July Skinmedica Sale

Everyone has heard how important it is to protect our skin from the harmful effects of the sun.  This is especially true in south Florida, where the sun can be more intense than in some places.  Florida is closer to the equator than other states, except for Hawaii.  In addition, the sun’s rays reflect off the surfaces of sand, water, and concrete.

Regular use of sunscreen reduces the risk of developing skin cancer and the premature signs of aging caused by the sun’s harmful rays.  Even if the damage from the sun is not apparent during our younger years, it may show up later in life with wrinkles, age spots, loss of elastin, and actinic keratosis.

Sunscreen is readily available in stores and online.  Choices and brands may seem overwhelming to some.  People may wonder whether there is any real difference or do they all work just about the same?  There are two types of sunscreen – mineral and chemical.  They have different ingredients and work in different ways to filter the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens work by creating a barrier on the skin that reflects UV light.  Active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  The sunscreen doesn’t absorb into the skin, so these products typically have a heavier texture and a white, chalky appearance.  If you can see the product, it’s working.  Tinted versions blend in more with natural skin tones and so are less noticeable.  Mineral sunscreens are considered better than chemical sunscreens and offer immediate protection.  They should be reapplied every two hours, and especially after swimming and sweating.  This type of sunscreen is ideal for children, those with sensitive skin, and people with melasma or rosacea.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens actually absorb UV rays.  When light is absorbed, the chemicals in the product create a chemical reaction that converts UV light into heat that can be released through the skin.  Ingredients in chemical sunscreens can include some of the following chemicals – avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, or octinoxate.  Recent studies have shown some of these chemicals can be found in the bloodstream afterwards.  This research has triggered the FDA to review their guidelines.

These products are easy to apply and are available as lotions and sprays.  They do need time to absorb into the skin to be effective.  They should be reapplied after two hours.  Chemical sunscreens sometimes have better water resistance than mineral sunscreens, making them a better option for some outdoor activities.

Next Steps

Experts recommend avoiding peak sun hours between 11am-3pm.  Wear a hat, sunglasses, and UPF clothing to avoid too much sun exposure.  Sunscreen is essential; using either type of sunscreen is better than using nothing.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgery Center carries a line of SkinMedica Sunscreens.

Family applying mineral sunscreen at the beach.  South FL beach day with sunscreen.

·        Essential Defense Mineral Shield™ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (UVA + UVB protection) Sheer, lightweight, hypoallergenic, oil free, fragrance free, paraben free, will not clog pores.  Available in Tinted SPF 32 and non-tinted SPF 35.

·        Essential Defense Everyday Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 47 (Ideal for oily and/or combination skin; won’t clog pores)

·        Total Defense and Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 34 (Tinted and non-tinted)