Sunscreen 101: Prevent Sunburn During Your Vacation


We’re excited for you to be vacationing down in Florida with us and we’d rather not have you become peeling lobsters while you’re out in the sun all day. To help you prevent sunburn we’ve invited Raw Elements to share their expertise on the subject, enjoy and stay cool!

Let’s face it, sunscreen labels can be confusing. However, it is very important to understand the labels in order to make the appropriate sunscreen selection for your family, especially if you live or are vacationing in areas close to the equator such as Florida.

Raw Elements understands and advocates the importance of sunscreen label knowledge and puts that knowledge to use by choosing ingredients that make it the safest and healthiest choice for your family. In fact, for two years in a row Raw Elements has been given the #1 Rating for Safety and Efficacy from The Environmental Working Group.

 Understanding UV rays and how they affect the skin will help in making and educated decision in determining the sunscreen you choose.

There are two types of ultraviolet rays of concern to our skin: *UVB  and *UVA

 * UVB rays are primarily responsible for reddening or “burning” of the outer layers of skin. UVB damage and sun burning can cause skin cancer. Each incidence of sun burning to a peel is believed to increase one’s risk of Skin Cancer by 50%.

* UVA rays, the “tanning” rays, are deeper penetrating and responsible for long term skin “aging”, wrinkles and cellular damage. UVA rays are now believed to be responsible for the most aggressive and potentially deadly form of skin cancer, Melanoma.

To easily remember the effects of the two types of ultraviolet rays, think; UVB-burning/sun burn, UVA-aging/tan. Over exposure to both UVA and UVB rays is carcinogenic and can cause Skin Cancer.

The single most important job of an effective sunscreen, is to truly attain and maintain, balanced Broad Spectrum protection. Broad Spectrum protection refers to a product’s ability to effectively mitigate the harmful effects of both UVB and UVA rays. Under the new 2013 regulations, a product marked ‘Broad Spectrum’ will now be mandated to filter a required amount of UVA to match its SPF(UVB) claim. It is crucial, as a consumer, to seek sunscreens that contain active ingredients which provide Broad Spectrum protection and apply and reapply properly. The manner in which the consumer applies said sunscreen will dramatically affect its performance.

 You can feel confident with Raw Elements Sunscreen as it delivers true balanced Broad Spectrum protection for both UVA/UVB rays.

Another important factor is location, for example, families living in or traveling to Florida must pay closer attention to their sunscreen selection and application. As a rule of thumb, the closer you are to the Equator the higher the UV strength will be and a higher level of Sun protection will be needed year round.  The main reason for this is that at the Equator the Sun is more directly overhead, and therefore has less Ozone and atmosphere in general to filter the UV rays whilst traveling to the Earth’s surface.  Reduced Ozone also lets a larger amount of UV-B through, which is very harmful to humans. So if you live in an area of thinned Ozone, it is particularly important to be aware of the UV levels on a day to day basis. **

Raw Elements is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin, it never runs, stings eyes or clogs pores making it the most sensible choice for your family at home and while traveling, it can even be applied to wet skin.

How To Choose Sunscreen Effectively

 1. Choose Broad Spectrum UVA Protection. Donʼt let the term ʻBroad Spectrumʼ on the label make the sale; look for the ingredients: * Avobenzone (Parsol), *Mexoryl SX, *Titanium Dioxide, and *Zinc Oxide. Of these four, Zinc Oxide is the only ingredient that physically blocks the entire range of UVA & UVB. Look for Zinc Oxide percentages to be over 18% if Zinc Oxide is the only active ingredient active.

*Raw Elements has a Zinc Oxide percentage of 23%

2. Use SPF 30(+), beware lower or higher numbers. It is a widely accepted fact that SPF 30 is the benchmark needed to provide adequate UVB protection. In FDA mandated, controlled testing, SPF 30 sunscreens filter 97% of UVB rays while SPF 50 only filters 1% more at 98% and SPF 100 would only offer 2% more at 99%. In real life setting applications it is very unlikely that filtering more than 97% of UVB rays is plausible.

Furthermore, extremely high SPF claims may provide a false sense of security while possibly doubling the amount of chemicals needed in the formulas and risking excessive UVA exposure.

*Raw Elements has an SPF of 30

3. Choose ʻVery Water Resistantʼ 80 Minutes, a proven track record, and use caution with spray on products. The term Very Water Resistant is regulated by the FDA. It represents a sunscreen’s ability to remain effective after 80 minutes exposure to water, while Water Resistant refers to 40 minutes. Waterproof and All Day Protection claims are misleading. A product that is Very Water Resistant will likely offer better sweat resistance. Ultimately, a Very Water Resistant sunscreen that has performed well for you in the past is a wise choice in the future. Use caution with spray or powder sunscreens, the applicators expel excess amounts of chemical ingredients which immediately become inhalants and pose a potential health hazard.

*Raw Elements is ‘very water resistant’ beyond 80 minutes

How To Use Sunscreen Effectively

1. Sunscreen is the last line of defense, not the first. It is imperative that a complete approach toward sun protection is used, contrary to popular belief; no sunscreen alone will keep you totally protected. It is always suggested to stay out of peak sun between the hours of 10am and 2pm, seek shade and wear protective clothing and hats. Avoid extended periods of exposure, never allow skin to sunburn and avoid a deep tan, as both UVB and UVA rays cause skin cancer.

2. Apply the correct amount. In order for sunscreen to be effective as advertised, the correct amount must be applied. The FDA regulates that all sunscreens must be SPF tested in the amount of 2mg of formula per square centimeter of skin. What this means is that an adult wearing only shorts must use one full ounce of sunscreen per application to cover all the exposed skin properly. Approximately a teaspoon size amount is needed to adequately protect the face, ears and neck. Using less than the correct amount drastically reduces the sunscreens ability to protect the skin.

3. Apply early, reapply often. The vast majority of sunscreens require early application, at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to be effective. Reducing this time period will reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen. It is imperative to reapply sunscreen often, at least every ninety minutes during long periods of sun exposure. Regardless how ʻWater Resistantʼ a formula claims to be, it is wise to reapply after any water exposure, sweating, or towel drying. Applying early and reapplying often will give the sunscreen the best chance to perform effectively.

*Raw Elements can be applied to wet skin, and under water

Hope you enjoyed these great tips from Raw Elements on choosing the perfect sunscreen during your vacation, remember peeling skin is never in style 😉



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