The Importance of Hats for Sun Protection: The Brim of the Matter

We all know that a hat protects you from the sun, but

did you know for

every 1 inch of brim to your hat = a 10% lower risk of skin cancer to your face!

Ditch the baseball cap, look for brims that go all the way around the hat. Bonus many hats now offer added UPF protection, the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating system measures the UV protection provided by fabric.

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Siggi Bucket Boonie Cord Fishing Beach Cap Summer Sun Hat Wide Brim for Women UPF50+

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Simplicity Women’s Summer UPF 50+ Roll Up Floppy Beach Hat with Ribbon

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Coolibar UPF 50+ Men’s Shapeable Outback Sun Hat – Sun Protective

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Coolibar UPF 50+ Men’s Fairway Golf Hat – Sun Protective

Great Quiz To See How Sun Safe Your Skin Really Is!

Sun Safe Quiz via You Beauty

Why Sunscreen Prevents Photoaging!

Woman With Sunscream
Remember all those times we told you to wear sunscreen every single day to prevent aging? We have even more research showing that you should slather up often. A recent study done in Australia has confirmed what studies on mice and dermatologists have been saying for years: Using sunscreen daily stops photoaging. And here’s a spoiler: If you’re using sunscreen, but not using it daily and reapplying after a few hours or after swimming or heavy sweating, you’re doing your skin a disservice. The best effects are seen with those who use sunscreen every single day and reapply often.

The Study: Daily Sunscreen vs. Discretionary Use

This study demonstrates that applying sunscreen every day is more effective than applying it only when it seems appropriate.The study had 900 white participants who were younger than 55-years-old. One group was randomly assigned to apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more to their head, neck, arms, and hands in the morning after washing, after spending several hours outside, or after sweating heavily. Another group was asked to use sunscreen at their discretion. Across both groups participants were also randomly assigned either 30 mg beta-carotene or a placebo pill (Annals of International Medicine). This amounted to four groups: regular sunscreen use with beta-carotene, regular sunscreen use with a placebo, discretionary sunscreen use with beta-carotene, and discretionary use with a placebo. The study took place between 1992 and 1996, and lasted a total of four-and-a-half years. Researchers took impressions of the participants’ skin at the beginning and end of the study, and had these impressions assessed by researchers who were not aware of who was using sunscreen or taking beta-carotene. These assessors gave a score from 0 to 6, with 0 being smooth, elastic skin with absolutely no photoaging, and 6 being wrinkled, inelastic skin with severe photoaging.

The Results: Daily Sunscreen Can Prevent Photoaging!

Those who used sunscreen every day with frequent reapplications looked younger after 4.5 years than those who used sunscreen at their discretion.

Those who used sunscreen every day with frequent reapplications looked younger after 4.5 years than those who used sunscreen at their discretion.

In the beginning, both groups had a median of 4. By the end of the study, the group who used sunscreen every day still had a median of 4, while a group who used sunscreen at their discretion had a median of 5. The group using sunscreen daily had 24% less aging than the group using sunscreen at their discretion. Researchers saw no difference between the beta-carotene supplement and placebo groups. And it’s worthwhile to note that neither group had bad habits in the sun, notes Dr. Barbara A. Gilchrist, dermatology professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and editor of The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, in this New York Times article. This merely illustrates the difference between groups who use sunscreen every single day, and those who use it at their discretion — but all of them use sunscreen. Some of the studies limitations were that about one-third of participants did not have molds taken at the beginning and end, the study did not investigate the effects on individuals over 55-years-old, and the study only looked at the effects of daily or discretionary sunscreen use light-skinned people, and the study was too small to be confident in the results on beta-carotene.

Which Sunscreen Should You Use?

Believe it or not: Up to 90% of visible aging comes from damage from UV exposure. This is particularly true in the case of premature aging.  As the study above indicates, the best protection from aging is sunscreen; but what’s the best sunscreen to use? Overall, I prefer physical-mineral sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (which physically stop the rays) over organic-chemical sunscreens like avobenzone and oxybenzone (which absorb UV rays and convert them into a less harmful form of energy). Both offer excellent levels of protection, but there are several reasons why physical-mineral sunscreens might be a better choice overall. Organic-chemical sunscreens are less photostable than physical-mineral sunscreens, and because of this, are more likely to cause irritation (Chemical Research in Toxicology). And organic-chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin more than physical-mineral sunscreens, which are too large to penetrate the past the stratum corneum (Journal of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Science, Toxicological Science). [Read More: Are Inorganic Sunscreens Better than Organic Ones?] And zinc oxide is a better physical blocker than titanium dioxide by virtue of having more broad-spectrum protection. There are two kinds of UV rays: UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays. Both block UVB rays, but zinc oxide blocks more UVA rays than titanium dioxide (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Here are some sunscreens that are either completely physical-mineral or a mix of physical-mineral and organic-chemical, along with the percentages of active ingredients in each, with high amounts of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Remember, the addition of an antioxidant serum, like our Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum, has been proven to help boost the effectiveness of sunscreen (Journal of Investigative Dermatology).Bottom LineIf you haven’t been wearing sunscreen every single day and reapplying it often, now is the time to start. This recent research study proves what past studies, dermatologists, and FutureDerm has been saying for years: Daily use of sunscreen will keep you looking younger longer, and will help prevent skin cancer. Thinking of sunscreen application like brushing your teeth, something you do regularly, can make a huge difference in your skin in the long run.

