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Articles on Vintage Swimwear > Don't Become a Raisin

1 May 2009


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May 2009 Newsletter

Don't Become a Raisin!


CoppertoneWe've previously written about the history of tanning  here, but it's very important to protect your skin especially with the advent of global warming. As good as it sometimes feels to be in the sun, remember that prolonged exposure and multiple sunburns make your skin age faster. This damage or photoaging weakens skins elasticity, leads to deep wrinkles, and causes red veins to sprout along your ears, nose, and cheeks.

Not all sun protection products are created equal. Before heading off on your summer adventure, make sure you are protected with a sunscreen that is right for you. Here are some issues to consider.

What Does SPF mean?

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun includes ultraviolet A (UVA), which primarily contributes to premature aging, and ultraviolet B (UVB), responsible for sunburns. It's important to guard against both to prevent skin cancer; however, sunscreens are required to cite only UVB protection (by noting sun protections factor, known as SPF). The USDA is finalizing standards for UVA protections. For dual protections, look for the descriptor "broad spectrum protections" or "UVA/UVB" on a product.

Fair skin can be exposed to the sun for about 10 minutes before burning. Medium skin burns about 15 minutes and dark skin after 20 minutes. SPF measures how much longer a person can be exposed. To calculate protection time, multiply the length of time you can stay out without burning the SPF. SPF 15 (the minimum level of protection recommended) means 150 minutes of protection for fair skin, and 225 minutes for medium skin, and 300 minutes for dark skin. Of course, these figures are not entirely accurate because of sweat or exposure to wind and water.

Whats in that tube?

The environmental Working Group (EWG) examined about 1000 sunscreens and discoverd that 4 out of 5 didn't provide adequate sun protection. 1 out of every 8 provided no UVA protection. When shopping look for highly water resistant products that contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which provide strong UVA protection. Also, people with sensitive skin should make sure a product does not contain fragrances or dyes, as these ingredients could potentially cause skin irritations.

Sun Strategies

A million new skin cancer cases were reported in the US in 2008. A recent 1 year study shoes that melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is on the rise in the US. Protect yourself  and your family with the following tips:

1. Make sure to check your sunscreens expiration date - older products can lose effectiveness.
2. Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen (the equivalent to a shot glass) to all exposed skin 30 minutes before heading outdoors. If you  wait until your skin warms in the sun, you've already received a dose of UV radiation. Don't skip protection on cloudy days,  UV rays are still present.
3. Use sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection.
4. A sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is best. SPF 15 is the minimum level of protection you should consider.
5. Reapply sunscreen liberally at least every 2 hours or after swimming, sweating, or towel drying. Even products labeled 'water resistant' often loose their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water.
6. Limit time in the sun, especially during peak hours (10am to 4pm).
7. Wear protective clothing, including hats and light-colored clothing.
8. Don't' forget to wear sunglasses.

Sun Screen Recommendations



1. Clinique Super City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40 $16.50.
2. DDF Enhancing Sun Protection SPF 30 $32.
3. Jan Marini Skin Research Antioxidant Daily Face Protect and $48.
4. Obagi Nu-Derm Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35 $38.
5. Zo Skincare Oclipse Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 $85.

You can read review of these products and many more sunscreen alternatives here.

Protect yourself and your family. My sister just got diagnosed with skin cancer. Start your family skin protection regime while they are young!

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