Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Your SPF Protecting Your Face Or Body?

Sunny Days Are Here Again

As we turn the corner toward summer and the many outdoor activities which are a big part of enjoying our sunny hot weather, now is the time to refresh our SPF in our sunscreens, to which this includes mineral makeup and liquid foundations.

Many of us think that our sunscreens and mineral makeup powders, and the SPF that is provided will sustain for as long as we own the product, especially if the product is preserved. But then, after a long day spent out in the sun, we end up with a sunburn even though we slathered on the stuff. Unfortunately, preservatives have little to do with keeping a sunscreen from degrading due to oxidizing and deterioration of the sunscreen ingredients. Preservatives are for the benefit of keeping mold, fungi and bacteria from contaminating the product only.

You can still experience sunburn if a product that has been kept for more than a year, is used. It is always best to purchase fresh sunscreen every year, including any mineral makeup foundations you have had for the same time frame. Over time, light, air and humidity all play a key role in deterioration of the ingredients necessary for keeping the sun at bay. Especially with liquid sunscreens since they will actually breakdown faster than dry powders. The perfect reminder can be marked by the onset of summer, such as Memorial Day Weekend.

Mineral Makeup Is Not Fool Proof

Many mineral makeup companies tout the ability to protect the skin from the suns' rays due to the sunblocking ingredients Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide within the formulations. Both of which are highly photo stable and have now been shown by the EPA to not be photocatalytic. And some companies have possibly spent the hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to receive their SPF rating through the FDA approved testing, but one thing that seems to never be mentioned in those infomercials or other websites, is how much must be applied to sustain the level of sunscreen being claimed.

In the case of liquid foundations, the SPF rating can be achieved similarly as any application of a straight sunscreen product due to how the coverage is achieved, especially since most are using synthetically derived ingredients. With mineral makeup, coverage is subjective to what the user wishes and when using mineral makeup, in most cases, it takes far less to achieve nice coverage than say, a typical liquid formula. The reason?......minerals have more opacity which in turn gives better coverage with far less of the makeup being necessary.

Sunscreen coverage, in the case of mineral cosmetics, can be as low as a 4 to as high as 20 SPF. The average being claimed is around 15. This range is based on literally how much is applied and would not generally exceed this number. It also depends on whether the sunscreen main ingredient is Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide or a mixture of both, the latter providing the best protection.

Then of course if a liquid makeup or liquid sunscreen is being used which contains synthetically derived sunscreens, the user will find these are far more unstable and less photo stable than the ingredients found in mineral powders. This is why it is recommended to reapply every 2 to 4 hours depending on the level of activity.

Finding The Best Protection

Mineral makeup will provide some protection, but remember that it will only go as far as how much is applied. To achieve the higher SPF claims made by many other companies, the minerals would literally need to be applied with a heavy hand, which means you will also look made up and in many cases the basic mineral makeup formulations can get mask like and cakey on the face.

Women enjoy nice coverage with the use of very little and achieve a nice flawless complexion using a light hand. However, this also offers far less SPF protection which may be on average, in the low range of sun protection factor.

With the two ingredients being used as main ingredients identified as sun blocking ingredients, there is no doubt an SPF will be achieved on the skin, but it would take experimentation to see to what degree the face is protected from getting sunburned. One thing to remember also, is darker foundation shades have a lower SPF available due to the reduced levels of the minerals which not only create sun protection but are how color is lightened, whereby darker color, less zinc or titanium is being used.

Dermatologists Recommend

The actual recommendation put out by dermatologists is to supplement all makeup, whether it is in the form of mineral makeup or liquid foundation with an actual FDA approved sunscreen.

Why?.......because sunscreens are not designed to add color or camouflage our skins' imperfections the way makeup does, but at the same time we can't glop on our makeup, minerals or otherwise, since this would make us look completely unnatural.

Sunscreens are designed to disappear into our skin through the use of nano scale particles so we do not get that white cast to our skin, whereby we are achieving the full level of SPF determined during lab testing with a single application. Also, this is achieved only, as long as we follow the recommendation of dermatologists, which is a shot glass worth for our entire body to achieve the recommended SPF claimed by the manufacturer.

The only confusion for many women is the reapplying of their liquid sunscreens when they are wearing makeup, since this is not practical. Again another reason why the preferred choice to supplement a facial sunscreen is with the use of mineral makeup. The staying power and the photo stability of minerals far exceeds any other form of sunscreens and is always the perfect compliment for additional protection outlasting your liquid sunscreen. So the sustainability is further improved. Personally, I have never sustained a sunburn on my skin using just my minerals over my ONATI Skin Care, however I do like to use medium coverage to conceal past sun damage more so than going sheer.

Best part in using our mineral cosmetics, is you can touch up if necessary with so little, especially for keeping skin looking perfect if you are out in the sun for extended periods. And you'll rest in the knowledge they will not cake, melt or fade, and will always remain natural looking despite the level of application you may or may not do throughout your day of outdoor activity.

The Best Choice

For the ultimate in protection and for keeping your face as natural looking as possible, continue to use a combination of your favorite sunscreen and our mineral makeup, which will be the best for lasting throughout your day. But if you can't stand the feel of a liquid sunscreen on your face, then simply experiment with your application of our minerals to see what level of sun protection you achieve.....and don't forget our mineral powders are exceptional for absorbing excess perspiration during those outdoor sport activities, keeping you looking fresh and beautiful even in our hottest days ahead.

One more added protection, buy yourself a stylish sun hat and physically block the sun from your face. Just remember to be aware of bounce off reflection of the sun since you can still burn from this type of sun exposure. (pools, patios, sand, windows and any other reflective surface)

I have only learned all too well the damage the sun inflicts as I recall the removal of my basal cell carcinoma from my left temple, last fall.....followed up tomorrow with my Dermo to see how things are going. You can barely see the scar anymore.....he did a great job. So please protect your delicate face since it is also the most susceptible to sunburn and damage.

Beauty Tip: If you are wondering at what point to apply a liquid sunscreen....wash, tone and moisturize with your favorite skincare regimen first, followed by your sunscreen and then apply the mineral powders.....basically doing what your skin loves first, followed by the protection necessary for keeping your skin from further sun damage.

Have a Safe Memorial Day Weekend and my thoughts and prayers are with the families and their loved ones overseas.

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