Personal Care

Who needs makeup with SPF?

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Makeup with SPF is for anyone who needs to protect her face from the sun
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A woman spending any time outdoors is someone who needs makeup with SPF

The simple, short answer to who needs makeup with SPF -- which means "sun protection factor" -- is everyone. That is, unless you live under a bridge and never see the light of day.

SPF is technically the measure done by a lab of the efficacy of a sunscreen. The higher the SPF in your suntan lotion or makeup, the more protection that is offered against ultraviolet radiation, which results in a sunburn. The basic ingredients in SPF are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

If you wear a skin care product that contains 15 SPF this means that it will delay the onset of a sunburn in someone who would normally burn in 10 minutes to 10 minutes X 15, or 150 minutes. The 15 SPF enables a person to remain in the sun 15 times longer without burning.

Sunshine, as much as most people love it and yearn for it, is a double edged sword. Not only can it burn your skin but it can result in premature aging, which is called photo-aging, and it weakens your skin. Your skin becomes less resilient, less elastic and thinner. Sun exposure can cause blotchy, red patches to appear on your skin and make veins more evident. Sun is also drying - it will parch your skin. Deep, deep wrinkles will appear as will brown spots, liver spots and freckles.

Of course, over exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, which everyone wants to avoid.

The three kinds of ultraviolet rays that wreak havoc on skin include UVA, UVB and UVC. Premature aging of the skin, the onset of skin cancer and wrinkling are caused by UVA exposure. UVB rays cause sunburns and can interfere with the function of the immune system as well as result in skin cancer. The most dangerous ray is UVC, which, fortunately, canít penetrate the ozone and does not reach us.

The usefulness of SPF depends on the skin type of the person who is wearing it; the amount of sunscreen that is absorbed into the skin; how often the sunscreen is re-applied and the amount that is applied and what the wearer is doing while wearing it. If you are swimming, you are going to have to re-apply sunscreen more often.

If you naturally have dark skin you have more melanin in your skin, which protects you against skin cancer and ultraviolet light. Those with fair skin have a much greater risk of getting sun cancer. Historically, people have known to avoid the intense mid-day rays and stayed inside their homes or found a shady area to rest in.

Make-up that includes SPF has two great benefits.

You beautify AND protect your skin in one fell swoop, 24-7, 365 days a year. Donít forget, there is sunlight in the winter, too. It isnít only the summertime UVA and UVB rays that damage your skin. When the sun is reflecting off of snow it can be very intense. Donít slack in the winter regarding skin care and protection.

Why anyone would bristle at the prospect of wearing make-up that contains SPF is a mystery.  You are doing yourself a favor, one that you are going to be grateful for when you are 75. It is unrealistic to think that the majority of people are going to pull a Nicole Kidman and stay out of the sun and remain an ethereal whiter shade of pale year round or always remember to wear broad brimmed hats when outdoors. People like being out in the sun and engaging in outdoor activities and along with that comes sun exposure.

Do your skin a favor and get in the habit of wearing make-up that contains SPF.


Beauty and Makeup Tips: Sunscreen Dermatology

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