Thursday, September 27, 2012

SPF? HUH? What is it anyway??

Funny Sun Taken from here

What’s an SPF Anyway?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number is determined experimentally indoors by exposing human subjects to a light spectrum meant to mimic noontime sun. Some subjects wear sunscreen and others do not. The amount of light that induces redness in sunscreen-protected skin, divided by the amount of light that induces redness in unprotected skin is the SPF. It is mainly a measure of UVB protection and ranges from 1 to 45 or above.

A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 filters 92% of the UVB. Put another way, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will delay the onset of a sunburn in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes to burn in 150 minutes. The SPF 15 sunscreen allows a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer.

Is higher SPF better?

Sunscreens with a higher SPF should offer more protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is linked to the vast majority of skin cancers, as well as premature skin aging and eye damage.  But the answer is not that simple.

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UV radiation reaches the earth in the form of UVB and UVA rays.  UVB radiation plays a key role in skin cancer, and SPF refers mainly to the amount of UVB protection a sunscreen offers.  Thus, higher SPFs can help: An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB radiation, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks nearly 97 percent.  Furthermore, higher SPF values offer some safety margin, since consumers generally do not apply enough sunscreen.  To evaluate SPFs, testers apply two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin.  But in everyday life, most people apply from only 0.5 to one milligram per square centimeter of skin.  Consequently, the actual SPF they achieve is approximately 1/3 of the labeled value.

Despite these advantages, there are potential downsides to using products with very high SPFs.  First, above SPF 50 (which blocks an estimated 98 percent of UVB rays), the increase in UVB protection is minimal.  Second, although UVA protection is also important (UVA not only accelerates skin aging, but contributes to and may even initiate skin cancers), SPFs mainly measure UVB protection.  Individuals applying high-SPF sunscreens may not burn (UVB is the chief cause of sunburn), but without UVA-screening ingredients they can still receive large amounts of skin-damaging radiation.

To avoid such a scenario, regulatory bodies in Europe and Australia have adopted UVA testing guidelines and measurement standards, and capped the SPF of sunscreens at 50+.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a four-star rating system to tell consumers about the amount of UVA protection in each product. The FDA also is considering a 50 SPF limit on sunscreen products.

Products with very high SPFs may also encourage individuals to neglect other photoprotective behaviors, like seeking the shade and wearing sun-protective clothing.  By preventing sunburn, sunscreens with very high SPFs can create a false sense of security, prompting consumers to stay out in the sun longer.  Sun damage (for example, UVA damage) can take place without skin-reddening doses of UV radiation, and even the best sunscreens should be considered just one vital part of a comprehensive sun protection regimen.

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The importance of using both UVB and UVA protection cannot be emphasized enough.  The suggested products is usually for products with SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50. In addition to an SPF of 30+, sunscreen should include some combination of the following UVA-blocking ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone.  Sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection may be labeled multi spectrum, broad spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection.

Sunscreens is just one part of skin protection, people should also consider their skin type, which type of sunscreen is appropriate for the skin, the clothes they will be wearing, the time of day, family history of sun damage and skin cancer, and if they are taking medications that makes them light-sensitive.

Sunbathers and swimmers also have a false sense of security by using products labeled "waterproof", while many products are water-resistant, none are truly waterproof. Frequently reapplying sunscreen regardless of the use directions is the best protection.

Some danger in higher SPF products

Apparently efficacy is not the only problem with high SPF sunscreens—safety is an issue, too.  According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group based in Seattle, many products with high SPF contain “bad ingredients, and companies use unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness to market them.”

Among the ingredients they warn consumers to avoid:
  1. Retinyl palmitate, which the group claims showed higher rates of skin lesions and tumors in various. The ingredient is a form of Vitamin A that is used in 30 percent of the sunscreens that were analyzed.
  2. Oxybenzone, a sun-blocking agent that is also a hormone disrupter and skin irritant.
The working group also points out that many products containing the egregious ingredients are marketed specifically for babies. To see the full report, including sunscreens that the working group deems safe, go

So how do you protect yourself from those nasty sunrays?

  • Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB. Look for products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they protect against the full spectrum of UVA rays.
  • Always wear a hat and sun protective clothing if you're going to be out for long periods of time.
  • Avoid the mid-day sun.
  • Slather on generous quantities of sunblock at least 30 minutes before you head outdoors: To achieve the SPF level on the label, you need a teaspoon on your face, and a shotglass-worth for your body. Don't forget your ears, your lips, your hairline, and your part.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours—sooner if you swim or exercise because water, sweat, and clothing can remove it from the skin. Don’t skimp! You should use at least an ounce with every application, so in a full day at the beach you’d go through half of an eight ounce bottle.
  • Choose your clothes wisely before you go out in the sun. Dark clothing can block nearly all UV radiation and tightly woven fabrics are more protective than looser weaves. If you’re wondering how well your clothing will protect you, just hold it up to the sun. If you can see light passing through it, UV rays can get through, too. You might also consider purchasing special sun-protective clothing. A relatively new rating for sun protective textiles is UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that no matter what you’re wearing, all fabrics block less UV light when they’re stretched or wet.
  • Keep an eye on your skin: Look for new moles or changes in old moles and report any concerns to your health care provider. We recommend annual skin exams for anyone over 40, or for anyone with fair skin or a history of multiple sunburns.
Sunblock vs Sunscreen


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Sunblock contains physical or inorganic ingredients that reflect and scatter the UVB light and acts as a wall between your skin and the sun. Look for Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the main ingredient. (Sunblocks do not protect against UVA rays.)

This may be a better choice for your family if you have anyone with sensitive skin since titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are less irritating than Parsol 1789 found in sunscreen. Sunblock does not have to be reapplied every few hours.

