Friday, 10 July 2015

SPF - CHEAT SHEET

When purchasing SPF the main questions to ask are:
What is the SPF?
Is it a Broad Spectrum product?

There are two main concerns from being in the sun: Skin-ageing and skin cancer.

UV Light causes sun burn and sun damage by damaging cellular DNA.
UVA (long-wave) causes the ageing and UVB (short-wave) causes the burning. 

Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have identified UV as a proven human carcinogen. Therefore, there is no such thing as a ‘safe tan. A tan is a sign of DNA damage. It is the result of a chemical reaction in your body as it tries (and fails) to protect itself from UV light. Brands selling SPF that use the term ‘safe tanning’ are at best misleading and at worst, clueless.

The majority of sun damage is done in the first 20 years of your life. Age spots/pigmentation appearing when you’re older are the fault of those Spanish teen holidays – not just the tan you got in Newquay last year. ;)

‘Natural’ vs ‘Chemical’
Physical (most commonly referred to as ‘natural’ in marketing materials) reflects the UV light. Traditionally 'chemical' SPFs absorb the light.
Physical sunscreen, contrary to popular belief and the GOOP website (please do not get me started), is not ‘natural’. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, most commonly used in ‘natural’ sunscreens have been shown to be toxic (and I use the word correctly) for fish/sealife - an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen washes off swimmers’ bodies annually with the potential to cause damage to fragile ecosystems.
Zinc and titanium oxide are not biodegradable and invariably use nano-technology, which is also under question by Cancer research bodies because of its possible links to cancers in humans.
If your preference is to use ‘natural’ your closest bet is a ‘non-nano’ oxide. Bear in mind it's still technically a chemical, no matter what the EWG say. The term non-nano means nothing to the FDA, but it may be better for you. Still tough cookies for the fish though.

Government Guidelines
FDA standards are different from Europe and Australasia. In the USA, SPF labelling is a requirement because the FDA says it is a drug. In Europe, it is classed as a cosmetic and therefore stating SPF classification is not mandatory, it’s just for information.
Having said that, European manufacturers are allowed to use seven proven UVA filters whilst the FDA in the USA only allows three, meaning that technically a European product has the potential to be more effective than an American-made product.

SPF is only relevant to UVB light. PPD - Persistent Pigment Darkening is one way of measuring UVA light but is now considered out-dated. The PA++ system, developed in the Far East is another method used – however neither of these are allowed when making broad spectrum claims in the USA. It’s enough to make you tear your hair out.

An in vitro test to gauge a Critical Wavelength is really what a brand should be able to show to claim Broad Spectrum on their packaging in the US and the UK. Critical Wavelength tests measure the absorbance of UV light on skin and a critical wavelength of 370nm is what you are looking for on literature. Not that many brands will bother labelling that information but do your research or ask them directly.

Myths:
  • SPF does not accumulate. If you wear a moisturiser, primer and sunscreen you will only have the highest SPF that you are using, you cannot ‘add them up’.
  • Pre-cancerous moles are a myth. They are either cancerous or they are not. If in doubt, cut it out. A mole is a benign lesion. Any changes, any – it needs to be checked by an expert and removed.
  • Acne sufferers: whilst the sun may have a drying effect on your acne; but a lot of SPF products are comedogenic. Use oil-free sunscreens if possible. Avoid mineral oil in sunscreens (and your normal skincare).
  • Darker skin, whilst not as vulnerable to UV light as lighter skin, still needs to protect itself from UV damage and use SPF. Although darker skins can stay longer in the sun without burning and they do not need the same high factors as a Type 1 person, they should still use SPF.
  • No sunscreen is waterproof. They can only be listed as ‘water resistant’.
  • SPF should be repurchased fresh every year. It degrades.
  • Do not waste your money on a really expensive anti-ageing moisturiser with SPF. SPF is an all-encompassing product that will overtake any active/expensive ingredients in your skincare. Use your expensive skincare and apply a separate SPF on top.
  • 'SPF 60 is twice as effective as SPF30'. Not true. There is only a 1% difference between SPF30 and SPF50. SPF30 is my most recommended level for that reason. You're covered, but you have no false sense of security. 

