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Archive for August, 2016

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SPF-What does it mean

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

I often get questions about what SPF means. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the rating for protecting against UVB, which are the shorter wavelength burning rays. SPF 15 means that one has 15 times the protection against the burning UVB rays compared to no protection.

The problem is that this rating system doesn’t account for the UVA rays which are the longer wavelengths that cause brown spots, aging, and also contribute to skin cancer. Most sunscreens now have “broad spectrum protection” which means UVA and UVB protection. Achieving this often requires multiple ingredients, because none of them get the whole wavelength spectrum from UVB to UVA, with the exception of zinc oxide. Titanium dioxide is second best.

One also has to look at the water resistance of the sunscreen, especially in hot weather and when exercising. If there is no water resistance rating, that means, there is little lasting protection under those conditions. “Water resistant” only means protection after 40 minutes in water and “Very water resistant” means at least 80 minutes in water. There is no such higher rating allowed.

Baby sunscreens, sunscreens found at Whole Foods, all have these ingredients often, however, they may not be well formulated and be pasty and overly whitening. When you come in, we can give you a sample of Verdure Matte Moisturizing Mineral Suncreen SPF 30+ or one can order on verdureskin.com, or you can reach out to one of our vendors. We currently do not offer products on amazon.com, so be aware that those may either be fake storefronts or vendors we no longer deal with.

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