When it comes to sun safety, there are the basics that we can all agree on: cover up with a hat or tightly knit clothing, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and avoid long-term exposure. Surprisingly, even on a National level other major protocols that we would think would be agreed upon across the board, are still debated by professionals like pharmacists, dermatologists, and oncologists.
Last year, the Canadian Sun Safety Guidelines got their first update in 20 years. The updates covered things like avoiding the sun at it’s hottest, and what time that is in Canada with climate change accounted for; what type of fabrics are best suited as a protective layer; and a discussion of the appropriate SPF to use. While we are pleased that many respected associations had input in these updates, and that the topic is getting well-deserved attention, we are disappointed with the lack of discussion on many key prevention techniques.
Here are the mains reasons why we feel these updates need another look:
- No mention of Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen: In a recent post, we discussed the benefits and risks between chemical and physical sunscreens. We feel it is best to avoid the toxic chemical sunscreens, and rely on physical blockers. Ingredients in chemical sunscreens have been linked to multiple cancers and hormone interference. The dangers of chemical sunscreen should be highlighted in our National guidelines and physical sunscreens should be encouraged.
- Reapplication: While the guidelines do encourage the public to reapply often and “use lots”, they do not specify an actual timeline. “Often” is too subjective and leaves room for error, which could result in damaging consequences. A reapplication every 90 minutes is necessary when directly exposed to the heat, a metric which should be included.
- Seasonal weather: The intro to the Sun Safety Basics talks about “sunny days”, when really, guidelines should cover year-round sun exposure. Even in a seasonal climate like Canada, the sun’s rays are on us no matter what the weather. Damaging rays can make it through clouds, and even in the shade, reflections off of sand, surfaces, and even snow can be harmful (goggles tan anyone?!).
As the article announcing the changes says, “…it’s kind of confusing if you hear one message from one group that doesn’t exactly fit with the message from another.” These changes are a step in the right direction, and bring light to very important health concerns, but we feel that they still have a long way to go to properly educate our country.
*Sixty nine year old male, truck driver for 28 years. Approximate age difference from one side of the face to the other is 20 years.
While prevention is the number one step towards staying safe from the sun’s harsh rays, repairing damage already done is another important step. Everyone can tell when they get a nasty burn, but there is so much unseen damage happening to our skin just from our everyday lifestyles.
We have in our arsenal a few favourite products that assist in revitalizing and repairing your sun-exposed skin.
- Aox + Serum: Cascading Antioxidant Serum is a high potency multi-C cocktail that drenches skin in an infusion of powerful anti-oxidants. Stable Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and superior ORAC scoring Kakadu Plum, Astaxanthin, Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E offer advanced protection from photo-aging and dermal instability caused by free radical aggression. This fast penetrating formula combats UVA /UVB damage while delivering intensive levels of skin revitalizing and collagen synthesizing nourishment.
- Restore: Correctinol Creme with Argan, Alpine Rose and Grape Skin Plant Stem Cells offers a unique solution for those with mature skin looking for mild daily exfoliation and exceptional hydration. Infused with a cocktail of anti-oxidants such as Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid and Argan Oil, moisture is delivered to the skin via water based humectants which leave skin feel smooth as silk. Mild Flower Acids improve the barrier function and hydration of the skin resulting in smoothing, improved clarity, and uniformity of tone.
- Rejuvenate: Revolutionary Fibroblast Growth Factor Serum targets age related degradation, reactivating collagen and youth restoring dermal activity. Boosted with Swiss Apple, Gotu Kola and Centella Stem Cells, this dynamic serum boosts skin density, texture and firmness and has been found to be more effective than Vitamin C in Clinical Studies. Also helps correct abnormal pigmentation caused by sun exposure.
As we wind down from summer, it is important to evaluate how much exposure your skin has suffered in the brightest months and how to care for your sun-kissed cells. Our team of medical estheticians is passionate about keeping your skin safe. Talk to us to learn what treatments and products are best suited to your lifestyle to keep compounding damage to a minimum.
Urban Body Laser
777 Hornby St #860, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2G3