You should know by now that wearing sunscreen is an important part of keeping summer fun without coming back years later to haunt you. Not only can sunscreen prevent embarrassing sunburns, but it can help prevent skin cancer later in life. However, there’s more to know about protecting your skin than applying thick coats of the white-stuff when you head outdoors.
One of the most important, and often overlooked, fact is that sunscreens lose their effectiveness and begin to breakdown when exposed to the sun. The breakdown is unavoidable because of the natural reaction between UV rays and sunscreens, but there are thing you can do to minimize it and maximize your protection.
To test UVB sunscreens lasting ability, the FDA requires the use of solar simulators. Unfortunately, these simulators have proven to be a weak method in analyzing a formula’s ability to last in natural sunlight. Although difficult and time consuming, in-sun testing is the best proven method to test photostability – how a formula withstands sunlight. Currently, very few sunscreen makers are known to perform both simulated and in-sun testing.
Hawaiian Tropic uses both forms of testing and has been able to produce formulas that offer broad-spectrum protection and won’t break down in the sun as quickly as many other sunscreens on the market. Their “SunSure Technology” uses a special mixture of ingredients called Avobenzone – Parsol 1789 – to keep the protective powers working long after other sunscreens being to breakdown. Hawaiian Tropic now uses “SunSure Technology” in all sunscreens rated SPF 15 to SPF 70.
“A wise sunscreen choice is to opt for formulas that offer true UVA and UVB protection and won’t degrade over hours in the sun with proper use. Look for products containing Parsol-1789 for broad-spectrum UVA protection,” says dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., Montclair, N.J.
Here are some of the experts most valuable tips for keeping yourself safe from the sun…
Sun protection is important for adults and essential for children. The harmful effects of UV rays are cumulative, so make sun protection part of your daily routine for yourself and children.
If your skin starts to turn red, get out of the sun.
Sunscreens aren’t just for trips to the beach. Be sure to use sun protection for outdoor winter activities as well.
Try to schedule your outdoor adventures before or after the peak sun-scorching hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.