Picking the Right SPF
Steps for choosing a clean and safe sunscreen that's right for you! <3
With great weather comes great responsibility. When was the last time you read your sunscreen label? There are many products out there that contain ineffective and unsafe ingredients that harm not only you but also the environment. Here is a breakdown of what you should be looking out for.
Read your label
Many of the chemical sunscreens that you are buying at the store have super toxic ingredients like Octinoxate and Oxybenzone.
Octinoxate is an endocrine disruptor that disrupts thyroid function in the body by mimicking estrogen. Not only do they harm your body and disrupt hormone function, but they are also linked to the destruction of our coral reefs. Hawaii recently banned the sale of sunscreen that include these ingredients.
Higher does not mean safer. High claims of SPF are totally misleading and might not properly shield your skin from the ultraviolet A rays that cause skin aging and cancer. The high number on the bottle gives people a false sense of security and makes them think they're protected. SPF is a measurement of how long you can stay in the sun without burning.
Let's get mathematical:
Let's say you apply a sunscreen with SPF 15.
A fair-skinned person will begin to produce redness within 20 minutes, while others face damage after 75 to 90 minutes.
So we take this number of minutes (let's say 20) and multiply it by the SPF factor.
15x20=300... This is how many minutes you can stay in the sun without burning
300 minutes=5 hours of sun protection without a sunburn.
Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30 (anything above that is false marketing).
If you plan on getting in the water, choosing a water-resistant sunscreen is an obvious choice, but I also recommend it for daily use, especially during the summer. I used to not realize that I was sweating my sunscreen off during the day, so it's comforting to have that extra protection.
Unlike many others, broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, causing sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Many people only look out for UVB, but what they don't know is that UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper and are present all throughout the year, regardless of the weather. Choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen will help fight against both.
The bottom line
1. Avoid chemical sunscreens that contain toxic ingredients such as Octinoxate and Oxybenzone.
2. SPF: Higher does not mean safer; anything above 30 is false advertising.
3. Opt for water-resistant sunscreen for those hot summer days.
4. Reapply throughout the day
5. Broad spectrum or bust.