By: Kayla Kelley
Natural Sunscreens as an Alternative
It’s HOT, HOT, HOT!!!
We are in the dead of summer here in Tucson. Everyone is seeking relief and heading for the water, but even if you’re here in town, the walk from the car to the office is enough to get a sunburn. Protecting our skin from the sun’s powerful UV rays is very important! This involves picking the right type of sunscreen! There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical and mechanical.
Whats the Difference???
●A chemical sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb and reflect UV rays, these chemicals are often harmful to not only us, but the ecosystems we are swimming through.
●Mechanical blockers actively block our skin to the exposure of UV, this is typically zinc-oxide which forms a barrier against the sun. If you want to reduce the number of chemicals in your body and you want to protect the environment, then mechanical blockers are for you! The next step is to decide what ‘SPF’ sunscreen is right for you. SPF is the sun protection factor of the sunscreen, in general, the highest number available is going to be the best at preventing skin cancer. However, many factors affect which SPF is right for you.
● If you have more melanin in your skin, you are less susceptible to burning and skin cancer and can use a lower SPF, and if you are on the lighter side you should stick to a higher SPF.
● How long you are going to be outside plays a big role. The longer the time spent in the sun, the higher the SPF you should choose.
- There is a UV index everyday that describes how many UV rays are making it through the ozone. On days with a higher UV index, you’re going to want a higher SPF to protect your skin.
- ○ Tucson’s Daily UV Index