‘Cruelty-free’.
Never were more ingredients tested on animals in the beauty industry than SPF products. This does not mean the final product is tested on animals, meaning that brands that state they are against animal testing are not technically lying, it means the raw ingredients were, at some point, absolutely tested on animals in a lab to ensure ‘efficacy’, especially in the USA, where they are classed as drugs. Whilst this is true of the entire beauty and health industry, I mention it not to make you feel bad, purely to counterbalance the nonsense of ‘vegan, animal-friendly, non-toxic SPF 50’ claims that are frankly, nonsense. 
PETA can say there are a wealth of cruelty-free brands * but the reality is that the ingredients were tested on animals at some point. They may be cruelty-free now, but the ingredients have probably been tested on animals historically. Again, not being negative, just giving the full story. 
Even Lush, the champions against animal testing and ‘natural’ claims, use octocrylene and octyl methoxycinnamate, both chemical UVB sunscreens. Again, I am in no way singling out Lush, merely offering balance to the over-use of the word ‘toxic’ in scare-mongering media and frankly, some lies written by marketing departments and celebrity websites.

Application: 
  • SPF is ALWAYS the last product to be applied to your skin.
  • Apply your SPF 15-20 minutes before you go in the sun.
  • Apply 2mg per Square CM which equates approximately to one teaspoon for your face and neck, two per chest, two per back, two per arm, two/three per leg depending on your height obviously. If you are particularly tall, or have a large frame, obviously use more. I use a tablespoon for face, neck and décolleté (fat head) - and I’m 5’11, so I use two tablespoons per body part.
  • Reapply every 90 minutes to 2 hours or more often if in water.

Children:
If you have children the best advice is to cover them up and keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. 
  • Reapply their SPF every 90 minutes, more frequently if they are getting wet. 
  • If you have boys with short hair, remember the back of their necks and their ears. Every single person I have seen under a Wood’s Lamp has significant sun damage at the tops of their ears (women typically apply their SPF before they hit the beach and put their hair in a ponytail the minute they sit on the sand - EARS!) and above the eyebrows – and it’s always worse in my Australian clients. (Sorry Aussie friends – it’s true).
When asked what he would use on his child, Dr Marko Lens replied: ‘I would probably put a chemical sunscreen on my child. I would not feel comfortable using nano-technology on my child.’

And finally, my most-asked questions from my readers:
  • Personally, I would not dream of using a ‘once a day’ sunscreen on holiday, especially on my children. It gives a false sense of security. I checked Ultrasun’s website and according to them if I use their SPF50 with my skin type, I can ‘safely’ stay in the sun for 10 hours. TEN. HOURS? No. In fairness to them – and again I am not attacking them, merely using their own website to source information, they also state categorically that if you are going into the water or perspire heavily that you need to reapply, which makes it a normal SPF in my book (and makes them ethical!) Where once a day formulas might come in handy are…
  • Young children going to school. If, as mine do, your young children attend a school where the teachers are not allowed to touch the children, even with your permission, a once a day formula may be a good option. Your children may sweat a little, but they aren’t in the sea so should be protected still by 3.30pm. In theory. It still makes me uneasy, but it’s better than applying a typical 'kids' SPF15 at 8.30and that’s it for the day…. It’s your judgement call as a parent/carer.
  • If you are wearing SPF under your makeup and going to work you will probably not be covered by lunchtime. You either need to reapply (not likely I know), use a once-a-day product, which are far better suited to city living than beach in my opinion, or buy yourself a big hat and be done with it. You could also use…
  • Sprays. Here’s the thing with sprays: you have to make sure you have covered the entire area thoroughly and that is unlikely unless you are applying it to your child, in which case most of us show more due diligence than when we are applying to our own bodies. Use a spray over your makeup if you know you have applied it evenly and feel protected, otherwise, go down the once a day route or make like Jackie O and enjoy a hat and sunglasses. There is also cause for concern when inhaling sprays - something you will invariably do if the point is to apply it over your makeup. Your judgement call.
  • I am frequently asked about Institut Esthederm. They are a tanning brand, not an SPF brand. Make of that what you will. 
  • It is safe to use acid toners in the summer – just make sure you are using your SPF.
  • If you wear SPF please double cleanse!






