Summertime is a fun time. It brings millions of tourists to beaches, lakes, and other travel destinations around the world. While this time of year may bring lots of smiles, fun, and memories, it can also bring skin damage, sunburns, and much more. Our skin is the largest organ in our anatomy, and SPF can play a crucial role in helping to protect it. It’s hard to think that there was once a time that we didn’t understand the effects that the skin could have on our skin. Today, however, there is extensive research that shows that UV rays and sun exposure can have detrimental effects on our skin.
However, it is also important that we expose ourselves to the sun as well. Because of this, it is essential that you understand the benefits of utilizing sunscreen consciously so as to protect your skin best while also being able to reap the benefits that sun exposure has to offer for overall health. Before we dive into the benefits of sunscreen and how to best benefit from its use, let’s take a stroll through history to learn more about sunscreen through the centuries!
Sun Damage is an Ancient Enemy – A Journey through Sunscreen History
Long before we had a firm understanding surrounding sun damage, around 3100-3300 BC, the Egyptians utilized ingredients such as jasmine, lupine, and rice bran to prevent tanning. These ingredients all have now been proven to be beneficial for the skin, with rice bran being shown to absorb UV light, jasmine playing a role in DNA repair, and lupine has been shown to lighten the pigmentation of the skin. The Egyptians weren’t the only ones to implore nature to help aid in protecting their skin from the sun. The Greeks were documented using olive oil, while some Native American tribes embraced a form of pine needle known as Tsuga canadensis, which has since been proven to help soothe sunburns.
The Evolution of Modern Sunscreen
Today you can find hundreds of different sunscreen brands worldwide. The first recording of tannins being utilized as sunblock is accredited to Otto Veiel of Austria. The tannins, however, produced a darkening effect on the skin, preventing it from being commercialized. In 1891, a German Doctor recommended the use of chemical sunscreens after a landmark study was published two years prior, proving that UV radiation can cause Erythema Solare (redness of the skin from UV exposure) and burns.
In the years to come, various chemists, researchers, and pharmacists explore the use of different chemicals and ingredients for sun protection, including quinine, chestnut extract, benzyl salicylate, para-aminobenzoic acid, and red veterinary petroleum, to name a few. Some of these ingredients later become the most popular active ingredients in sunscreen.
The first commercialized sunscreen, however, is accredited to Swiss Chemist Franz Greiter, which was released in 1946 and known as “Gletscher Crème,” or Glacier Cream. This formulation was based on a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. However, it also contained other ingredients such as caprylyl glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, lecithin, and butylene glycol, among others.
Traditionally, commercial sunscreens contain harmful chemicals. However, in the 1980s, mineral sunscreens started to become more popular, offering consumers protection from harmful UV rays and sun damage that didn’t contain all the harmful additives. While Greiter’s Gletscher Crème included titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the base of modern mineral sunscreens, it also contained potentially harmful ingredients such as silicone-derived compounds. You can learn more about the benefits of mineral sunscreens here.
Benefits of Utilizing SPF Consciously
Now that we know more about how modern sunscreens came to be, let’s look at five benefits of utilizing SPF sunscreen options consciously.
One of the most obvious and important reasons to utilize sun protection is to prevent sunburn. Sunburn is an inflammatory reaction that is caused by damage from UV radiation on the skin’s outermost layers. Sunburn can lead to premature aging and hyperpigmentation. Repetitive sunburn also increases the risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Shields Harm from UV Rays
UV rays are the most dangerous aspect of sun exposure. A good SPF product will provide adequate protection from these damaging rays. Mineral sunscreens like the ones offered by Potency No. 710 are made utilizing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which sit on the top of the skin preventing the UV rays from penetrating the skin. Nonmineral-based sunscreens absorb the rays and convert them to heat through a chemical process.
Prevent Premature Aging
SPF protection not only prevents premature aging by preventing sunburns that can lead to skin issues like hyperpigmentation, but it also prevents UV damage that can lead to the loss of collagen production, which is a major underlying cause of wrinkles. Studies have found that utilizing sunscreen daily leads to a drastically lower risk of skin aging in comparison to those that only use SPF protection intermittently.
Lower Risk of Skin Cancer
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that regular daily use of SPF 15 or higher sunscreen may lower the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent. Several studies have suggested that the conscious use of sunscreen can decrease the risk of both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers.
Minimizes Blotchiness and Redness
The use of sunscreen has also been shown to help prevent redness and blotchiness from skin exposure as well as flare-ups of common skin conditions such as rosacea. According to Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York, utilizing a tinted moisturizer with SPF will “Not only will it neutralize the appearance of redness, but it will also reduce the flaring that comes from sun exposure.” She also recommends utilizing zinc-containing sunscreen because it “blocks UV light and has a skin protecting benefit.”
As you can see, there are many reasons why it is essential to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid the sun or always lather on sunscreen before venturing outdoors. Let’s explore.
Why You Shouldn’t Always Wear SPF
Despite the harm that exposure to UV rays can cause, it is essential that we spend time in the sun and that we expose our skin to the sun. There are many benefits to doing so. The important thing to remember is what times are best to provide that exposure and when it is best to opt for SPF/UV protection. If you are going to be in the direct sun for a prolonged period of time, definitely wear sunscreen. If you are just walking outside to the mailbox and chatting with the neighbor for a few, it probably isn’t dire that you apply SPF first.
Benefits of Being in the Sun
There are many proven benefits to being in the sun. These include but are not limited to the following.
- Boosts Serotonin Levels (Improves Mood and Energy Levels)
- Boosts Vitamin D Levels
- Helps Heal Wounds
- Improves Sleep Quality
- Kills Bacteria
- Reduces Stress
- Regulates Immune System
- Treats Jaundice, Eczema, Acne, and Psoriasis
- And much more…
A Potency No. 710 Sunburn Testimonial
While we love to help protect people from experiencing sunburn, sometimes it still happens due to a lack of protection. When this occurs, Potency is here to help. The pictures below are of the teenage daughter of one of our team members who experienced a painful sunburn on top of a hormonal teenage acne flare-up. Not only was the use of the Gold Serum and Higher Good moisturizer able to get rid of the burn within just a few hours as well as prevent peeling, itching, or pain from occurring, but it was also able to drastically clear up the existing acne!
We have also received reports of individuals who didn’t utilize SPF but who had applied the Gold Serum to their face before heading out for the day and who experienced sunburn everywhere except where they applied the serum. We aren’t claiming that the Gold Serum offers sun protection, but from the testimonials we have received, it is definitely a better protector than wearing nothing at all!
Now that you are armed with knowledge surrounding the history and benefits of sunscreen check out the mineral sunscreen options offered by Potency No. 710 here!