Keeping The Sun Fun

Advancements in sun care protection are hot as researchers continue to seek more effective and longer-lasting sunscreens.

Wearing sunscreen is an important part of keeping summer fun from coming back to haunt you later. Not only can sunscreen keep you from burning, it can help prevent skin cancer later in life.

Most sunscreen agents lose their effectiveness and break down as they are exposed to the sun. The breakdown in sunscreen is unstoppable, because of the natural reaction between UV rays and sunscreens, but it can be minimized.

To test UVB sunscreens’ lasting ability, the FDA requires the use of solar simulators. However, these simulators have proven to be a weak method in analyzing a formula’s ability to last in natural sunlight. Although difficult and time consuming, in-sun testing is the best proven method to test photostability-how a formula withstands sunlight. Currently, only one sun care researcher is known to perform both simulated and in-sun testing.

By using both forms of testing, Florida-based Hawaiian Tropic has been able to produce formulas that offer broad-spectrum protection and don’t break down in the sun as much as ordinary sunscreens. Its new patent-pending SunSure™ Technology uses a mixture of ingredients to maintain the protective powers of Parsol 1789-a UVA absorber-in all of its products SPF 15 to SPF 70.

“A wise sunscreen choice is to opt for formulas that offer true UVA and UVB protection and won’t degrade over hours in the sun with proper use. Look for products containing Parsol 1789 for broad-spectrum UVA protection,” says dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., Montclair, N.J.

Experts also offer the following tips on keeping yourself safe with sunscreen:

• Sun protection is important for adults and essential for children-these harmful effects of UV rays are cumulative. Make sun care part of your daily routine.

• If your skin begins to turn red, get out of the sun.

• Sunscreens aren’t just for a day at the beach. Use sun protection for outdoor winter activities as well.

• Try to schedule outings before or after the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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