65 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! Can you recommend any brands for the face? I haven't yet found one that works on my 47 yr old skin - I find them really cloying and want to take it off immediately! I have oily forehead and chin with dry cheeks (they also have mild roseacea). Sadly just tried the new EH but it was just too heavy for my skin. It seems that most sun products aren't offered as samples which is mega annoying!

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  2. Thank you for this Caroline.

    And thank you for bring it up about the toxicity of nano SPFs. I've been bagging on about this for years as I've seen for myself the damage this is causing to our beautiful beaches in the UK.
    Just a little research can get you a better product choice.

    And I find it very telling that Dr Lens would use a chemical sunscreen on his child...

    Please make this post a 'Cheat Sheet'

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  3. Thank you so much for this post Caroline! Do you have any recommendations for products or brands to use? Especially for facial spf for acne sufferers? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I am so sorry, I am not Caroline, but Bioderma does a great SPF for Acne-prone oily skin - Photoderm AKN Mat.

      http://againstandforward.blogspot.com

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    2. I love love love the la Roche posay one. I use 50 because my face skin really hates sun. Needs a definite double cleanse cause it's thick, but I do think it works (after hols I tanned on my body but my face was white as snow..

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  4. Loved the post, so helpful. A lot of information was familiar to me cause I just recently watched the videos you'd done with Dr.Lens. I myself am avid sunscreen user due to the fact that I indeed damaged my skin with the first 20 years of my life. I have (probably) permanent sun damage on my cleavage - any way to treat it or to make it look a tad bit better? (high SPF is on that are at all times...)

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  5. Fantastic Article Caroline ... Because of allergies and my Eczema flaring badly the past year .. The only Sun cream that works without any problems is the Shishedo environmental one ... All the rest just leave me uncomfortable ie too dry or flaking off no matter what I put on underneath ... Thank you

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  6. This is very useful thank you. I was wondering if you have any information about Infrared A Rays? I've seen these being mentioned recently

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    1. I'm not Caroline but...
      If you are being exposed to infrared rays you will know it, there will always be heat involved so you should feel it. The most common times to get infrared radiation are when working with furnaces (such as a glass blowers)
      There isn't an SPF that works against IR because the exposure is so unlikely.
      Hope that helps

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    2. There is a sunscreen in Boots - Ladival- that says it has 'advanced infrared-A protection system'.

      I was also wondering what this actually meant.

      Would it help anyone who suffers from prickly heat? I'm curious to find out.

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  7. Brilliant post. I wonder, how do I know the difference between nanotechnology used vs. simpler chemical sunscreen? What should I be careful about reading on the label? Thanks a lot!

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  8. Brilliant post. I'm using La Roche Posay Anthelios XL on my face at the moment. Do you recommend any that are great for the body?

    Many thanks.

    salmandean.blogspot.com

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  9. Really interesting read Caroline. But please tell me the skinceuticals mineral defence I just ordered uses non-nano physical sunscreen? I'm struggling to find anything to put on my poor suffering rosace face. It doesn't seem able to tolerate chemical sunscreen and a recent flare up seems never ending.

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    Replies
    1. My friend has rosacea and swears by the Zelens SPF.

      Hope you find something that works for you x

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  10. Thanks for this very useful post Caroline! It's super complete and very helpful! :)

    I just wanted to add a few things if you may, because this year, there have been a lot of great innovations in the UV protection department:

    - SPF are usually not waterproof but Shiseido just released a new formula called "Wet-Force" which "activates" when it's exposed to water ( more about it here : http://www.shiseido.com/ultimate-sun-protection-lotion-spf-50-wetforce/0730852114845,en_US,pd.html)

    - Bioderma just created the first spray SP30 that you can use on top of your makeup. It's perfect for "on the go" protection and it won't ruin your makeup because it's totally non-greasy and the mist is super fine. It dries totally mat on the skin. ( So sorry, I just found the descriptive in French because it only have been released in France for now http://www.bioderma.fr/fr/nos-produits/hydrabio/eau-de-soin-spf-30 ). It seems they were able to stabilize the SPF in a water based formula instead of the usual oil based formula and so they were able to achieve a mist based result.

    - Institut Esthederm as far as I know is using SPF in their products, they just don't say it on their packaging. It's just, as you said, a different approach compared to other skincare brands in terms of terminology.

