Busting the myths about sun protection
With a bit of luck Summer might be just around the corner, and as we are collectively so passionate about a natural and organic approach to our lifestyles, it’s a good job that we can rely on some of the top organic beauty brands to provide us with safe and effective SPF protection so that we can make the most of the sun’s rays.
But understanding the array of sun products that are available can be a tall order, even within the organic sector. Especially when you take into account recent recommended changes to labelling and to the ratio of UVA versus UVB protection.
This is designed to be a straightforward guide to unravelling some of the common myths, misconceptions and complex science relating to sun care in the hope that you will be able to relax safe in the knowledge that you are slapping on the best protection for you and your family.
· UVA or UVB?
UVA protection is more important in preventing long term skin damage than UVB protection
UVA radiation penetrates deep under the skin’s surface and is responsible for long-term cell damage including premature ageing and skin cancer. UVB radiation causes sun burn and therefore warns the body that it has been in the sun for too long. It is really important to ensure that your sun lotion has adequate UVA protection as well as UVB. New recommendations suggest that the ratio of UVA to UVB protection should be 1:3.
· How effective are SPFs?
SPF 30 does not offer double the protection of SPF 15
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and only measures the amount of UVB protection provided by a sun screen (not UVA). So for example, an SPF 15 will protect you against roughly 93% of UVB rays while an SPF 30 protects you against approximately 97% UVB – you are therefore only achieving a marginal increase in UVB protection with the higher SPFs. It is more important to reapply the sun screen every 2-3 hours, or after swimming or wiping with a towel, to provide effective protection from the sun’s rays.
· Should I worry about nano particles?
Nano particles in 100% natural mineral sunscreens are completely safe to use
Yes, organic sun lotions do contain nano-particles which in synthetic products cause concern for two reasons: they can penetrate the skin and enter the body and they can cause the formation of free-radicals when exposed to UV light. However, the good news is that for 100% natural mineral sunscreens, the nano-particles are covered in a film which prevents them from being exposed to UV light and once combined with the cream base, they will also be unable to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
· Will I be safe in the shade or when it’s cloudy?
The sun’s rays can still be damaging regardless of cloudy or shady conditions
Make sure you are protected from the sun even if it’s cloudy or you are in the shade – up to 40% of the sun’s rays can still break through even in shady conditions – and the rays are just as strong through the cloud.
· What’s good for you?
The right protection for you will depend on your skin type, the strength of the sun, your age e.g. adult, child or baby, the climate, the location e.g. in the sea, in the desert or up mountains, the season and the time of day.
To be on the safe side, if in doubt, wear protective clothing, avoid the sun or sun bathing at the hottest times of the day and remember to keep applying a 100% natural sun screen.
· Five good reasons to go natural
Natural mineral sunscreens work well because
1. They act as a natural filter using mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide
2. They begin to work immediately after application
3. The UVA and UVB rays are reflected rather than absorbed
4. They won’t cause any skin irritation
5. And last, but not least, they are waterproof.
If you’ve any further questions about organic sun care, you can email/speak to the experts at Lucy Rose (www.lucyrose.biz) who provide an extensive selection of organic sun care products, including Lavera and Green People, hand-picked because of their authenticity, safety and effectiveness.
We hope that your overall enjoyment of the sun will be enhanced by the comfort of knowing you are fully protected by totally natural, organic and beautiful sun products. So here’s to happy times in the sunshine and a long hot summer!