SPF 100? Yeah, it’s Real


maxcreamI had a skin cancer removed recently and have a lot of skin damage to my foreskinhead and other body parts exposed to the sun.

When we played golf this weekend, I had Nancy spray my forehead with sunblock. Hey! That stuff works! Science is amazing. I didn’t get a sunburn on my receding hairline.

The couple we played golf with has a red-headed, freckled, SIL.  They said he was using SPF 100 sunblock. I remember reading somewhere that it wasn’t just the number that was important, but I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t quote a source other than “I read it on the internet.”

Today, in USA Today was the real story about using sunscreen.

The truth about SPF. These numbers reflect how well a product screens out ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause burning and contribute to skin cancer.

However, the worser Rays are UVA rays.

• The skinny on UVA. Right now, labels don’t have to say anything about how well a product screens ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which penetrate deeper than UVB rays and contribute to skin aging and cancer.

If you’re buying sunscreen, break out the magnifying spectacles because you gotta read the fine print.

Here’s what you need to look for:

  • avobenzone,
  • oxybenzone,
  • titanium dioxide,
  • zinc oxide or
  • ecamsule (also known as Mexoryl SX).

One or more of those ingredients should be present in your sunscreen.

And forget the labeling that says “waterproof.” That’s just marketing hype. If you’re in the sun, you  will sweat. Sweat will remove the sunscreen. Nowadays, even cosmetics are made with the SPF-conscious in mind. Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, for instance, boasts an SPF of around 15.

There, now you are a sunscreen expert because you read it on the internet.

You’re welcome.

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