    Bonnie,
    http://bonnie-garner.com/en

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    1. Coola have had a water misting SPF out for a few months. It's good for a 'must nip to the shops at lunchtime' top up and doesn't disturb your makeup. You can order it from Sephora.

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    2. You're right! I didn't know this brand but it seems to be the same kind of products. The Bioderma one is cheaper though ( $10 ) ;P

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    3. Thanks Bonnie, but do you know where we can get the bioderma one since only in France if I understood correctly?

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    4. Yes, for now, it's only available in France but I do know some online pharmacies that deliver in Europe. Are you from the UK?
      Here is a link: http://www.pharmacie-monge.fr/index.php/hydrabio-eau-de-soin-spf30-50-ml.html#.VaT8Kfmqqko
      The delivery fees are not cheap (5 euros) but it's still cheaper than the US ones. ;)

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    5. I don't think the Coola one is a water mist. The only version that I've seen at Sephora is the makeup setting spray that came out a few months ago and it is alcohol based. Organic alcohol, but straight up alcohol.

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    6. You're right, Coola and Supergoop! seems to have an alcohol based formula, which is not the case for Bioderma. The first ingredient in the Bioderma Mist is water.

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    7. I just did a full review of the Bioderma mist on my blog if you want to learn more about the product (and it's in English ;) ):
      http://bonnie-garner.com/en/2015/07/15/bioderma-hydrabio-eau-de-soin-spf30-sunscreen-water-mist-my-review/

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  11. Hello!! What do you think of powder sunscreen? I can't find much information on them--the last one I finished was from PeterThomasRoth

    Thank you for the cheat sheet!

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    1. I'm also curious about this! Any input would be much appreciated.

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  12. Thank you for a really useful post. :-) I'm holding off buying my next facial SPF until I read your recommendations. What do you think to powder/mineral SPF for a midday top up? I have Peter Thomas Roth for afternoon break duties x

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  13. Fab, thank you! Any recommendations for oil free sunscreen for face pls? I have been using Clarins but it's giving me acne again.

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  14. (Aplogies if this is submitted twice) I was wondering what we should look for in the ingredient list to specify if the particle are nano/non-nano, or is it only going to be listed in the product description? Along the same vein, if a product does not have any claims relating to non-nano particles, is it safe to assume they are nano? Thank you so much for helping to shed light on the matter!

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  15. Hello!! What do you think of powder sunscreens, like the one from PeterThomasRoth? or spay sunscreens, like the new ones at sephora (supergoop and coola)? I can't find much information on these alternative forms of sunscreen, but they are great for application over makeup. However, not sure how reliable they are...Thank you for the cheat sheet!

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  16. And I thought I knew everything about sunscreen... Still learned some very interesting things.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  17. Ugh, SPF - the bane of my life! Chemical sunscreen makes my face sting unbearably, and physical sunscreen makes me break out. And unfortunately I can't wear hats and sunglasses all the time, because I LOVE swimming. The struggle is real and I have no solution in sight . .

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    1. I feel your pain... having a fairly acne prone complexion, it is a nightmare to find something that my skin likes... ;(

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    2. Yes! Yes! Yes! Me too. Sunscreen that my skin likes is impossible. All mineral ones make me break out immediately. Chemical ones are stingy-burny. I feel like I've tried everything: Peter Thomas Roth, Supergoop, Olay in its many many forms, Neutrogena, Cerave, Elave, Murad, Clinique, Kate Somerville, Shiseido, La Roche Posay, Vichy, SkinCeuticals, EltaMD, Cane + Austin, MDSS, and on and on and on. So far, the only ones that work for me are Paula's Choice (but it makes my face so greasy), Shiseido (but I'm trying to avoid high alcohol formulations) and Kinesys. The unscented, sensitive skin Kinesys one is not specifically for faces, but it doesn't seem to break me out. At least for now.... Why is finding a good sunscreen so impossible?

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    3. I'm using Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream and although it has shea butter high up on the ingredient list, it does not make me break out. However it is only SPF 30, so if anyone out there knows of a SPF 50 based on non-nano zinc oxide, please share :)

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    4. I've been using the True Nature Botanical tinted one. It is great, a tiny amount of Pilling under makeup (not enough to really annoy me like some silicone primers etc and it doesnt happen at all under powder mineral which i mostly wear) but it doesn't break me out and unfortunately that is my priority. It covers enough that on a good skin day I don't need makeup. Low SPF though, 20 I think, but for most days that is enough for me. There is so much conflicting advice, it really pees me off. I remember reading it's damaging to wear higher than 30. I never know what to believe.

