sunscreen facts

Lets discuss the sun. UVA rays are the main cause of skin cancer and visible skin aging. UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin. It is important that both are blocked so check your sunscreen to ensure this is the case. UVC rays have recently been discovered and the medical world is currently investigating their effects on the skin.

SPF describes how much longer your skin will be protected from burning rays compared to your unprotected skin. For example, if you usually burn in 10 minutes, an SPF of 30 will give you 300 minutes of non-burnt skin. You should still reapply every couple of hours none the less as your own skin’s chemistry mixed with sun exposure will break down any product you use.

The term “Water Proof” is obsolete now. A “Water Resistant” product is one that can retain the labeled SPF after 40 minutes of water immersion and it must be labeled “Water Resistant (40 minutes)”. If a product can retain its SPF value after 80 minutes of immersion, then it is labeled “Water Resistant (80 minutes)”. When describing this type of product, a company can then claim “very Water Resistant.”

There are physical sunscreens which contain Zinc Oxide (like what we remember as the white cream on life guards’ noses) that now-a-days are transparent and the most effective type of protection against both UVA and UVB rays. There are chemical sunscreens that protect only against UVB rays but are cosmetically more pleasing and the typical form you find in drug store brands. There are biological sunscreens that contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients to stop damaging inflammation and fight free radical damage (what causes aging skin).

What is the difference between Professional medical grade and drug store sunscreen? The latter usually is only protective against UVB rays (although some claim UVA protection occasionally), is not as cosmetically elegant the professional products, does not contain any of the biological components to help fight inflammation and free radical damage, can clog pores and is good for sensitive skin, especially on the face which is where we need it the most.

Are the moisturizers that have SPF protection any good? You are probably losing the actual moisturizing effect as sunscreen needs to remain on the surface of the skin. So the product does not penetrate and does nothing really to help hydrate the cells that need it.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have on this subject. I do carry 2 different lines of sunscreen (Epionce and ZO, both with competitive pricing). If you are in the market for a new product, please call 360-982-2620. You can also visit the website at to see what else I have to offer. I have a variety of samples that you can for free. I appreciate your time and hope you found this helpful.