SPF Makeup — Does It Work?

SPF Makeup — Does It Work?

People are becoming much more keenly aware of the dangers of UV radiation thanks to recent scientific research. Skin damage from UV radiation is the number 1 cause of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, rates of skin cancer over the past 40 years have risen more than 200 percent, more than breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer combined. More than 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year.
The knowledge of the dangers of sun exposure has caused a new trend in the cosmetics industry. Makeup manufacturers are now making makeup products containing SPF (Sun Protection Factor), which are meant to double as both cosmetics and sunscreen. SPF cosmetic products include primers, foundation, lipstick, and more, which promise to deliver protection from the sun.
So, there is a very real question for consumers: Do these makeup products containing SPF actually work? Moreover, can they function as a substitute for regular sunscreen?

Does SPF Makeup Actually Work?

Short Answer: No. Cosmetic products containing SPF do not do an adequate job of protecting your skin from the sun’s rays. When it comes to UV protection, there is no substitute for a dedicated sunscreen.
Longer Answer: Technically, yes, SPF makeup can protect against sun rays, but it is still not an effective means to protect your skin.
Let’s talk about sun rays. UV radiation comes in two forms, UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are normally seen as the UV rays that cause skin aging, while UVB rays are the UV rays that cause sunburn. UVA rays have a larger wavelength and are less energetic, while UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and are more energetic.
Both UVA and UVB rays can damage your skin, but evidence suggests that UVB ray exposure is most associated with the risk of developing skin cancers. Since UVB rays are very energetic, they can damage the DNA in your skin cells, causing them to multiply out of control, which creates the malignant tumors associated with skin cancer.
The fact of the matter is that most makeup products with SPF do not have the right amount of coverage to protect against both kinds of UV rays. While SPF makeups may be able to guard against some of the lower-energy UVA rays, they do not have the coverage to block UVB rays, the most dangerous ones. Makeup products hardly do a good job of guarding against UVA rays, either, as UVA rays make up about 95 percent of the UV radiation from the sun.
According to Dermatologist Leslie Bauman, you would need 7 times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get adequate SPF protection. Moreover, proper sun protection requires you to reapply sunscreen every one to two hours. Imagine applying a half-dollar coin-sized blob of foundation every two hours of the day. Your face would be perpetually caked in makeup if you did that. Makeup products simply are not applied with enough regularity or in high enough amounts to make them effective at protecting the skin from sun damage.
Further, the chemicals that make SPF sunscreen so effective, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are often left out of cosmetic products because they change the spread and wear of the products. Some cosmetics lines use these chemicals as the basis for their products, though.
So, if you are going out in the sun, there is no substitute for a dedicated sunscreen. Experts recommend sunscreen with at least SPF 50, which blocks about 95 percent of the sun’s rays.

Protecting Your Face From Sun Damage

The easiest way to prevent skin cancer is by using sunscreen. Most skin cancers are caused by too much UV exposure, mostly from the sun but also from other human sources, such as sunlamps and tanning beds.

The two major kinds of UV rays that cause skin damage are UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are typically more energetic and associated with a greater risk of skin cancer, but UVA rays can also be dangerous. In short, there are no safe UV rays, so you should try to protect yourself from all of them. UV rays can cause cancer by damaging the DNA in your cells, causing them to multiply out of control and create malignant tumors.

With that in mind, here are some tips on how to protect your face from sun damage. From sunscreen to limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun, there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Use Sunscreen Every Day

Even if it is cloudy outside, you should use a bit on sunscreen every day. UV rays are different than visible light rays, so they can penetrate through the clouds and we cannot see them. Even on days when it is cold, you can still get sunburnt, as UV rays are not directly related to heat.

To apply sunscreen appropriately, use about 1 ounce (a shot glass or palmful) to cover the arms legs, neck, and face of the average adult.

Apply Sunscreen Every Two Hours

When you are out and about, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Make sure you cover sensitive areas, such as your ears, lips, and the tops of the feet. Even if you do not feel like you need to reapply, be diligent. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating. Even if your sunscreen is a high SPF, that does not mean you can go longer without reapplying.

Choose Broad-Spectrum Sunblock

Make sure to pick a broad-spectrum sunblock that guards against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the sunscreen is at least SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant. Sunscreens that have a high SPF but no UVB protection will prevent sunburn, but they won’t reduce the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreens come as lotions, creams, ointments, gels, wipes, and lip balms. Even some cosmetics, like lipstick and foundation, have sunscreen properties.

Be Careful Around Water and Sand

Both water and sand reflect UV rays and increase the chance of skin damage, so you need to be careful around those surfaces.

Limit Time Spent in the Sun

Try to limit the total amount of time you spend in the sun. If you are working outside, take regular breaks in the shade. The sun is normally the hottest and most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be the most careful during those times. Keep tabs on your shadow; if it is shorter than you, the sun is too intense, and you should find shade.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you are going to be spending an extended period in the sun, make sure to dress appropriately for the situation. Long-sleeved shirts and pants can protect you from the brunt of the damage, and dark-colored clothing blocks more UV radiation than light-colored clothing. Consider keeping a pair of shades and a hat on hand to protect your eyes, face, and neck.

Watch for Medications

Some medications, like some kinds of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and antifungals, can make you more sensitive to the sun’s rays, so make sure to consult with your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Top 10 Skin Conditions Dermatologists Treat

Close-up Of Doctor Examining Skin Acne Of Male Patient With Magnifying GlassAre you unhappy with your skin? You might have a skin condition that your dermatologist can treat. Dermatologists treat a variety of conditions, and some are more common than others. There are the top 10 skin conditions dermatologists treat.

