In today’s article we will take a closer look at sunscreens, the types of SPF-Sun Protection factors available, and how to navigate through the information currently available. We hope this article will help guide you and your client towards the best options to fully enjoy the summer months while keeping your skin healthy and properly protected.
SPF or Sun Protection Factors are classified as UVA protection, UVB protection, or Broad-spectrum that protects from both. This is an important consideration regarding SPF as UVA and UVB rays can damage the DNA in our skin cells and lead to premature photo-aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. UVB is a shorter wavelength (280–315 nanometres) that causes sunburns and it plays a primary role in the development of skin cancer. Most sunscreen’s SPF number refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection it provides. UVA is a longer wavelength (315–400 nanometres) that cause premature photo-aging and sunburns.
It is important to remember that SPF ingredients are classified into two categories that can be misleading and in need of clarification:
- Organic sunscreens ingredients: These contain organic chemicals that are manufactured in the lab. Here the word “organic” comes from organic chemistry. Avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, homosalate, and octocrylene are all considered “Organic sunscreen ingredients”. It is important to not confuse this controversial group of ingredients with Mineral-based sunscreens or ‘organically grown’ ingredients, except for Avobenzone, which only protects from UVB rays.
- Inorganic sunscreen ingredients: Are mineral-based sunscreens that incorporate zinc, titanium, and iron oxides to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB. They do not penetrate the skin and are suitable for all skin types including sensitive and reactive skin conditions. They are considered broad-spectrum and offer better protection overall.
Along with avoiding the sun, wearing protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses with UV protection it is important to look for the words “Broad Spectrum” and to reapply through the day as needed to ensure your skin is well protected.
Our Nelly De Vuyst® SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen is a fan favorite and has won the Innovation award from Les Nouvelles Esthétique. This COSMOS Organic formula is verified, tested, and is free of contaminants that you and your clients can trust.