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    5. Update: I found a new one that it's also good: SPF 50 Biosolis Extreme Fluid.

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  18. Hi,

    I think a distinction should be made between chemical and physical sunscreens, regarding stability. Unlike chemical filters, physical filters aren't absorbed by the skin, no matter the time. Also, unlike chemical sunscreens, they don't degrade (that is, significantly, because they do a little bit), so on a day-to-day basis, when you aren't perspiring heavily or in the water, when your sun exposure is incidental, the claim that it needs to be reapplied at mid-day otherwise your aren't covered seems a bit off.

    Also, there are chemical sunscreens which are very photostable, resembling physical sunscreens. The tinosorb family is very stable, even after hours in the sun. Avobenzone can also be extremely photostable, as long as it is combined with other stabilising filters and isn't mixed with the wrong ones. The FDA has a great pdf on it, showing avobenzone degrading less than 5% after 16 MEDS.

    So again, it seems estrange to me that someone using an effective sunscreen, at an effective amount, on a day-to-day basis, wouldn't be covered by midday.
    And I'm not talking only about physical sunscreens, although they are your best bet for photostability, but also about chemical sunscreens that are well formulated. Unless you are perspiring heavily or in the water, it doesn't seem logical that you wouldn't be covered by midday.

    I'd love your input.

    Thanks.

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  19. This is so useful! It also reminded me that I need to pick up a new bottle of sunscreen. Thank you!

    www.littlemissfangirly.blogspot.com

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  20. Another one here whose face stings after chemical sunscreen (eczema/dermatitis), I was unaware of the Nano technology in sunscreens and would like to know what substance to avoid please.

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  21. Thank you for the words of wisdom! I soak it all up like a sponge ;)

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  22. Not sure if my last comment published -

    If not, rough overview:
    Allergic to chemical, was happy using physical (and have always, always checked with brand on nano particles), now very worried that I'm making things worse for myself and fishes. Extremely worried. I know the point of this was to counter the scare lingering surrounding chemical SPF, but I think I'm more scared than ever!

    Hope there's a solution for me and the girls above :)

    Leila

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  23. Thank you for doing a post on this. I'm super pale (NW10 kind of pale) and so I've always worn Factor 50 suncream for as long as I can remember. Although, after reading this I may just revert to factor 30. I know some people who will not wear any sun protection whatsoever and just wait to burn 'because it turns into a nice tan' and I'm sat there like nope, stop what you're doing!!!!

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

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  24. Also just had another thought - I use bareminerals complexion rescue as my base (just because I like the finish, happy to throw whatever man made chemicals I like at my face) and can't see any information on whether the titanium dioxide in this is nano - does anyone know? I asked at the counter but they don't know and I can't find contact details for head office. What's the deal with makeup - is it less likely to disrupt your skin than moisturiser on sun cream? Anyone got any ideas here? Thanks again!!! Leila.

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  25. Not SPF related I'm afraid but I am so confused! Just paid a small fortune to visit a dermatologist for the first time due to ongoing adult acne. He has given me antibiotics and told me to use as few products as possible on my skin and NO oil at all. But I've been reading this blog and this says a multi-product routine is best and even acne needs moisturising and maybe a treatment oil? I have just bought clarins lotus oil but should I get rid of this now? Any advice would be so very appreciated! Rachel

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    Replies
    1. Demand your money back from the dermatologist first. Then read all cheat sheets and other resources on this wonderful blog of Mrs Caroline Hirons'. As for the oil , its completely necessary because otherwise the skin overcompensates and that build up and lead to more problems. Seriously your dermatologist is talking BS! Also watch Caroline's videos on YouTube with Dr Sam bunting, who a specialist and knows what she's talking about! Hope this helps :) I have been able to turn my skin around thanks to this marvllous blog! Xx

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    2. Best ever oil for acne-prone skin is hemp seed oil. You need oil but rich in linoleic acid, those rich in oleic acid might clog your pores, yes.

