As most people are aware, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are harmful to the skin year round. However, as the warm weather invites people to spend more time outdoors, people are more exposed to the harmful UV rays. Increased exposure to UV rays has been shown to cause skin aging and increase chances of developing cancerous or precancerous symptoms. With this being said, there are many ways to protect your skin from UV damage. Simply wearing a layer of clothing or protective wear such as hats, significantly decreases UV damage. As well, as most people are aware, sunscreen can also help prevent UV damage. However, not everyone knows how it works. Let’s discuss!
Sunscreen is measured in SPF, but what does that mean exactly? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number indicates how long the UV rays would normally have taken to redden your skin if you had not applied the sunscreen as directed. For example, if you apply an SPF 15, it will take 15 times longer for your skin to burn than if you hadn’t applied the sunscreen.
There are two types of sunscreen ingredients; chemical and physical ingredients. Chemical ingredients, such as avobenzone and octisalate, absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin. While physical ingredients, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, block and scatter the UV rays before they can damage the skin. Neither is better than the other. With this being said, it should be noted that governing bodies have sunscreen monographs in place to protect the public, such as the FDA Sunscreen Monograph and the Canada Sunscreen Monograph.
For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc. We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical Devices, Natural Health Products, OTC Drugs, Cosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.