Honestly, what is better than feeling the sun on your skin? The warmth of the rays while happiness just engulfs your spirit. The brightness and beauty of it all. Nature is blooming, the smell of summer enlivens the air and intoxicates the senses. Everyone is smiling and laughter surrounds you. An ode to Summer. So, why is your esthetican cringing? Let us begin.
You've probably heard it a million times. After every visit to your skin care specialist, dermatologist, doctor or esty friend, SPF is being screamed from the window. Well, maybe not screamed but certainly aggressively mentioned. Why is that? What is SPF? What does it do? What makes it so important?
First, let's look at the Sun's light. WAIT! NOT LITERALLY! EYES BACK TO THE SCREEN!
Bahaha! Okay, back to the serious stuff. The Sun's light is the incoming light to the earth from the sun. Sunlight is just a portion of electromagnetic radiation aka "solar radiation" given off by the Sun. Infrared, visible and ultraviolet light filters through the earth's atmosphere before it touches the surface. A sunny day is simply when clouds are not diffusing the light's penetration and the Sun can radiate freely. When clouds are present, they block the direct sun's radiation forcing it to bounce off other objects resulting in diffused light.
What does this have to do with skin, you ask? Well, UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays penetrate deep into the dermis. The dermis is the thickest layer of your skin. UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays penetrate the superficial layers of your skin. They play a key role in the development of skin cancer. Think of it this way. You get facials from an (E)sthetician. E for epidermis. You get injections from a (D)ermatologist. D for Dermis. Epidermis is the top, outside layer. Dermis is deep, under the epidermis. Exposure to UVA rays result in premature skin aging and wrinkling. They also suppress your immune system. UVB rays burn the top layer of your skin.
Now, say it with me. S-P-F. Sun Protection Factor! SPF protects from UVB rays. SPF 15 blocks 93% UVB, SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB and SPF 50 blocks 98% UVB rays. Sunscreens with higher SPFs don't actually block more rays and disappointingly, block more UVB than UVA resulting in less protection. UVA protection should make up 1/3 of the UVB protection in a sunscreen. So basically, increasing the amount of UVB protection is lessening the amount of UVA. You only have 3 parts to split up. You have to take away from one to increase the other. Not a great idea.
In conclusion...I love saying that. It makes it sound so official...AHEM...
...IN CONCLUSION, the sun can beat your skin up worse than any other influence. Of course, terrible environments and free radicals running rampant play their part. However, that warm gorgeous sunlight basically turns your skin to leather. You burn, wrinkle and the aging process is significantly sped up thanks to prolonged sun exposure. Not to mention, SKIN CANCER.
Okay Belles and Beaus. Be nice to your estheticans. Please protect your skin. Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen as directed!
Until next time.