SPF – it’s imperative for keeping your skin young and cancer free. You’ve all heard it before: the sun ages you by breaking down the collagen in your skin, it causes skin cancer (which is the fastest growing cancer in the US), and it can impact you even on cloudy days. According to SkinCancer.org, a whopping 90% of skin “aging” is caused by the sun.
What does this tell me? I can look great forever if I don’t tan! I’ve gotten flak for my sun avoidance for years, but I’m finally starting to see it pay off as some of my peers are getting crows feet, wrinkly chests, and spots starting as early as age 24.
Have dark skin? You aren’t safe either. SkinCancer.org states that the annual incidence rate of melanoma is 1 per 100,000 in blacks, 4 per 100,000 in Hispanics, and 25 per 100,000 in non-Hispanic whites. And remember, anyone can burn.
So why do people keep tanning? Because it feels good, looks good, and the consequences take time to show up. That’s why I love this viral video that uses an ultra violet camera to highlight skin damage on people before it’s physically visible.
One of the common complaints about sunscreen is that it’s greasy and a pain to put on. While great non-greasy sunscreen options are available, the easiest and fastest way to protect yourself when you can’t avoid sun altogether is with sun protection clothing. Remember – clothing that is not tightly woven (like a t-shirt or summer dress) has an average UPF of only 4!
For this post, I collaborated with SPF Addict, an innovative brand recently featured on the Today show. SPF addict was founded by Marina Arnold, RN, a laser skin specialist with 30 years of experience in Newport Beach, California. Marina is in high demand as a laser skin specialist, and is constantly treating people to remove years of sun damage. Her experiences inspired her to create the brand, which is a labor of love. “The most common place that I remove sun damage from is the chest,” says Marina, “I wanted a stylish alternative to help cover up some of the most vulnerable areas.”
SPF Addict is UPF 50+ (it blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays) and chemical free. The fabric is Tencel, made from eco-friendly, organic plant cellulose fibers that are tightly woven and absorb the sun’s rays. The fabric’s effectiveness was tested in independent lab research, after 40 washings.
SPF Addict‘s sun protection clothing is super comfortable, fashionable, and available in men’s and women’s styles including cute shirt dresses, tees, scarves, jackets, and even pants. My personal favorites are the long sleeved tops, since they fit seamlessly with my usual casual chic weekend look and cover my chest and arms. The Summer Jewels is also one of my favorites, and has thumb-holes so you can pull the sleeves down to protect your hands.
From 10am-4pm, the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Even if you seek shade during this time, the rays reflect off objects and on to you, so sunscreen is always must if you aren’t protected by sun protection clothing like SPF Addict.
Hands down, for daily and beach use I have never tried a less greasy sunscreen than theCoppertone Clearly Sheer, in either SPF 30 or SPF 50. For my face, I use L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare SPF 50+ which is the least greasy of all that I’ve tried (don’t forget to get this as close to your eyes as you can tolerate for crows feet protection). I carry a small Go Toobs travel bottle of Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 15 to use as a hand cream when I wash my hands.
Every inch of your skin (including your ears and under your bathing suit) must be covered for full protection. I recommend getting naked and spraying/slathering yourself down from head to toe in the shower on beach days, and covering the majority of your limbs on other days. In the winter, I tend to rely on my clothing for protection though technically we should protect under our clothing all the time due to the low UPF of regular clothing.
Physical sunblock contains finely ground minerals that sit on top of your skin and block UVA/UVB rays. Look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The benefit? They work to block rays immediately, and new formulas prevent the white pasty look of these creams. They don’t break down as quickly as chemical sunscreens, but I have yet to find a brand that doesn’t feel oily.
Chemical sunblock contain chemical absorbers that absorb UV rays and diffuse them before they come into contact with your skin. Which is best? Whatever one you will use. More info here.
Since chemical sunscreens breakdown with exposure to the sun, and it’s recommended that sunscreen be applied every 2 hours when in direct sunlight, regardless of type. In temperate San Francisco, I wear bare legs and skirts or dresses to work almost daily and I’m always covered by my favorite non-greasy SPF 50 spray. According to my research, because I’m indoors most of the day my chemical sunscreen is likely still effective by the time I walk home.
I’ve always looked at myself as an experiment in age prevention. We were all born blessed with youthful skin, and I plan to keep mine that way! Some people love the feeling of the sun, which has been proven to be addicting in ways similar to heroin (more science on this here). I’ll stick to a good spray tan and a gradual self tanning lotion!
