Since 1989, the Canadian Dermatology Association’s annual Sun Awareness Week (June 1-7, 2015) has helped educate Canadians about the dangers of excessive sun exposure. This week is also the prefect time to break typical sunscreen & sun damage misconceptions.
What Most Consumers Think
Q. I don’t need to apply sunscreen when it’s cloudy outside.
A. False. 70% of all UV rays penetrate through the clouds
Q. I’m dark-skinned and I rarely burn so there is no need to wear sunscreen.
A. False. No matter your skin tone, UV rays have no mercy.
Q. The higher the SPF, the more I’m protected.
A. Not really. SPF only indicates the level of protection against UVB rays, not UVA rays. UVA rays are responsible for accelerated skin aging, furrowed brows, deep wrinkles, skin rashes and cancer.
Q. If I apply sunscreen liberally throughout the day, I’ll be well-protected against the sun.
A. True. Most filters in high SPF sunscreens only protect your skin for up to 2 hours, so make sure you re-apply product often.
Q. I’m less likely to get sunburned underwater or in shady areas.
A. False. UV rays can be reflected off of concrete, water, sand and even snow.
Q. I never know how much sunscreen to use. I’m sure this is important?
A. True. To completely protect your entire body, you need to use 1 shot glass or 2 tablespoons of product (60 ml). Make sure to remember your ears, nose, hairline, shoulders, feet & toes too.
Image Credit: L’Oreal Canada
How many of you are aware that there are 2 types of sunscreen? The biggest difference between a chemical and a physical (mineral) sunscreen is that chemical ones work by absorbing the sun’s rays and physical sunscreens protect your skin by deflecting the sun’s rays. There is nothing wrong with chemical sunscreens, but they do take 20 minutes to be effective and some of their ingredients produce free radicals which can cause aging, irritation or even skin damage. Many of them are not even FDA approved. Physical sunscreens work immediately and are FDA approved. They also contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, so they are usually thicker but great for sensitive skin. The most important distinction however is that mineral sunscreens protect against UVA + UVB rays – the complete UV spectrum.
This year Canadian suncare brand Ombrelle celebrates its 25th anniversary and the launch of their first ever 100% mineral lotion for kids and a weightless mineral body lotion for adults. 2015 also marks the 1st year that Ombrelle products will bear the UVA logo, which requires that 30% of all ingredients be dedicated to UVA protection.
Ultra Light Advanced SPF 50+ Weightless Body Lotion ($19.99 CAD)
Ombrelle’s new body lotion offers the highest sun protection and the most lightweight comfortable bare skin feel. It’s also equipped with a high protection factor against UVA rays, is easily absorbed, hypoallergenic and fragrance & dye free.
100% Mineral SPF 50+ Lotion for Kids ($19.99 CAD)
Ombrelle’s new natural protection lotion for kids is enriched with titanium dioxide and provides broad-spectrum UV protection. It was specifically created for the delicate skin of children and is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes!
For anyone interested in trying out these new mineral lotions, I found this Canadian coupon online – $3 OFF coupon
I’ve talked about sun-smart tips on this site before, but in the spirit of Sun Awareness Week, make sure to take a few minutes to talk with your children and/or loved ones about sun protection and proper suncare habits. Kids especially, need to be aware of the dangers of UV rays and the importance of wearing sunscreen. They should also be taught the Shadow Rule – the smaller the shadow, the more dangerous the UVB rays are. If children notice that their shadow is small when playing outside, they should know to come indoors or play in the shade.