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The Importance of Sunscreen and EltaMD

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Did you know that 1/3 of the population still does not apply sunscreen and 1/3 of the people who do apply do not use the recommended amount? This may seem crazy considering a study shows that each year in the U.S., nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer. The sun is in the sky 365 days a year so let’s examine what sunscreen really is and why it is so important so include in your daily routine…all year round.

What is sunscreen?
Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen physical ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide reflect or scatter ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Chemical ingredients like avobenzone or oxybenzone absorb UV radiation, dissipating it as heat.

Source: SkinCancer.org and U.S. Food and Drug Administration

What is the SPF value?
SPF (sunburn protection factor) indicates the UVB/sunburn protection provided by sunscreen. The SPF value indicates the level of sunburn protection provided by the sunscreen product by determining the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure it takes to cause sunburn when a person is using a sunscreen in comparison to how much UV exposure it takes to cause sunburn when they do not use a sunscreen. Higher SPF values provide greater sunburn protection.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

What is broad-spectrum?
The broad-spectrum test measures a product’s ultraviolet A (UVA) protection relative to its ultraviolet B (UVB) protection. Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures. Non-broad-spectrum sunscreens and broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF below 15 can only claim to help prevent sunburn.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Why is zinc oxide important?
Zinc oxide blocks UVB (burning) and UVA (aging) rays that have been linked to photoaging and skin cancer. Zinc oxide is a natural mineral that is safe even on the most sensitive skin, including post-procedure skin and even that of children 6 months or older.

Why is EltaMD a leader in sun care?
EltaMD sunscreens
are formulated with transparent zinc oxide and are noncomedogenic, sensitivity-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free. Because zinc maintains its protective ability in the sun, it is more photostable than some chemical ingredients that may degrade. EltaMD broad-spectrum sunscreens help protect skin against burning, sun-induced early skin aging and risk of skin cancer. EltaMD also has premium skincare products to be used pre- and post-sun exposure that include deep yet gentle cleansers, intense moisturizers and innovative formulas that repair the visible signs of aging.

Skin Cancer Statistics

  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US.
  • About two percent of squamous cell carcinoma patients – between 3,900 and 8,800 people – died from the disease in the US in 2012.
  • As many as 3,000 deaths from advanced basal cell carcinoma occur annually in the US.

Source: SkinCancer.org

Tips and Tricks:

  • Limiting time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun (long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, broad-brimmed hats) when possible.
  • Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin.
  • Using a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.
  • Reapplying sunscreen, even if it is labeled as water-resistant, at least every 2 hours. Water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied more often after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the label.
  • Apply liberally and evenly to all exposed skin. The average adult in a bathing suit should use approximately one ounce of sunscreen per application. Not using enough will effectively reduce the product's SPF and the protection you get.
  • Be sure to cover often-missed spots: lips, ears, around eyes, neck, scalp if hair is thinning, hands, and feet.
  • Avoid tanning beds. The UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight. Dangers include burns, premature aging of the skin, and the increased risk of skin cancer.

Source: SkinCancer.org and U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Need some more convincing?

Tawny Willoughby at the tender age of 21 was first diagnosed with skin cancer due to visiting tanning beds in her teens. Now at 27 she has had basal cell carcinoma (the most common form of skin cancer) five times and squamous cell carcinoma once.Read about her journey here.

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