 

1. Eczema

Atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, causes the skin to become red, itchy, dry, and inflamed. It can even make the skin scaly and cause red bumps to develop. Eczema can appear on your face, neck, wrists, elbows, hands, ankles, and feet. While there is not a cure, a dermatologist can create a treatment plan to control the symptoms.

 

2. Cold Sores

Cold sores are embarrassing and can be quite painful. You might think that nothing can be done, but a dermatologist can help. A dermatologist can provide you with medications and creams to treat cold sores and reduce the rate of occurrence.

 

3. Dry Skin

Dry, itchy skin is uncomfortable and can make you look older than you are. A dermatologist can treat your chronically dry skin so you no longer have to worry about the discomfort or embarrassment.

 

4. Psoriasis

Most people consider psoriasis to simply be a cosmetic problem. However, psoriasis can also itch and the affected area might be tender to the touch. Dermatologists have lots of treatment options for this chronic autoimmune disease. Oral medications, light therapy, and topical steroids are just a few of the treatment choices.

 

5. Vitiligo

If you suffer from vitiligo, you might feel self-conscious. The pigmentation changes are noticeable, and you are tired of people staring or asking questions. A dermatologist can restore some of the color that your skin has lost. There are various treatment options, and a dermatologist will choose one based on your skin type.

 

6. Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis refers to skin allergies that occur after you come into contact with an allergen or irritant. Treatment begins by identifying the source of the allergic reaction. Then, a dermatologist can treat the condition and help you avoid future outbreaks.

 

7. Rosacea

Does your face often look flushed? Do you notice skin sensitivity and inflammation? You might have rosacea. The condition likely flairs up and then goes away, and you might have noticed some triggers that make it worse. Fortunately, rosacea is a manageable condition when you seek treatment from a dermatologist.

 

8. Melasma

Melasma causes gray-brown patches to appear on the skin on the face. This is often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because it’s so common in pregnant women. Although, anyone can get melasma. When it occurs during pregnancy, it usually goes away after giving birth. However, if you don’t want to wait that long or your condition isn’t caused by pregnancy, a trip to the dermatologist is in order. From laser resurfacing to topical medications, your dermatologist has lots of treatment options.

 

9. Warts

Warts are caused by viruses that infect the skin. Cutting or damaging your skin makes you more susceptible to getting these unsightly growths. The virus that causes warts is contagious, so the problem can spread. If you need help getting rid of warts, visit a dermatologist.

 

10. Actinic Keratosis

Do you have scaly, rough spots on your skin? It might be actinic keratosis. These patches form due to overexposure to the sun and it is possible that they can turn into cancer. A dermatologist needs to diagnose the condition and then provide treatment.

 

Don’t Suffer From Skin Conditions

If you have a skin condition, you are not alone. Your dermatologist is there to help you with treatment, so schedule an appointment today.

What Is Psoriasis?

illustration of a doctor holding a blackboard with psoriasis textYou’ve likely heard of snakes shedding their skin, but you probably don’t know that humans do the same thing. Your body makes new skin cells and replaces the old ones constantly. In fact, over the course of a month, your body will replace all the skin you see. Although, sometimes the immune system sends too many signals to the cells, causing the process to go haywire. If your body produces skin cells in days instead of weeks, the excess skin cells will build up on the surface. This autoimmune disorder is diagnosed as psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

There are five types of psoriasis. You can be diagnosed with a single type or have two or more types.

 

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common of all the types. This condition causes scaly and thick patches that are referred to as plaques. You can get plaque psoriasis on any part of your body, but the scalp, lower back, elbows, and knees are the most susceptible.

If you have this condition, you could have a single patch by itself or several patches that touch. While the size of the affected area varies, the symptoms are usually the same. Plaque psoriasis is extremely itchy, and it can also cause stinging and burning sensations. Some people also complain about it being painful.

 

Inverse Psoriasis

Have you noticed smooth, red patches in the folds of your skin? The patches likely feel raw and are sensitive to the touch. This is inverse psoriasis. The patches remain smooth due to the moisture in the skin folds.

If you have inverse psoriasis, you likely have another form of psoriasis on other parts of your skin. For instance, many people gain weight after developing plaque psoriasis. The weight gain puts them at an increased risk of getting inverse psoriasis.

 

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis is the second most commonly diagnosed form of the disease. Instead of appearing in patches, you will have small drop-shaped spots on your body. Some people get guttate psoriasis on their faces or scalps, although the limbs and torso areas are the most likely to be affected. If you have plaque psoriasis then develop an infection, you could end up with guttate psoriasis. For instance, if you get strep throat, you might end up with guttate psoriasis as well.

 

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is extremely rare. The extra skin cells look like burns and often cover large portions of the body. You also might experience dehydration and run a fever with this condition. If you have erythrodermic psoriasis, it is considered a medical emergency.

You are more susceptible to getting this form of psoriasis if you already have plaque psoriasis. It can develop if you don’t control your plaque psoriasis, have an allergic reaction, or sustain a severe sunburn.

 

Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis presents as pus-filled bumps, typically on the feet or hands. During a flare-up, you might feel like you have the flu. You can experience fever, chills, muscle weakness, and a loss of appetite. While this condition can develop on its own, you can trigger its occurrence if you have plaque psoriasis and stop taking your steroid pills without tapering off the medication or if you develop an infection.

 

Controlling Psoriasis

Psoriasis is usually a chronic condition, meaning it lasts for an entire lifetime. There isn’t a cure for this autoimmune disorder, but you can control it with the right treatment protocol. A dermatologist can help you identify your triggers to control the outbreaks and recommend a skincare routine. Your dermatologist also might prescribe medication.

Psoriasis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but your dermatologist can help you alleviate the symptoms. You don’t have to worry about this condition interfering with your life.

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