Via Future Derm

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words! How UVA Rays Can Age You! Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen Everyday!

Via The Huffington Post Canada  |  Posted:  06/07/2012

Bill McElligott, Delivery Truck Driver, Has Severe Sun Damage On One Side Of His Face

The Huffington Post Canada  |  Posted: 06/06/2012 11:12 am Updated: 06/07/2012 5:03 pm

This man’s face is possibly the most compelling argument for wearing sunscreen. Every day, all day, and lots of it.

Truck driver Bill McElligott, 69, has unilateral dermatoheliosis, according to The New England Journal of Medicine. Essentially, ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmitted through the window of his delivery truck have severely damaged the skin on the left side of his face during the 28 years he has spent driving on the job.

As a result, the left side of McElligott’s face looks roughly 20 years older than the right, the Toronto Star reports. The difference between the two sides of his face is so pronounced, even medical experts were shocked.

bill mcelligott sun damage

We are used to seeing photo damage by the sun, photo aging, every day, but I was taken aback when I saw how one-sided this was,” said Dr. Jennifer Gordon, a dermatology expert who treated McElligott, in The Daily Telegraph.

Driving has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure through the windows, which do not filter UVA rays. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded more cases involved the left arm and left side of the face, according to the CBC.

McElligott’s photo surfaces as Sun Awareness Week heats up in Canada, throwing the spotlight on the dangers of UV damage and indoor tanning, particularly for minors. The Canadian Dermatology Association estimates 5,800 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year, causing 970 deaths, the CBC says.

The doctor’s orders for McElligott? Sun protection, topical retinoids, and skin cancer monitoring. Car windows can also be tinted to protect against harmful UV rays, although each province in Canada has its own regulations.

Christine Janus, executive director of the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA), also suggests prevention is essential.

Wear Sunscreen — All The Time
“Wear sunscreen constantly,” says Christine Janus, executive director of the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA), an organization that provides support for those with skin conditions. Janus recommends wearing about three quarters of a shot glass full or as much as you need to cover exposed skin. She also says we should reapply the lotion every four to six hours if you’re going in the water or working out.

Don’t Take Risks — With Your Skin
“If your skin looks or feels different, rough like sandpaper for example, get it checked — don’t wait,” Janus says. Treatments for skin cancers exist, but the the more you expose your skin, the higher your risks are, she says.

Limit Exposure
“Limit your time outdoors and during peak hours when the sun is up,” Janus says.
Make sure when you’re outside you wear a hat. “Men should be wearing hat as well. The top spots for skin cancer for men is on their head and back,” Janus says.

Try UV Clothing Or Umbrellas
Ultraviolet clothing is also another level of protection, Janus says. There are now companies that manufacture specialized items that have a built-in UV layer. She also recommends an umbrella.
Wear A Hat

When and Where are UV Rays Strongest?

Sunscreen, as known as sunblock, is so vitally important to skin and overall health!  I recommend at least SPF 15 (sun protection factor) or more to be applied after your moisturizer every morning, apply

English: how UVB and UVA works in sunscreen

English: how UVB and UVA works in sunscreen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

more frequently if you are going to be active, sweating,  or getting wet. 

The more intense the sun, the greater your exposure to UV rays. The amount of UV that will reach you depends on the following:
Time of Day: UV is greatest when the sun is at its highest in the sky (between 10 am and 4 pm) and less in the early morning and late afternoon.

Season:  While UV exposure is the greatest in the summer (May—August) in the United States, it is important to remember that UV rays reach Earth every day and you should be sun safe year-round—including wintertime! Snow can reflect 85% to 90% of the sun’s UV rays!

Altitude:  The air is cleaner and thinner at higher altitudes, so UV exposure is greater in the mountains than in the valleys. (For example, you can still get sunburned while skiing in the winter!)

Location:  UV is strongest at the equator and gets weaker as you move towards the poles. Going tropical? Be prepared and take your sunscreen with you on family vacations.

Exposure Time:  The longer you are out in the sun, the more UV rays you receive. Remember, you are exposed whenever you’re out: picnics, Saturday yard chores, long drives, spectator/sports events, and more!

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