Sun Awareness Week: The Importance of Sun Protection for Your Skin

When you’re at the beach and just want to dive into the water, sunscreen can feel like a hassle. The truth is, it’s critical in protecting your skin from the negative effects of sun damage. Here at Imperial Salon and Spa in beautiful Florida, we get sun for most of the year, so protecting yourself from those rays is extra important. May 28th-June 3rd is Sun Awareness Week. To celebrate, we’re bringing you the facts about sun protection!

How Are Sunscreen and Sunblock Different?

Sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that penetrates the skin. Sunblock physically prevents UV rays from reaching the skin. Sunscreens are usually transparent and invisible after application. Sunblock is thicker and remains visible after application. Sunblocks are made of metallic ingredients like zinc oxide, iron oxide, or titanium dioxide to physically block the rays of the sun and protect your skin. A good sunscreen, like those in the SkinCeuticals line, will contain ingredients like octisalate, octinoxate, oxybenzone, and methyl anthranilate. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun and then reapplied after swimming or sweating. Sunblock is effective immediately after application and can be used directly before going into the sun.

What’s the Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?

UVA rays make up 95% of the radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. UVA rays attack the skin more deeply than UVB rays. UVA rays are well-known for playing a major role in skin aging and wrinkling. UVA rays cause damage to skin cells called keratinocytes on the base layer of the epidermis. This is where most skin cancers happen. UVA is also the main tanning ray, so along with being produced by the sun, it can be found in tanning booths and tanning beds. UVB rays are the main cause of redness and sunburns. They damage the superficial epidermal layers and play a part in developing skin cancer. It’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against both types of rays.

What Does SPF Mean?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. It measures the level of UV protection a sunscreen or sunblock will give you. The level of SPF ranges from 1-90. SPF also indicates how long your skin is protected from sunburn based on your skin type, location, and time of year. Other conditions that affect SPF levels are how much product you apply, weather and climate, sweating, and swimming. We recommend using products with SPF between 15 and 50. It all depends on your skin type and skin tone!

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Sun Damage?

The rays of the sun damage the fibers in the skin called elastin. When elastin breaks down, the skin will sag, stretch, and lose elasticity. More serious effects of the sun include pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions, benign tumors, telangiectasias, sallowness, and elastosis. While no one wants their skin to look saggy and wrinkly for superficial reasons, you have so much more to worry about when it comes to sun protection. Keep your skin safe and healthy. Use sunscreen or sunblock every time your skin will be directly exposed to the sun!

Treat Your Skin Today!

Come into our spa and give your skin a treat before summertime starts! Throughout the month of May, we’re offering a free SkinCeuticals Skinscope Analysis with our exclusive Flaxx C Facial. The SkinScope Analysis shows the health of your skin from beneath the surface and the Flaxx C Facial smooths, firms, and re-texturizes the skin using ingredients like flaxseed and antioxidants. After you’ve treated your skin, why not pick up some high-quality sun protection products? At Imperial Salon and Spa, we sell a variety of sunscreens from the SkinCeuticals line, and we'd be happy to help you find the best product for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment!