Dr. Bonnie Marting, DNP, APRN and Director of Medical Aesthetics at Anushka Cosmedical Centre in West Palm Beach weighs in on sunscreens, ultraviolet rays and the only “healthy” suntan.
CHEMICAL VS. MINERAL: As their name suggests, chemical sunscreens are made with chemicals that dissolve into the skin and can trickle into the bloodstream. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, sit on top of the skin and use ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to repel UV radiation.
RAYS OF LIGHT: UVA and UVB are ultraviolet rays, and both are bad. UVB causes more burns and epidermal injury, while UVA degrades collagen and is more responsible for wrinkles and actinic keratosis. UVB rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so double your protection with sunscreen, protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
A HEALTHY TAN: Thanks to advertising, tans have gotten a reputation for being “healthy.” The bad news is that any color change, even a base tan, is not safe and reflects damage already done. The safest tan is out of a bottle and never in a tanning bed. Marting praises Jergens Natural Glow, a self-tanner that builds gradually and moisturizes skin with Vitamin E and antioxidants.
SPF 101: When choosing sun protection, pick products with an SPF of 30 or higher. The FDA doesn’t give much credence to SPF levels over 50, so don’t go crazy looking for SPF 100. Sunscreens are neither waterproof nor sweatproof and can be rubbed off easily with a towel, so reapply them every 80 to 90 minutes or after a dip in the pool.