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Sunblock? You Better Use It!

SunblockAre you wearing sunblock right this moment? If not, you should be. Even indoors, chances are there’s a UVA wave heading your way. And if you think UVA is nothing to worry about, think again.

Research has shown that there are 2 types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA & UVB which adversely affect the skin. According to associate professor Greg Goodman, chief of surgery at The Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia, the latest research indicates that the relatively ignored UVA is an important co-contributor to skin cancer production.

UVA has a longer wavelength, travels through glass and has a deeper penetrance into the skin. It damages collagen and elastin and results in wrinkling, leathering, sagging and other light-induced effects of aging; a phenomenon known as ‘photo aging’. UVB, on the other hand, is shorter, penetrates only through to the outer skin layer and is the chief culprit behind sunburn and skin cancers. However, UVA has also been shown to exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and is increasingly being viewed as a cause of skin cancer on their own.

Sunscreen-what-does-spf-meanDermatologist Robert Hannaford believes it is imperative we all understand the latest research on sun damage and update our sunblock protection accordingly. “Choose a sunblock that has broad spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays, as both forms of UV light can cause skin cancer,” he says.

So how do we select a sunblock? In general, the efficacy of a sunblock lies in its Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Most sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunblock theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours. In reality however, no sunscreen should be expected to last > 2 hours without a reapplication.

Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98%. These may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a family history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will certainly make a difference.

And then, we need to actually apply it. Studies show that common deterrents to sunblock application include the fact that most formulations are often thick and greasy. Also, a substantial percentage of people disliked the pasty white finish upon application, especially among darker skinned individuals. Here at the Retreat, our specially formulated sunblock, the UV Armour comes with SPF50 as well as titanium dioxide, which is an excellent UV blocker for both UVA and UVB rays. In addition, it is also non-greasy, non-pasty, does not block pores and tinted for a silky smooth finish.

Our UV Armour sunblock is one of our best sellers and now at 30% off until June 15, don’t miss out on getting some sun protection with one of the best sunblocks around 🙂

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