Scottsdale Fashionista is pleased to introduce Kristy Harris, our first guest blogger ! Kristy is a licensed aesthetician from Paradise Valley Skin Klinic and today she’s sharing her favorite sunscreen products and what to look for when you need protection from our blazing desert sun.
Sunscreen: Beauty’s first line of defense
by Kristy Harris
Protect yourself this summer. The damaging effects of UV radiation not only cause cancer, they are also responsible for aging the skin. Your first line of defense should be a daily broad spectrum UVA/ UVB sunscreen with an SPF 30 regardless of your skin type. Some sunscreen labels can be a little confusing, leading you to believe you are more protected than you actually are. If you know the basics of sun protection, you will be prepared to choose the best sunscreen for you.
UVB vs. UVA
UVB rays are often referred to as the “burning rays” because they are known to cause sunburns and skin cancer. The carcinogenic effects of UVB rays are further exasperated by UVA rays. Although UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, up to 95% of the UV rays that reach the Earth are UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper than UVB and can be further divided into UVA1 and UVA2. UVA rays are considered more as the “aging rays”: they are known to cause wrinkles, skin laxity and skin discolorations. Photo aging happens because UVA rays penetrate more deeply, breaking down collagen, elastin, and damaging melanocytes in the skin.
UVA1 340 – 400nm
UVA2 320 – 340nm
UVB 290 – 320nm
SPF measures the length of time a product protects against skin reddening from UVB exposure, compared to how long it takes to redden without protection. An SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters 97% and SPF 50 filters about 98%. Don’t be fooled by a high SPF rating ! No sunblock protects against 100% of UV rays. An SPF 15 – 30 is fine for daily use with limited sun exposure, however it is recommended to use a higher SPF for extended sun exposure.
UVA/ UVB Broad Spectrum Protection
SPF only measures UVB protection; there currently isn’t any criteria to measure UVA protection. It is important for consumers to know what ingredients protect against UVA rays. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays before they penetrate the skin, physical sunblocks reflect UV rays away from the skin, and are non- irritating. Avobenzone, Dioxbenzone, Oxybenzone and Sulisobenzone are chemical sunscreens that filter UVA rays. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are physical sunblocks and block both UVA/UVB rays. Zinc Oxide is the most broad band: it uniformly blocks UV rays 290 -380nm.
The Best Sunscreen
Ultimately, the best sunscreen is the one you will use and use correctly. Sunscreen needs to be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours. You need to use one full oz. per application; or enough to fill a shot glass.
All of my “ top choices” are Broad Spectrum UVA /UVB sunscreens and have the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of approval.
#1. NIA24 Sun damage Protection 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
This sunscreen has excellent broad spectrum UV protection with Microfine Titanium Dioxide 9.4% , Zinc Oxide 3.6% and 5% Pro- Niacin. Pro – Niacin helps skin to protect and repair itself from sundamage. You will love the way this product looks and feels on your skin. It feels like you’re using a facial moisturizer. Great daily SPF for Face! $55.
#2 Obagi Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35.
Contains Zinc Oxide 9% and Octinoxate 7.5%. This is another sunblock you will want to use on your face daily, and is appropriate for all skin types including acne prone skin. The Zinc is microfine, so it isn’t the thick, white Zinc Oxide you usually find. $46
#3 Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple SPF 50
Contains Zinc Oxide 14.5% in addition to chemical sunscreans. Excellent UVA / UVB Protection. This is ultra gentle, hypoallergenic, waterproof and tear- free. You can find this product at any drug store and it’s very affordable. The only reason this isn’t my #1 choice is because, it’s a little thick for everyday use and it doesn’t work well under makeup. I strongly recommend it for any extended sun exposure. This is for everyone; not just kids! $11.49 at Walgreen’s.
#4 Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50
Contains Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 6%, and Oxybenzone 4%. It’s hard to believe this is a UVA /UVB sunscreen. You can use this as a daily body lotion, it’s very sheer and moisturizing. And did I mention it smells AMAZING ?! This is available at most drug store and is also very affordable. $12.49 at Walgreen’s.
#5 Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetic. ( Pressed or Loose Minerals SPF 20)
Contains Titanium Dioxide 14% and Zinc Oxide 3%. This is a makeup and sunscreen. It needs to be mentioned because it can be used immediately after cosmetic treatments such as laser and chemical peels, when other sunscreens may not be appropriate. It provides great protection and beautiful coverage. Women are not going to re-apply sunscreen as needed if they have done their makeup. With a mineral powder, you can easily re-apply as needed, the same way you would touch up your makeup. It’s also available as a mineral SPF in powder for for men and a lip balm with SPF 15. All are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.Loose Powder, $42. Pressed Powder, $49. Comes in a refillable compact, refills $40.
IS Clinical Treatment Sunscreen Perfect Tint SPF 25 UVA/UVB.
Contains Zinc Oxide. This has a beautiful dark tint that can double as an instant bronzer. The best part feature about this product is it conceals skin imperfections and spider veins. It won’t come off in the water. You scrub it off in the shower ! $36
IS Clinical Powder Sunscreen SPF 20.
Contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc. You can get this in a tinted or translucent finish. It comes in a handy self -contained applicator, that will not spill. Great for athletes ! It won’t run into your eyes or make your hands slippery. It is a must- have for golfers, runners and tennis players. And men love it ! $40
All these products are available from Paradise Valley Skin Clinic/ Shapiro Plastic Surgery, unless otherwise indicated. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paradise Valley Skin Clinic, 480-421-1701