Sun block lotions are opaque in nature provide a lot more coverage from the sun as compared to sunscreens. These lotions are messy and can stain clothes, hence, they are used only at the areas where it is most necessary to apply such a products such as nose and lips. All other areas are often ignored. Sun blocks do not absorb into the skin but remain in thick layers even after hours of application. They are often used by sportsmen whose skins are sensitive to sunburns and rashes. Sun block lotions contain inorganic or physical ingredients that effectively reflect and scatter around 99% of UV rays and even visible light. Hence, they truly act as a wall between the sun and the skin.


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Sunscreens are less visible on the skin and are designed to protect against UVA, UVB, or both.. Sunscreen contains chemicals that protect your skin by absorbing and reflecting UV rays and allows a certain range of UV light to be absorbed into the skin. Look for Parsol 1789 in many of today's sunscreen brands. It helps protect against UVA rays as well as UVB. So, you get a bit more protection. If you use sunscreen, it is better to use one that has a high SPF, put on a lot, and reapply every two to three hours.

The products used mostly by people are sunscreens, not sun blocks. Sunscreens on the other hand are better for cosmetic use as they absorb into the skin and do not show. Although they do contain chemicals that stop the skin from absorbing UV rays and other harmful effects from the sun, they also allow for some radiations to pass through. Hence, they not only protect the skin from the harmful effects of the skin but also allow for some tanning. People who wish to make use of the summers and get that shimmery tan can go for sunscreens but those who really wish to maintain their skin tone and have very sensitive skins that can not bear the sun anyway, will have to go for sun blocks.

Ideal Use
Sunblock is best used on those with very sensitive skin, as it features titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are far less irritating to the skin than the Parsol 1789 put in sunscreen. Sunscreen, meanwhile, is ideal for protecting the skin against sunburns. It is also easier to find in stores than sunblock, making it a nice outdoor product for those who do not have extremely sensitive skin.

Blending Sunblock and Sunscreen
As it turns out, most sun-related lotions on the market today feature a combination of sunblock and sunscreen, so those desiring a pure sunblock should carefully read the ingredients, or consult an employee at the store from which you're purchasing. Also, keep in mind that sunblock and sunscreen are both good at protecting the skin, particularly compared to no lotion at all, so wearing either during all outside use is acceptable.

How to Apply Sunscreen to Body
  1. Shake the bottle well before you squirt any sunscreen out. This mixes up all the particles and distributes them evenly in the container.
  2. Most adults should use about 35 ml or 1 oz. of sunscreen to cover their whole body. That's the same amount that would fit into a shot glass. It's also about the same as an adult handful. Remember, most people don't apply enough sunscreen. It's OK to use more than you think you should.
  3. Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun. This gives the ingredients time to attach to the skin.
  4. Cover all of your skin that's exposed to the sun. This includes your back, ears, behind your knees and your legs.
  5. Some studies say it's a good idea to reapply your sunscreen after you've been in the sun for 30 minutes. This makes it more likely you'll get the places you might have missed.
  6. Definitely reapply the same amount of sunscreen every 2 hours, even if you haven't been sweating or in the water.
  7. Reapply sunscreen as soon as you get done swimming, toweling off, or sweating heavily. Yep, the whole 1 oz.
How to Properly Apply Sunscreen Under Make-Up
  1. Wash your face as usual.
  2. Dry your face thoroughly
  3. Apply sunscreen to your face in a thin, even coat. The average adult requires about 1/4 to 1/3 of a teaspoon to cover the face. Use at least an SPF 30, though sunscreens are available in 50 and 60.
  4. Let the sunscreen soak into your skin.
  5. Dab away any excess sunscreen with a tissue.
  6. Apply your foundation as normal. Foundation with an SPF can give you added protection.
How to Use Sunscreen on the Face
  1. Kick up the degree of protection for your face. Sunscreen that is good for the face is light and has a high level of sunblocking agents while the body lotions most people use tend to be thicker. Sometimes, they're not advanced enough for protecting the delicate skin around your eyes, nose and lips.
  2. Use a sunscreen that's safe and comfortable for your face. Select a sweat-proof product for your face, so it will not run into your eyes or mouth. While the consistency of the sunscreen is important in a facial product, it is also wise to look for a word called non-comedogenic, which means that the lotion won't clog your pores.
  3. Apply sunscreen on your face slowly to avoid the white patches that can occur if the sunscreen is not put on correctly. Working outward, apply the sunscreen on your face, and then put it on your hairline, temples, ears and the front and back of your neck.
  4. Find healthy facial sunscreens that are formulated with natural soy proteins and antioxidants to enhance the skin's health. Such oil-free formulas can be hypoallergenic and water resistant. The Kiss My Face and Burt's Bees websites both list many natural products for skin protection (see Resources below).
  5. Mist your face with a spray sunscreen for a fresh and cooling way to protect your skin. These facial sprays are designed to provide the skin with UVA protection and broad-spectrum UV defense against sun damage. If you hate to rub products onto your face, Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Sunscreen Mist can provide an easy alternative.
  6. Protect your nose if you are working as a lifeguard. A zinc cream with micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide gives long-lasting protection. You can find zinc creams in flesh tones, so you won't have to deal with unsightly white streaks.
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  1. Wow. Makasih banyak info nyaa~
    Langsung ngerasa kurang banget sun ray protection nya. 8D

  2. waa niat banget ngumpulin informasinya *w* #Bacalebihdetil
    thanks for sharing ya ^^

  3. Iya aku juga dulu makenya kurang banget... he he he...

  4. Iya supaya jelas berbagi infonya...
    Ur Welcome.. Tadinya agak ragu mau ngepost ini bakalan ada yg minat ato enggak. Tapi share aja lah..


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