Long-term unprotected sun exposure is responsible for 90% of the signs of skin ageing.
The two main types of damaging rays are UVA and UVB and they are the ones causing fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, loss of elasticity and skin cancer. They can pass through glass and clouds which means we need protection always.
The SPF number shows the level of protection from UVB rays. An SPF of 30 blocks 96,7 % of UV rays so only 3,3% will get through. However, and only recently this was found UVA should be the focus of sun protection as is the UVA that is responsible for 95% of the photoaging and skin cancer.
The most important thing to look for on a sunscreen label is “broad spectrum” which means that you will be protected against UVA and UVB.
It is also important to notice which type of filters your sunscreen has. There are 2 types, the Chemical and the Physical. The main difference is that the Chemical sunscreens have small particles that will be absorbed by the skin and studies suggest that they can potential be dangerous to our health. While the physical filters just sit on your skin making a barrier. Examples of Physical sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
It is also important to see if your sunscreen has antioxidants like caffeine, Silybin, knotgrass, grape seed, Glutathione, etc. This will help to protect the skin against free radicals produced when we expose our skin to the UV radiation.
So, when looking for a sunscreen always look for a physical, broad spectrum, SPF of at least 30 and ideally with antioxidants.
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