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  26. So sorry for the fishies! But I am wondering if a chemical SPF is less toxic to them. Does anyone know?

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  27. I use a physical sunscreen (non nano) everyday but now I am totally confused. I don't like the fact a 'chemical' sunscreen still filters the sun through. I don't want a tan at all! Please recommend a product which blocks and doesn't advertise that I can still tan wearing it.

    I asked Institut Esthederm about protection with their No Sun product apart from their failure to understand what I meant (didn't gain my confidence) they said I would be fully protected with it. I was hoping to use it for days I wouldn't be out.

    I am extremely worried now as even using a non nano physical the waste product will harm the ocean although surely there are ingredients in a 'chemical' which cause damage. I need to wear suncream and have searched for advice which has knocked my confidence in any brand :(

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  28. Dear Caroline,

    I used sunscreen under make up everyday (>spf 30). As it is not possible to reapply sunscreen above makeup at work, I use a powder sunscreen (Peter Thomas Roth OILY PROBLEM SKIN INSTANT MINERAL SPF 30/spf 50). Do you think that will be sufficient to offer some sun protection in the afternoon while working mainly indoors?

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  29. Great cheat sheet (as always)! I've tried to write a similar post on sun protection recently and gave up because it was becoming too complicated. The problem I find with a lot of the messages given out are over simplified and when it comes to sun protection, it's not a one size fits all but to not confuse people, the message that is given out I.e. From derms, government guidelines etc' tends to be a one size fits all approach.

    I also believe that a lot more research needs doing because some of the messages don't add up. Let us not forget that the sun does give some health benefits I.e. vitamin D. The message at the moment that all sun!
    Do I believe that SPF causes Vitamin D deficiency? Not directly. But what I do believe is that a combination of using a high SPF plus an obsession with avoiding every single ray is a factor. The sun has become so demonised that people are literally petrified to go out (I've had clients that use SPF50 daily and avoid the sun completely. Needless to say that after testing they were Vit D deficient). Of course, there is the opposite scenario and people don't have enough respect for the sun and don't wear any SPF at all, despite being a Fitzpatick I or II.
    Whilst we can supplement with D3 (and I do during the winter months), I don't believe it's as effective as the real thing any more than I do taking a multi-vitamin is as effective as eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
    Plus let's not forget that Not every one who gets melanoma is as a result of sun exposure. I personally think we all need to respect the sun and appreciate how dangerous it is, but at the same time don't be too scared of getting 10 to 15 minutes (in conjunction with supplementation for higher Fitzpatrick types if needed).

    I would have loved for you to have covered a little about the pros & cons of physical and chemical sunscreens as reading the comments, that seems to be the one area most people are interested in. I completely agree that physical sunscreens aren't perfect but then again, neither are chemical. Oxybenzone for example is a known photo-sensitiser and more likely to cause allergic reactions than physical. For daily use I choose physical but for holidays abroad I choose chemical (well a hybrid of the both actually). I actually do use Ultrasun aboard because I find it really convenient BUT that said, I'm not the type of person to spend 8 hours on the beach. I wouldn't recommend spending 8 hours in the sun even if was I reapply every 2 hours. I think my point being is after I've weighed up the pros & cons, my personal choice for 51 weeks of the year is physical but for the one week I'm taken out of my usual environment then I'm happy to use chemical ( I also appreciate that both are chemical but in my mind it refers to how they work I.e. Chemical reaction VS physical barrier) but ultimately wearing any sunscreen is better than wearing no sunscreen!
    I also agree that SPF30 is enough and that Any higher just gives a false sense of security. I do use Ultrasun SPF50 but only because I prefer the formulation (no mineral oil) but in my mind, I treat it like I'm wearing SPF30.

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    1. I agree. Lately I've been starting to feel like the only protection is to just live in a darkened room and never leave the house. I'm very good with my SPF, but it feels like nothing I do is good enough. Dermatologists all contradict each other. I remember a video with Dr. Marko Lens saying that chemical SPFs are best. Then recently there was a vid with Dr. Sam Bunting where she said Mineral are best. At this point, it's like hands thrown up in the air. I use Ultrasun spf 50 on the weekends and when I know I'm going to be out in the sun walking around and such. I use Neutrogena Wet Skin which is my fave for my oily face because it dries to a powder finish and it's gloopy. I think there is so much scaremongering out there with regards to the sun that it leaves people feeling a bit helpless. :-(

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    2. I am becoming one of those people who wears a physical suncream even if I don't go outside. I go between factor 30/50 but don't use the 50 as a false sense of protection, I still reapply. I thought I was doing the right thing but I am now confused :( Dr Sam Bunting advised physical. MooGoo only do factor 15 in the UK and their document on nano particles confused me even more. I buy non nano but then who knows exactly what can be trusted now.

