Q: What is “broad spectrum protection”?
A: Broad Spectrum Protection are sunscreens that must protect against UVA1, UVA2 and UVB sun rays. The FDA has approved 17 physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Many of these ingredients protect against UVB rays or UVB rays, but only zinc oxide is rated by the FDA as “extensive” at protecting across the whole UVA and UVB spectrum.
Solar Sense Clear Zinc sunscreens combine Zinc Oxide with chemical sunscreens to provide the most advanced Broad Spectrum Protection to effectively protect skin from both UVA1/UVA2/UVB rays!
THE SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION says:
“In order to get adequate protection against both UVA and UVB, you should select a sunscreen that provides multispectrum protection, broad-spectrum protection or UVA/UVB protection – not just a sunscreen with a high SPF (UVB) rating. Additionally, the label should list a FDA-recognized long wavelength UVA sunscreen, such as avobenzone or zinc oxide.”
All Solar Sense® products contain broad spectrum protection from sunlight because they combine Zinc Oxide, a physical sunblock with chemical sunscreens for Broad Spectrum Sun Protection that protects from UVA1/UVA2/UVB rays..
Q: What is the difference between UVA rays and UVB rays?
A: UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and contribute to premature aging and skin cancer. According to the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION:
“UVA – is long wavelength (320-400 nm) UV and accounts for up to 95 percent of the solar UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and has for years been thought to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling. Importantly, recent studies strongly suggest that it may also initiate and exacerbate the development of skin cancers. UVA rays are present during all daylight hours and throughout the winter months. Although UVA rays are less intense than short wavelengths, (UVB) they are present all year round and depending upon the time of the year, can be 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays. Furthermore, UVA radiation can penetrate glass and clouds. Thus, we are exposed to large doses of UVA throughout our lifetime. We encounter UVA rays all year-round and all times of day.”
UVB rays contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer; they are also the main cause of sunburn. Again, according to the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION:
“UVB – is the middle-range of UV with wavelengths between 290-320 nm. It is very biologically active and is responsible for burning, tanning, acceleration of skin aging and plays a very key role in the development of skin cancer. The intensity of UVB varies by season, location and time of day. The most significant amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10 AM and 4 PM between April and October. UVB rays do not penetrate glass.”
Q: What is SPF?
A: SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It tells you how much longer you can remain in the sun and still avoid a sunburn from UVB rays if you use a sunscreen. No sunscreen keeps out 100 percent of UVB rays, but applied properly, an SPF 15 filters out 93 percent of UVB rays and SPF 50 filters 97.5 percent.
For example, with Solar Sense SPF 50 sunscreens, you can remain in the sun 50 times longer than it would take you to get a sunburn without a sunscreen. So if you normally burn after 10 minutes, with Solar Sense sunscreens, you will have 500 minutes (8 1/3 hours) of protection.
Q: That covers UVB rays, but what about UVA rays?
A: The FDA has approved only three ingredients for protection against UVA rays, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone. Look for sunscreens that contain those ingredients for broad spectrum protection. All Solar Sense sunscreens contain zinc oxide for broad spectrum protection.
Q: How do I know what level of SPF protection I need?
A: The most important factor is the type of skin you have. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin will be. Melanin is the body’s natural defense against the damaging effects of sunlight so people with lighter skin will need a higher level SPF.
Other factors you need to consider include how long you will be in the sun, the time of day, the season, your level of activity, and the UV Index for the day.
Q: When should I use sunscreen?
A: Anytime you are going to be outdoors for more than a few minutes, you should use a sunscreen. Whether you’re going to the beach, sunbathing, exercising or just taking a walk, you need sunscreen. Apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before exposure to maximize its effectiveness. And remember, sun rays easily penetrate clouds, so you can get a sunburn on cloudy and hazy days.
We tend to use less sunscreen than is necessary to receive the amount of protection indicated by the SPF number. Sunscreen should be applied evenly using about one fluid once per full body application for adults. For children, the amount will be less because of their smaller body sizes.
All sunscreens will eventually start to breakdown due to sun exposure or when sweating and swimming. We recommend you re-apply sunscreen every hour and immediately after swimming or heavy sweating to get the full protective benefits of the product.
Q: Should I be rubbing sun screen into my skin when applying?
A: When applying sun screen, you want to apply it liberally making sure to cover all exposed skin. You do not want to rub the product into the skin too hard – just enough to leave a thin even layer.
Q: Do some medications increase my risk of sunburn?
A: Photosensitive reactions can occur with many medications, including certain antibiotics, heart and blood pressure medicines, antihistamines and antidepressants, when you’re exposed to the sun. Talk to your physician or pharmacist before sun exposure when using ANY medication.
Q: Does using sunscreen prevent me from producing enough vitamin D?
A: No. Just a small amount of sun exposure, usually achieved through normal daily activity, triggers the body to produce vitamin D. The rest of the time, it is important to use sunscreen in order to prevent skin cancer and other forms of skin damage.