California Dreamin Ponco travels well! This wrinkle free piece can be worn so many different ways. As a beach cover up or a night on the town. Casual to dressy you will make this your statement piece of sun protection!
Marina Cardigan Styled With:
You no longer have to be intimidated by wearing sun protection. It is NOT obvious nor is it unsightly as it was less than a decade ago. Our dermatology office tried handing out brochures from other companies only to find out they refused to even look at them. Comments like, “Please don’t show me those ugly clothes, I would NEVER wear them”
Our attitude can now take on a whole new approach by looking out for our skin while shopping smarter. Watch for UPF50+ anything less will NOT offer you the protection you need.
Please keep in mind that sun isn’t the only culprit. Those cloudy days offering sunburns and tans just as strong as direct and indirect sunny days. UVA-Rays passes thru them quite easily as it does your windows while your driving. Please keep in mind most of your sun damage in the car will be on your left side as well as your front windshield. Take on a sun smart approach by keeping a scarf, hat or poncho in your car. Always have sunscreen in your glove compartment to reapply for those long road trips.
Today’s UPF50+ is comfortable, stylish and can be worn from day thru the night on the town. You also no longer need to fear price points.
Most people don’t wish to wear heavier, darker fabrics for UV protection. This is still the usual recommendation from many including medical professionals. This is simply NOT realistic in hot, dry or humid weather.
There are now many choices for sun protective fabric! You can have a lightweight, light color that offers a UPF50+ (ultraviolet protective factor) as long as the tags read that this fabric has been tested and passed as per the AATCC (American Association of Textile and Color).
You don’t have to be covered head to toe, although we want you to include a 3″ brim hat when possible.
We encourage our dermatology patients to keep a sun protective scarf in the car, for that neck and chest coverage.
DON’T FORGET UVA THE LONG WAVELENGTH PASSES THRU YOUR WINDOWS WHILE THE UVB SHORT WAVELENGTH IS BUSY BURNING YOUR SKIN.
Encouraging and inspiring women of all ages are one of our many missions. We were honored to support Miss California USA. Being part of a young woman’s journey, to inspire and to see her soar is awesome.
Supporting young women gives us yet another opportunity to educate on the importance of sun protection and premature aging.
Congratulations to Miss California USA, may she continue to soar and follow her dreams!
If your confused about layering your sunscreen, you are not alone. Using more then one product on our face everyday can be challenging, especially if you have a doctors prescription, serums, moisturizer and makeup.
The first layer you want closest to your skin for best absorption and penetration is the thinnest product, unless you have a prescription from your doctor, this will always go on first. Your physician will let you know if you should include other products or no products with it.
Your thinnest product is typically lighter weight, a serum for example would be FIRST. Allow it to penetrate for at least 10 min. before the next. SECOND your moisturizer, again allow to set in for at least 10 minutes. Now for your SUNSCREEN with a broad spectrum of UVA and UVB physical SPF, this too must set for at least 10 minutes. Last is your makeup.
It is NOT enough for you to use makeup with sunscreen, or a moisturizer with a sunscreen. You need as mentioned a PHYSICAL SPF which contains zinc oxide of both UVA and UVB block. This will allow adequate sun protection.
REMEMBER IF YOUR OUT ALL DAY, REAPPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN EVERY TWO HOURS, AFTER A SWIM AND HEAVY WORK OUT.
The first question I get when people see SPF Addict sun protective clothing is “I thought my own clothes were protecting me”? Second question is “How do these clothes protect me”?
Tan lines can be deceiving outside your clothing, giving you the impression that your clothes have you completely protected from the sun. The truth is that you are somewhat protected, meaning your fabric may in fact be a UPF (ultraviolet protective factor) 5 to 10, thus explaining the tan line you have outside your shirt. This rating would NOT be near what you need to keep you sun safe from potential skin cancer and premature aging.
This is extremely important to be aware of if you are photosensitive from the sun.
Ultraviolet indeed passes thru your fabric just as it passes thru windows and clouds, in particular the long wave length known as the UVA rays.
Sun protection has become an important part of life today because the rate of skin cancer is rising rapidly.
Next time your shopping look for a UPF rating of 50+ on the tag. This is the highest rating for sun protection in fabric. UPF50+ blocks 98.8% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.