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  30. Thanks Caroline! However, I am still unclear on what you mean exactly by nano-technology vs non nano? How do we identify this in the ingredients for example? I prefer mineral sunscreens, but never paid attention to this...

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  31. Hi Caroline. Just wondering what you know about this third type of sunray people are now talking about - infrared A?

    Also, I knew that most sun damage is caused before we turn 20. And as the number one cause of ageing is the sun, I often wonder to myself are my anti ageing efforts now, after my teen years, in vain?

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  32. Brilliant post, Caroline! I think the only myth you didn't explicitly bust is that putting a foundation with SPF over top of a moisturiser with SPF - or otherwise layering - doesn't cancel each other out or render the SPF non-functional.

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  33. Thank you, as always, for cutting through the marketing crap thrown at us by the industry! I have so many moms preach "natural" sunscreens to me out of sheer terror of hurting their kids. It's always interesting to me what people will believe or preach without actually knowing anything about it. Caroline, you are the greatest!

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  34. Thanks for this great post, Caroline.
    I couldn't agree more.
    Very lucky to have access to DrGL's sun protection mist, which is my afternoon-topper which doesn't screw up my day-face. Way too many people don't put enough sunscreen - I personally also use a tablespoon worth on my face/neck/décolletage on a daily basis. I suppose an easier way to do this is to split it in half, apply it all over, let dry, and then slap on the other half all over.
    I do find that sunscreens from the Far East offer a better coverage - brands I really like: Hada Labo Creamy UV, Sloane Inc SPF (developed by a Singaporean group of doctors) & DrGL.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Does anyone else get runny eyes when they use suncream around that area? My beloved Clarins, Neutrogena Dry Touch and Bodyshop moisturiser with SPF all hurt my eyes. Has anyone found anything gentle?
    Thank you.

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  36. How about these ingredients in chemical sunscreen?
    Octocrylene can penetrate into the skin and act as a photosensitizer, resulting in an increased production of free radicals. Free radicals can induce indirect DNA damage and potentially contribute to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users. Although this might theoretically apply to other sunscreens, the study that made this conclusion refers only to octocrylene.
    Oxybenzone: as a photocarcinogen, it’s demonstrated an increase in the production of harmful free radicals and an ability to attack DNA cells; for this reason, it is believed to be a contributing factor in the recent rise of melanoma cases with sunscreen users. Some studies have shown it to behave similarly to the hormone estrogen, suggesting that it may cause breast cancer. It has also been linked to contact eczema.
    It looks like you want to protect your skin against skin cancer, but the sunscreen you are using can cause skin cancer or other cancers!
    Wouldn’t it be safer to use psychical sunscreen without nano-technology??

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for a very useful post Caroline! If someone can help me, I don't know how to recognize a chemical sunscreen from a physical one, how do I know which ones use nano technology? Brands? Thank you in advance

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  38. Caroline! Why is there no discussion of PA/PPD levels in this??? This is fundamental!

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E5D6123EF93AA35755C0A9639C8B63

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrong. Outdated. And I do mention PPD. Try again.

      Delete
  39. Thank you for your continued no nonsense approach to skincare. YOU ARE A BLESSING!

    www.skincaretoat.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've been slathering SPF50 on my face all year round for years and it only protects 1% more than SPF30?! This is probably the best post / article I've ever read about sun care. Thanks Caroline!

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Caroline! I'm confused by the order of application of products. On most sites and dermatologist channels I have seen that SPF should be applied FIRST, before anything else, since it won't penetrate the skin if applied over serums and exfoliants (unless it's a chem-free sunscreen that reflects harmful rays)... Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1AsJnehzO8
    Please give us more info on this! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  42. caroline, what do you suggest for a combination skin, acne-prone? am so clueless about this.. thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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