you but to make you aware and educated. Some forms of skin cancers if left untreated can spread to other parts of the body, including organs. Making it more difficult to treat.

It is so extremely important to protect your skin with sunscreen and to schedule an annual full body check up with a dermatologist. This isn’t all about the physical look of our skin but our health too.

How to wear sunscreen properly

To properly wear sunscreen you need to apply a generous even amount to any exposed area. I'll say that again, generous even amount. Because I will have clients come in and say I applied sunscreen and still got a sunburn so I'll ask them to show me how much they applied and how often they reapplied and these two factors are usually the issue. Don’t forget the tops of ears, back of the neck, tops of hands and even your lips. Reapplying to the tops of your hands is important since you’re constantly washing them and they are getting exposed quite a bit while driving.

As a general rule of thumb it’s best to also reapply your sunscreen every two hours or sooner if you're swimming or excessively sweating. But of course follow the instructions on the bottle. Often Chemical Sunscreens have to be applied at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure for them to even be working.

Don’t forget to wash it off at night. While most sunscreens are noncomedogenic. They sometimes contain occlusive ingredients that help to protect the skin by holding in moisture. But if left on the skin for too long it can hold in natural produced oils. Resulting in clogged pores. This goes the same for your silicone makeup primers too. Using a double cleanse method insures a full removal before bed each night.

Oh and I almost forgot. If you struggle with remembering to wear sunscreen. Look for a daytime moisturizer that has SPF of 30 in it. I personally recommend keeping the steps separate but totally understand if you prefer a 2 in 1 type of product. My morning skincare routine is cleanse, serum/corrective, moisturizer & SPF.

What kind of sunscreen is best

There are two different types of sunscreen. Chemical also known as Organic sunscreen and Physical also know as Mineral sunscreen. Whichever one you use choose. Make sure it is a Broad spectrum of at least 30 SPF. What the difference between these two types of sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays

Physical sunscreen reflects UV rays

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun rays through a chemical reaction. This is why you must apply them directly to the skin at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. ( little spoiler alert physical SPF works immediately after being applied). In the United States typical chemical SPF actives are aminobenzoic acid, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone.

Oxybenzone is a hot topic in the skincare world. Because it may act as a hormone disrupter. A hormone disrupter is a chemical that has the ability to cross the cell membrane and may interfere with your body's natural hormone production. However, this is a bit of a controversial topic due to the way the clinical studies of this ingredient were done. So I’ll encourage you to do your own research on this. Something that is fact is that oxybenzone and octinoxate causes the bleaching of coral reefs and coral death. So if you are going to be in an area with water life, please be responsible by use a reef safe formula.

Something else to keep in mind is that chemical filters break down quicker than physical sunscreens. Plus those active ingredients I mentioned often cause irritations and skin allergy reactions. The benefit of using a chemical sunscreen is that they are often formulated to absorb quickly and to feel light on the skin.

Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, typically use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as active filtering ingredients. These inorganic minerals simply sit on top of your skin and create a physical barrier of protection, reflecting away UV rays. They are notoriously known for creating a white cast on the skin. Or create flashback when using flash photography. But honestly formulas have come such long way that I haven’t experienced this as much with any recent mineral formulas I’ve tried. Something to look out for with mineral sunscreens is that they are formulated as Non-Nano Minerals. Which means they are big enough particles to sit on top of the skin. Where as nano-particles have the capability of getting into the blood stream. Now there isn't enough data to support that these nano minerals are harmful when in the blood stream but like why chance it when there are formulas out there with non-nano technology.

As for me being someone who has to deal with hormone imbalances on the regular - due to my lack of a thyroid - I try my best to be conscious of what I put on and in my body. I’m not perfect by far and still enjoy some no no products and foods but I do try to limit and am mindful of certain exposures.

But I will tell you something I tell my clients after educating them on all of this. In the end I don't judge or mind what kind of sunscreen you are wearing so long as you wear it. I encourage you to try a few different formulas to find the one you love and feel most comfortable and effortless with apply it every day.

On that note lets talk about some of my recommendations :

Jan Marini Physical Protectant Broad Spectrum SPF 45 | $53 : https://rstyle.me/+kS0T6BvdcTae8MVsUAKTtg , https://amzn.to/38Yh0zR 

Key Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6%, Zinc Oxide 8%., Green Tea, Coenzyme Q10


PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45 | $50 : Message me to order

Key Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 7.6%, Zinc Oxide 8.0%, Coenzyme Q10,


COOLA Mineral Face Organic Matte Finish Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 | $36 : https://rstyle.me/+eTkc9wCp7zRWdDKVk9LBew , https://amzn.to/38XlsyX

Key Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 2.7% and Zinc Oxide 8.3%, antioxidant-rich nutrients (red raspberry seed oil, buriti oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and prickly pear extract), Organic Rosehip Oil and Evening Primrose Oil


COOLA Tropical Coconut Mineral Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 | $38 : https://rstyle.me/+FmuwYmXxBHG0xA_Y0aorUg , https://amzn.to/2WhIUlm

Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 14.5%, antioxidant-rich nutrients (red raspberry seed oil, buriti oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and prickly pear extract) 

Derma E Sun Protection Mineral Face Powder SPF 30 | $21.95 : https://rstyle.me/+yzpWIl6k7m_CxX0KPjxsSw , https://amzn.to/2Zr2s8M

Key Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 17.29%, Zinc Oxide 20%, Green Tea, Chamomile, Vitamin E

Derma E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Face Sunscreen SPF 30 | $14.99 : https://rstyle.me/+DIDjv9vMGRkeSyDZlEtdKw , https://amzn.to/38VqEDi

Key Ingredients:  Zinc Oxide 20% Vitamin C, Green Tea 

CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Face - SPF 30 | $14.99 : https://rstyle.me/+RLX9yDw5xAy8WpmO20qRfg , https://amzn.to/2DJqROv

Key Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6% Zinc Oxide 5%, Ceramides 1,3 and 6-II, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide

Neutrogena Lip Gloss Moisture Shine Lip Soothers SPF 20 | $5.99

Key Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5 %, Oxybenzone 2 %

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 30 | $3.99 : https://rstyle.me/+xo76aO5ZT951to1bjuWGdg , https://amzn.to/2C1ttH3

Key Ingredients:  Zinc Oxide 8% Sweet Almond Oil, Beeswax, Jojoba, Shea Butter

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