Mineral vs Chemical

Coral Reefs

Understanding Zinc

What is SPF?

The higher the SPF the higher the UV protection right? Unfortunately, not true.

This is misleading information, double the spf is not double the protection. An SPF of 30 is not double the protection of SPF 15, but it does block ½ the radiation.

SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays

SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays

SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays

Imagine 100 rays or photons on your skin, this would be equal to not wearing any sunblock. An SPF of 15 allows for 7 out of the 100 rays/photons to reach your skin. An SPF 30 allows for 3 out of the 100 rays/photons to reach your skin. SPF 50 allows for 2 out of the 100 rays/photons to reach your skin.

There is no possible way to block 100% of UV rays, therefore an SPF of 70 or even 90 is no different than SPF 50.

Sunscreen labeling is loosely regulated and much of it is a marketing attempt to attract buyers.

Always cover up with a hat and UV shirts when possible; they are the best protection from UV radiation.

Difference between UVA/UVB  

Ultraviolet radiation is the electromagnetic light transferred from the sun to the earth. UV rays are the leading cause of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and non melenoma skin cancer. There are two important UV rays; UVA & UVB which cross the ozone layer and of are great concern.

UVA accounts for 95% of the UV rays reaching the earths surface and have a constant level of intensity all day, year round. UVA can penetrate clouds and glass. UVA is not responsible for typical sunburns, but is known as the tanning ray. Its rays penetrate the deeper layers of our skin which disturbs DNA synthesis leading to skin cancer.

UVB is the other harmful UV ray that will cause sunburn, signs of aging and of course skin cancer. Its level of intensity varies according to time of day, season and elevation.

Currently the US does not regulate the UVA/UVB protection, they do not require sunscreens to provide UVA protection, which is proven to cause cancer.