Choosing the right sunscreen

Written By: Belinda Stewart

For many years most of us have become familiar with UV (ultraviolet) A and UVB sun rays.  UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin’s thickest layer, the dermis.  Exposure of these rays can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling (photo-aging), and suppression of the immune system.  Who wants that?  UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.  Not so good! Now we are learning there are additional rays that we are susceptible to including but not limited to IRA rays.  Each year sunscreens get better; so make sure you are informed.  It will cost you less money in the long run when you protect yourself with the best

It’s important to know that when choosing the right sunscreen that SPF only applies to UVB rays. There’s no SPF equivalent for UVA.  Choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protects against both UVA and UVB.  You can look for additional ingredients in your sunscreen to protect you from UVA such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Realize however, there is no standard measurement for how long these ingredients will keep you protected.

Besides the sun (more than half of the solar energy skin gets are from IRA rays), these rays can also come from less-obvious places. Wait, What?  Yes, you are susceptible when you blow-dry your hair, or even get a gel manicure; your skin is exposed to these unfortunate rays.  IRA rays travel even deeper into skin than UVA and UVB rays, causing free radicals that further accelerate skin aging. What you’re left with are fine lines and wrinkles no matter how much sunscreen you’re putting on.

So what is your sunscreen missing? Potent antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E that can counteract those free radicals and keep skin looking rejuvenated. That’s why I love Total Defense and Repair from SkinMedica.  It has been scientifically proven to protect skin from harmful infrared rays (IR-A rays) with it’s advanced antioxidant complex, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin.  It is the next generation of super sunsreens and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

So keep on reading those labels and get the best protection for your skin.  We only have one skin and it has to last lifetime. 

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