Sun Screen 101

Sun Screen 101

Sun Screen 101

By Juliette Martinez LE.

It is a fairly new trend to slather yourself down in sunscreen as we now realize how terrible it was to lay out glistening with baby oil for hours on end trying to achieve a sun kissed glow. Now days it is common for women to wear big hats and shield themselves from the sun and its unsightly damage it can cause. From sagging skin to discoloration, the sun's rays take a large toll on not only the skin on our faces, but our entire bodies. Okay, so you know to apply sunscreen and reapply every two hours if you plan sun exposure but do you know what to look for when deciding on a sunscreen?

It is definitely important to start educating yourself on what makes up good sun protection you can trust.

First off, the sun puts off two different types of rays, UVA and UVB. An easy trick to remember which is responsible for what is that the A in UVA stands for aging and the B in UVB stands for burning. Although UVA rays do not cause a burn, they penetrate much deeper into dermal layers breaking down collagen and causing those unsightly brown sun damage spots. In fact, the EPA predicts that 90% of premature aging is due to UVA sun exposure.

It is important to use a broad spectrum SPF. When the term broad spectrum is used, it means that the product will protect against both types of rays. There are two different types of broad spectrum protection, physical and a synthetic.

Physical sunscreens with ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide reflect the sun’s rays away from our skin. These can also be referred to as mineral sunscreens. Zinc is a very healing mineral and is often found in diaper rash creams or used to heal skin irritations, so mineral sunscreens are recommended for clients who are on the sensitive side. Acneic clients may also reap the healing benefits of physical sun protection unless they find mineral makeup to cause breakouts because physical sun protection may have the same effect, although most are non-comedogenic.

Synthetic screens include ingredients with many different names. Some of them you may recognize include octinoxate, oxybenzone or avobenzone. Unlike mineral protection, synthetic screens allow the sun’s rays to be absorbed into the skin. Unfortunately, some of the active ingredients are not stabilized as well as others and may become oxidized causing free radical damage. They must be paired with a mineral or other UV filters in order to stabilize the molecule. That is where the premature aging comes into effect. They can also be very irritating to skin and eyes. There are many other forms of synthetic UV filters that are available around the world that are not yet FDA approved, however a new law was signed in November of 2014 allowing eight new filters to be approved in the United States. Hopefully the new law helps more advanced technologies become available to Americans in order to protect and keep our skin healthy.

Denver Laser Solutions offers a variety of different sunscreens that we find to be the best for our Denver clients' needs. Being a mile high, sun protection is crucial at all times during the entire year! If you are lacking in sun protection, you can shop online at or come by and pick up the best option for your skin!


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