Sun damage is a polite way to describe the unwanted effects of too much UV exposure. The main effects we decry are wrinkles, leathery, blotchy skin and “sun spots.” Sun spots are often referred to as age spots (Lentigus senilis) or liver spots associated with sun damage or aging, sometimes appearing as raised spots (Seborrheic keratoses). They typically start showing up on the most exposed areas, like the hands and the face, by age 40-50, or earlier if you have an outdoor job or live in an area where you get a great deal of sun exposure. Read more »
UVA rays range from 320 to 400 nm on the ultraviolet spectrum. The medical community has begun to pay attention to their presence, as they are potentially responsible for skin cancers and definitely responsible for hyperpigmentation, sun spots, redness and wrinkles. Because their effects are longer term, damage testing is not as easy as it is with UVB--with UVA one doesn’t burn, one ages.
This brings us to the subject of mineral sunscreens, which do indeed protect at the higher end of the UV spectrum. Zinc oxide in particular protects into the 380 to 400 nm range, thus offering the broadest protection of all. This is the reason we have seen an increase in the number of companies offering zinc oxide as the sole active ingredient in their screens. That is the good news.Read more »
Last week, the Environmental Working Group released their annual Sunscreen Guide to help consumers navigate the world of safe sun protection for the whole family. Doctors, sunscreen advocates and trade groups are responding and once again, there seems to be a lot of confusion out there as evidenced by the misleading articles and headlines seen across the blogosphere and news outlets. “Sunscreen Ingredients May Increase Cancer Risk” (Care2), “Your Sunscreen Could Give You Cancer Instead of Fighting it Off” (CafeMom) and “Avoid Sunscreens with Potentially Harmful Ingredients, Group Warns” (CNN) are just a small sample of the headlines coming out as a result of the EWG’s latest guide.
Just-released 2012 Sunscreen Guide published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) sheds much-needed light on sun protection issues once again. Each year they focus on a particular aspect of the sun protection story that does not get much play in the mainstream press. This year they talk about the FDA regulations that didn’t happen and what that means for the consumer, expose manufacturers who market sunscreens for children that turn out to be exactly the same as the adult versions, down to the same concentrations of ingredients, celebrate the increased use of safer ingredients, especially mineral versus chemical UV filters for children, and mention in several contexts the UVA protection gap.
Its no secret how committed we are to safe, effective mineral (non nano zinc oxide) sunscreens--being named one of the safest lines on the market in all categories is what we strive for. We're happy to report, again, the EWG has ranked our sunscreen products among the safest, most effective on the market:
Even the most diligent, well-intentioned daily sunscreen wearers are likely doing it wrong.
The most popular WSJ.com post this past week was about sunscreen, in which it observed: “Even the most diligent, well-intentioned daily sunscreen wearers are likely doing it wrong.” It’s disturbingly easy to get it wrong, and the problem lies more with a deluge of information, sometimes conflicting, on the subject rather than a lack of it. This post sheds some light on the important factors to take into account when choosing and using a sunscreen.
Not all UV rays reach the earth and therefore your skin. Some UVB rays are absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer while 97% of the radiation that reaches the earth’s surface is UVA. This is important to note because up until recently, most sunscreens only addressed UVB radiation.Read more »
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