Guide to Sunscreen & SPF

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Sunscreen & SPF Guide

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

With over 5 million diagnosed cases in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer. Fortunately, it’s also very preventable. Educate your clients about the dangers of sun exposure, not only for the sake of their beautiful wrinkle-free skin, but for the sake of their health!

Did you know? Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure accounts for 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma
  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent!*

Sun Exposure and Aging

  • An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun!
  • People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.

What You Can Do

These facts aren’t meant to terrify you or your clients. They’re simply part of building awareness of the widespread dangers that misinformation and lack of education around sun exposure and sun protection can cause.

Since most of what we consider “aging” is actually caused by the sun, it’s preventable! It is vital to educate about the DAILY use of good-quality sunscreen in everyday life, even if you’re indoors, and to know how to properly use sunscreen at the beach, pool, or anytime you’re outdoors for extended periods of time.

Sunscreen Even If You’re Not Sunbathing

Our skin absorbs a fair amount of UV radiation daily just from being near windows or when walking get the mail or while driving in the car. Clothing does a wonderful job at providing SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, but since most of us are not covering up like beekeepers, the delicate skin on our hands, lips, face, neck, and chest is often exposed anyway.

It’s important to wear a daily sunscreen on any exposed parts of the body. But remember, sunscreen isn’t magic. It does not last all day, no matter if the bottle says “waterproof” or “full spectrum.” Sunscreen needs to be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplied every few hours.

Sunscreen Outdoors or On Vacation

When going outdoors on a hike, to the beach, at the pool, or on vacation, it’s even more important to know how to properly choose and apply sunscreen. Water and light surfaces like sand reflect and intensify the sun’s rays. And even a “waterproof” formula won’t last all day.

How Much Sunscreen To Use: Many people do not use enough sunscreen to adequately cover their entire exposed body and face. And not using enough means you’re not getting the full protection factor! For most adults, use 1 ounce, or a shot glass worth, 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours, or after any time spent swimming or sweating.

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses, and dark clothing can help reduce your exposure time as well.

What the “SPF” Number Really Means

The “Sun Protection Factor” of a sunscreen refers to how long it will take for the UV rays to redden your skin, and is a variable that depends on each particular skin type. For example, if you normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun without any sunscreen, then an SPF 15 product will protect you for a little over two hours, if used properly. 10 (minutes) x 15 (SPF) = 150 minutes of protection.

Using an SPF factor of 20 or above is recommended for daily use, and SPF 50 when outdoors for longer periods of time. However, sunscreens over SPF 70 are not known to be more effective. There’s simply no way to completely protect the skin from long-term exposure, except for staying out out of the sun.

Remember how the SPF system works when staying outdoors all day. For example, if you have fair skin that normally burns in 5 minutes, then even a strong SPF 70 can only protect you from most sun damage for close to 6 hours (5 x 70 = 350 minutes) and only if applied regularly every few hours and after swimming. After that time period, it’s important to get out of the sun or risk UV radiation. More sunscreen won’t do the trick after this point.

Sunscreen in makeup is a great way to protect your face in the morning, but after a full day at work, it’s not a good idea to think you still have sun protection on when you leave the office and head outside.

Sunscreen Skincare Guide

Top Professional Sunscreens

Urge your clients to apply sunscreen to the face daily to help protect from damaging and aging UV rays. Note that sunscreen in makeup works well too, but only if you’re applying it liberally over the ENTIRE face. Apply sunscreen as a last step, after other skincare products.

Under Makeup/Alone:

Hyper Sheer SPF 50 Daily Moisturizer and Hyper Sheer SPF 50 Matte Finish Daily Moisturizer by M.A.D Skincare.

Both provide an SPF of 50 and contain anti-oxidants and Vitamin C to help protect against free radical damage. The SPF factor is provided by a combination of physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients.

On Guard Skin Screen SPF 30 Physical Sun Protection and On Guard Tinted SPF 30 Physical Sun Protection by M.A.D. Skincare.

Both contain an SPF of 30 and use only physical sunscreen agents, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

Light Day Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 37 from Circadia by Dr. Pugliese.

This best-seller is also recommended for daily use and contains specifically targeted ingredients that offer proven broad spectrum protection.

BALANCE™ Bio-Active Complex SPF15 by ATZEN.

This an all natural face moisturizer and sun protection for dry and sensitive skin.

PROTECT™ Natural Protection Face and Eyes SPF30 by ATZEN.

Another daily sunscreen good even for very sensitive skin, post-peels & after surgery.

SPF Primers, BB Cream & Foundations

Photo Guard SPF 50 Matte Finish Primers in Neutral, Medium and Dark, by M.A.D Skincare.

These versatile, multi-purpose matte-finish primers offer light-weight coverage, anti-aging protection and sun protection all in one treatment designed to minimize the visible signs of aging

Photo Guard SPF 50 Self-Adjusting Foundation Serums in Neutral and Medium by M.A.D Skincare.

This self-adjusting foundation serum provides a moisturizing yet non-greasy liquid foundation with SPF 50 and recommended for fair to neutral skin tones. When applied, this innovative product goes on white and instantly adjusts to match your skin tone!

2B Bio Défense SPF18 in Light, Natural, and Medium.

This tinted emulsion also protects the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

For the Face & Body:

Solar Energy Body Lotion SPF 15 by Shira.

Treat your skin to SPF plus a boost of hydration from natural minerals that come from the Dead Sea! With soothing aromatic oils including Lavender, Bergamot and Chamomile.

Hyper Sheer SPF 50 Water Resistant Body Sunscreen By M.A.D. Skincare.

The hyper-sheer formula is ideal for those who prefer non-greasy lightweight moisture and water resistance with the maximum benefit of SPF 50.


View all the available sunscreen products on California Skincare Supply here and here!

*These facts and many more can be found at SkinCancer.org

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