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SPF - Sun Protection Factor

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Lately I have been noticing small blotches on my face and fine wrinkles that hide most of the time. I worry more about the blotches and freckles than the wrinkles. I don't want my face to change from smooth and fair skin to blotchy and ugly. First I thought it is because I am getting old and it's only natural to get wrinkles and things on my face. But as the time went by I started noticing them more and more.

I started using facial cream that has an SPF 93 rating. And I also bought a tinted moisturizer for makeup. SPF stands for sun protection factor. In a sun protection cream this number refers to the ability of the cream to block the sun's harmful rays from damaging the skin. (Medicine.com)

More specifically, SPF is measure of UVB and UVA protection that ranges from 1-45 and above. UVB stands for short wave length sun rays that damage the outer layer and epidermis of the skin. UVA rays are longer in wavelength that reach deeper into the skin, damaging skin tissue and thus causing it to lose its elasticity, leading to wrinkles.

Creams with an SPF of 15 are the most commonly used. A SPF 15 cream filters out 92 percent of the sun's rays from reaching the inner layers of the skin, thus preventing damage. If you are using an SPF 15 cream it will delay the sunburn you might get in 10 minutes to 150 minutes. So you are able to protect your skin for 15 times longer than when you don't have the sun screen. An SPF 2 cream filters out 50 percent of the sun's rays and a SPF 34 filters out 97 percent of the sun's rays. (about.com guide to sun protection)

Exposure to UVB and UVA from sunlight cause most of the damage to the skin, leading to about 90 percent of the symptoms of premature aging and wrinkles. The most dangerous times of the day are between 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon--this is when the sun emits the most powerful rays. A person can delay the signs of aging by applying a sunscreen a half hour before sun exposure. The cream should be applied liberally over the exposed parts such as face, neck and arms. The cream or lotion should be applied in two to four hour intervals. It is better to wear the sun protection creams on a daily basis whether or not we go outdoors. The fairer the skin, the higher number SPF cream should be worn. Most of these creams and lotions do come in waterproof or water resistant versions.

Sunscreens filter and reduce the ultra violet radiation from getting into the skin by forming a thin film over the skin. Sun blocks physically block the radiation exposure and are recommended for extremely sensitive skin types. Both can be used daily and underneath the makeup. Regular use of these products help repair the damage on the skin. (American Melanoma Foundation.com)

As for me, I am enjoying my morning walks without having to worry about damage to my skin. Of course, I walk only before 10 in the morning or after 5 in the evening when I don't get radiation exposure as much. Taking care of our skin with precautionary measures such as sunscreens is important because, OUR LIFE MATTERS.

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EmpowHER Guest

Another great way to keep a youthful look is through facial toning exercises. For a wonderful program, try HappyFaceYoga.com

February 23, 2011 - 11:43pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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