Being based in Florida, we are aware of the many perks of living in the Sunshine State. With that in mind, we are even more aware of the need to protect ourselves and our skin from any harmful effects from exposure to the sun’s rays. Our goal at Florida Skin Center is to keep you informed and equipped to stay safe in the sun. We serve patients in the areas of Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers.
What Does SPF Mean?
The Sun Protection Factor or “SPF,” is an indication of the product’s ability to screen or block out the sun’s harmful rays. A higher number is not always an indication of better protection.
How Do You Choose the Right Sun Protection Product?
There are many brands and strengths of sun protection available, which can make it difficult to choose the right one. Dr. Badia suggests a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more used year-round. Sunscreen should also be “broad-spectrum” to protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays.
Even the best sunscreen will start to break down as soon as you are exposed to UVA and UVB light, water, or sweat. The key to not burning is to reapply every two hours. Recently the FDA has removed “Waterproof” from all sunscreen and replaced it with “Water Resistant” so keep your sunscreen working to its max you need to reapply every 40-60 minutes when in water.
What is the Difference Between Sunscreen and Sunblock?
Sunscreens chemically absorb and destroy UV energy while sunblock physically deflects them. Sunblock usually has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Anyone with especially sensitive skin might choose sunblock over sunscreen, since titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are less irritating than some chemicals found in sunscreen. However, since sunblock is a physical barrier to the sun, it can be difficult to spread evenly over large areas. There are some products that are a combination of sunscreen and sunblock, which allow for easy application while still including the beneficial ingredients of sunblock.
Some good examples of products with these ingredients are SolBar Zinc SPF 38 and Theraderm Platinum Protection SPF 30.
When Should You Use Sunscreen?
Patients should always use sunscreen daily when exposed to the sun twenty minutes or longer. This is typically achieved just in regular, routine activities. Sunscreen can be applied underneath makeup, and cosmetic products with sunscreen can also be used for preventing skin cancer and premature aging. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of ultraviolet rays from the sun are passed through the clouds.
How Much Sunblock Should You Use?
Sunblock should be applied to dry skin at least 30 minutes before heading outside. Use one ounce of sunscreen for the whole body, giving special attention to the ears, hands, arms, and face. Also, use a lip protectant with at least SPF 15 or more. If swimming or sweating, reapply regularly.
If you reside in Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, or Lehigh Acres, FL, and have questions about sun protection or any of our products, contact us today.