The Importance of SPF (& a Pharmacist's Product Recommendations)

The Importance of SPF (& a Pharmacist's Product Recommendations)

Quality skincare is an investment, and using a daily SPF is crucial to protecting your skin, and that investment!

It's no secret that applying sunscreen liberally on a beach or pool day is essential, but if you want to to keep you skin healthy and youthful long-term, wearing SPF daily is an absolute must! 

We all know the importance of sun protection, and only TWO of the 16 active ingredients approved by the FDA for use in sunscreens are generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE).

Although chemical-based formulas comprise the majority of sunscreens on the market, thorough research has found that these filters can absorb into the bloodstream and are linked to hormonal disruption. Furthermore, chemical sunscreens that include avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule are devastating to coral reefs. 
In contrast, mineral formulas have no such safety concerns, and as long as you know what to look for on labels, are in fact the most effective options. 
Mineral sunscreen—often called “physical sunscreen”, is a type of sun protection that uses minerals to safeguard your skin from UV rays by sitting on top of your skin to create a physical barrier against UVA and UVB rays.
There are two naturally-occurring minerals that you’ll find as active ingredients in these products: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
· Zinc oxide is derived from zinc, and ground into small particles between 30 and 200 nanometers in size. It can be present at concentrations up to 25%.
· Titanium dioxide is derived from titanium, and has a smaller particle size of 10 to 100 nanometers. It, too, can be used at concentrations as high as 25%.
Since zinc oxide is the most protective of the two, most mineral sunscreens contain it, either alone or in combination with titanium dioxide.

An effective mineral sunscreen should contain a zinc oxide dominant sunscreen to protect from UVA rays, at a concentration of at least 10 percent, but no higher than 25 percent. For every one percent of zinc oxide, you get 1.6 SPF units.

If you have a choice, mineral sunscreen is your best bet for the safest possible skin protection because it’s:

• non-toxic
• non-irritating
• hypoallergenic
• naturally water-resistant

Plus, mineral sunscreens are best for children under 2 and anyone with allergies to chemical sunscreens.
*But in regards to skin health, if you’re in a bind, ANY TYPE of sunscreen on the market is better for your skin than overexposure to UVA/UVB rays.

Many folks under-apply mineral sunscreens, because of the white hue it leaves on the skin. Here are some tips to apply zinc oxide sunscreen correctly:

• Apply it 15 minutes before you get out in the sun

• Apply it generously, like you're lathering on soothing lotion on dry skin.

• Recommended application is 2 - 3 tablespoonfuls for the body and a teaspoon for the face.

• Reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours or after swimming or profusely sweating.


Below are a few sunscreens I personally love & would recommend:

1. Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

2. Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 Tinted Face Sunscreen

3. Babo Botanicals Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30 (great for kids and sensitive skin!) 

4. Eucerin Sun Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50


Whether you'll be outside all day, or will just be driving somewhere today - don't forget your sunscreen!

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