Encouraging photo-protection is the leading preventative health strategy used by physicians involved in skin care (dermatologists, plastic surgeons, etc). Although sun avoidance is becoming increasingly more desirable, outdoor occupations and lifestyles make total avoidance impossible for many individuals.
The regular use of sunscreen represents a practical compromise in this regard. In humans, the regular use of sunscreen has been shown to reduce actinic keratosis, solar elastosis and squamous cell carcinoma. The daily use of sunscreen could help in the prevention of melasma and other discolorations.
Sunscreens are chemical or physical products used to protect the skin from sun damage. Chemical Sunscreens protect the skin by absorbing visibe and invisible, or ultraviolet sun rays. Physical Sunscreens protect the skin by reflecting sun rays.
Ultra Violet Rays
There are three types of ultra violet rays (UVR)
- UVC: are the most damaging of the ultraviolet rays.They do not reach the earth because they are filtered by the ozone layer.
- UVB: are responsible for the redness, sunburn and pre-malignant lesions of the skin as well as some type of skin cancer.
- UVA: UVA can be further divided into UVA-1 or long wave UVA and UVA-2 or short wave UVA. These rays cause pigmentation, premature aging and some types of skin cancer.
Sun Protection Measures
Avoid unnecessary sun exposure
- Between 10am - 4pm
- Avoid UV reflecting surfaces (sand, water, snow...)
- Eliminate photosensitizing drugs (ask your doctor)
Use UVA/UVB Sunscreens
- Choose a UVA/UVB sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in its formulation
- Use daily and reapply often
- Remember to apply sunscreen daily under office light and while driving
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat
- Wear long sleeves
- Use UV absorbing detergents
- Apply UV blocking films to windows
PA stands for protection grade of UVA system and is the Japanese measurement of sun protection, which is based on the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) reaction reading at 2-4 hours of sun exposure.
There are three levels of protection that are commonly seen: PA+, PA++ and PA+++
- PA+ provides some UVA protection with a factor of PPD 2-4
- PA++ provides moderate UVA protection with a factor of PPD 4-8
- PA+++ provides good UVA protection with a factor of PPD > 8
This means you are better off picking a sunscreen with PA+++ which will provide you with the greatest protection.
Percentage of protection from damaging UV rays:
- SPF 15: 92%
- SPF 30: 97%
- SPF 40: 97.5%
These is some controversy about very high SPF numbers and just how much more protection they provide. As you can see from the percentages of protection of the different SPF numbers, the difference in UV ray protection between SPF 15 and SPF 30 is 5%, but the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 40 is only 0.5%. Therefore SPF 30 has become the most popular level of sun protection.
Limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen regularly may reduce the risks of skin damage, some types of skin cancer and other harmful effects due to sun exposure. Sunscreen alone will not prevent all of the possible harmful effects of the sun for all consumers, even with the use of high SPF sunscreen drug products.
Minus-Sol Sun Protection Products
Minus-Sol is a unique product providing high protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is an oil-free formulation that contains as inactive ingredient, enhanced chitosan which results in a smooth silky feeling. Minus-Sol retains its SPF for upto 80 minutes of activity in water.
- High protection against UVA and UVB rays due to combination of chemical filters and physical blockers (Octyl-methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide).
- Oil Free - Non Comedogenic (will not clog pores)
- Safe for use on children older than six months
- Water and sweat resistant - retains SPF for more than 80 minutes of activity in water
- Enriched with enhanced Chitosan which results in a silky smooth feeling
- Specially designed for sensitive skin
- Prevention of photo-damage and photo-aging
- Prevention of actinic keratosis and skin cancer (squamous cell carsinoma)
- Helps in the treatment of melasoma and other discolorations