Do you really need sunscreen?

Do you really need sunscreen?

Yes, you do need sunscreen.

Misinformation in the beauty industry is a hot topic on my podcast with Sam Farmer (Farmer & Stetz).  We have often stressed that there is a danger in relying only on natural remedies and discard science, with statements such as “clean beauty products without chemicals”.  This week however the debate jumped to a new level when some influencers stated that you do not need sunscreen.

It is well established that sun exposure increased the risk of skin cancer and sunscreen is a way to protect your skin.  Also sunscreen is the best anti aging there is. UVA from the sun triggers reactions that causes premature aging.

What to look for in a good sunscreen

  1. Use a high SPF, 30 or higher
  2. Look at the start rating. A sunscreen can have up to 5 stars and it rates the protection against UVA (the light that accelerates aging). The higher rating the better
  3. Apply generously 20 min before going out in the sun
  4. Reapply every 90 minutes (or more often if you have been in the water)
  5. Wear a hat, protective clothing and stay in the shade

Chemical or physical?

There are two different kind of sunblock chemical & physical. Simply put, the chemical ones works as nets that captures and neutralizes the sunlight (on a molecule level). Examples are avobenzone, octinoxate & oxybenzone. The chemical sunscreens are problematic since they have shown to damage coral reefs. Luckily the awareness of this is growing and action is being taken. For example Hawaii has banned the use of oxybenzone & octinoxate as of 2021 to protect their corals.

The physical sunscreens physically block the sunlight from reaching your skin, for example titan dioxide or zinc oxide Physical sunscreens are usually thicker & leaves a white residue on the skin.

Use sunscreen and listen to science, not hearsay. Happy Summer!