How to Practice Safe Sun
Provided by MyChelle Dermaceuticals
There are so many sunscreen options available that it can be hard to choose which one is best for you, your family, and your patients. You check the labels on the food you buy, so the same should go for your sun care products! What goes on your skin can get into your body and into our water systems, which is why it’s so important to know about the safety of the ingredients used in those products. Though there are thousands of sunscreen options available, not all are effective in providing complete, broad-spectrum protection and many contain potentially toxic ingredients.
What should I look for (and look out for) when shopping for sunscreen?
There are two main types of sunscreen—ones that use chemical UV filters and ones that use physical UV filters. Chemical UV filters usually contain nano-particles small enough to soak through the skin and create a chemical reaction. Physical UV filters, including minerals Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, create a physical, protective barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays. The molecules of these ingredients provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and are too large to penetrate the skin. All MyChelle sunscreens use physical UV filters, are certified non-nano through two independent laboratories, and meet FDA/International SPF test regulations to assure an even, clear application for 100% reflective, photo-stable mineral protection. Always look for sunscreens labeled as broad-spectrum and with a minimum SPF of 15.
What’s so bad about certain chemical UV filters?
Each year, an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen washes off swimmers’ bodies, devastating delicate eco-systems and contributing to the current global bleaching event. MyChelle was one of the first cosmetic manufacturers to reject marine-toxic ingredients, including Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Butylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (read more about potential toxicity here). These chemicals never biodegrade and have been shown to combine with dormant viruses in coral reefs causing bleaching. Irreversible and sometimes fatal, bleaching inhibits the growth of new coral, which close to one million species depend on to survive. Addressing this issue has become more urgent than ever as scientists estimate that 50% of reefs have already been affected by bleaching events.
How often do I need to apply sunscreen and how much should I use?
First thing in the morning, apply a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen to your face, and a shot glass-full (about two tablespoons) to exposed areas of the body. Reapplication is key when it comes to sunscreen, especially if you’re spending most of your time outdoors or participating in physical activity. Reapplying sunscreen every two hours is the ideal if using an SPF 30 or higher.
What else can I do to play safe in the sun?
- Plan your outdoor activities around the sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 2pm—schedule activities for early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.
- SPF-dress for the occasion. You don’t need a water-resistant SPF while working in the office, but should use one when at the beach or pool.
- Complete the look. Wear wide-brimmed hats, UV-filtering sunglasses, and clothing with 30+UFP protection.
MyChelle’s Most Loved Sun Care Products:
- Sun Shield SPF 28 — Unscented and Coconut
- Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50 — Tinted (Nude or Natural Tan)
- Sun Shield Stick SPF 50 — Tinted and Non-Tinted
- Replenishing Solar Defense Body Lotion SPF 50