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Sun Protection Factor, what’s that?

Sun Protection Factor ~ what’s that !!

“Make sun cream labels clearer” say the experts

According to a recent poll, 80% of people don’t understand what SPF protection means and 56% didn’t know SPF only protects against UVB rays not UVA rays.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, tell us SPF is “the level of protection offered against UVB rays alone” it’s the star system that refers to UVA protection. Sunscreens are only calculated for a reduction of sunburn (one of the acute effects of UVB), protection against sunburn does not mean protection against skin cancer. The latest edition of the WDDTY magazine says “health warnings have become so extreme that most of us are starved of vitamin D”. Sun avoidance and high factor SPF’s are putting our health at risk.

So what is the difference between the two types?

UVA light contributes to skin ageing and the development of skin cancer as it penetrates deeper into the skin. It has a consistent intensity throughout the day, all year round and can penetrate through cloud and glass.

UVB light is more intense and leads to the redness and sunburn that is indicative to some degree of DNA damage which in turn can potentially lead to genetic mutations and skin cancers.

Have you heard of Free Radicals: Public enemy No: 1, our bodies create them naturally, particularly when exposed to sunlight or stress, amongst many other external influences. Free Radicals trigger peroxidation, which leads to oxidative damage, which in turn leads to cell breakdown, resulting in skin ageing and internal disease.

A recent comment made by a USA medical centre has highlighted the following “and this is how when wearing a sunscreen shows that the ingredients in commercial sunscreens actually increase the risk of skin cancer and induce premature ageing”. Sunscreens are expected to offer significant protection from UV-induced skin damage and oxidative stress, however simple tests are detecting ‘free radicals’ in sunscreens exposed to UVA, so is the very thing that is designed to protect us in fact causing us more harm than good ?

Have you heard of Antioxidants: Antioxidants are reducing agents,  they reduce and limit the effects of oxidative damage. Our cells are well equipped with antioxidant enzymes and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging molecules, however their scavenging capacity is not endless and may become saturated with the daily dose of oxidative stress, called life…

So where can you find Antioxidants?

In Vital Oils, not petroleum oils, just pure unadulterated vital oils, packed with antioxidants. Scientifically, Peach Oil is considered to have a ‘strong antioxidant activity’, Grapeseed Oil is considered to have ‘powerful antioxidants’ and Avocado Oil is considered ‘rich in antioxidants’. The theory of directly applying an unadulterated form of antioxidants, which can be absorbed by the skin and will restore antioxidant enzymes, was raised in a paper by the Journal of Investigative dermatology in 2003. So, it would seem that, simply put, by applying the oils topically (eg: onto the skin) they form a defence line and work from within to fight against free radical damage.

So where can you get these Oils ?

The Essentially Yours Company has known for years the immense benefits of antioxidants and it’s one of the main reasons why we specialise in making products with vital oils. So it’s no surprise that we have in our range two products (one for the face and one for the body) that will deliver these antioxidants, in a way that experts are highlighting through research, referring to ‘endogenous protection’ which means ‘from within’  when applied directly to your skin.

NES133 Sensitive Oil (with Peach, Avocado & Grapeseed Oil) for the Face

NES141 No: 7 Sensitive Oil (with Peach, Avocado & Grapeseed Oil) for the Body

Vital Oils, Essential Oils, Plant extracts and vegetable derived ingredients are a healthy, natural way to look after your skin on a daily basis, just as you would through a healthy diet.  At the same time they also provide a super boost to the skins hydro lipid film (this is what keeps your skin supple). Using the facial oil is simple, apply it under your blending cream or moisturiser to give you the benefits.

The best way we’ve found to use the Body Oil:

From personal experience, we’ve found that the key to using the No: 7 Body oil is to make sure that you don’t let the skin burn in the first few days, so for the first 2-3 days of your holiday,  apply the Body oil regularly onto damp skin (little and often) and only stay in the sun for short spells, no more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Especially if you’re in the sea or the pool, apply the oil after you’ve washed off the chlorine from the pool or the salt from the sea. Personally my skin tells me when it’s had enough with a slight tingle to the skin, I then know it’s time to head for the shade or to cover up.

We’ve found that it’s vital to stick to this routine, if you don’t do this and you start  to burn, your skin won’t recover so you won’t be able to achieve that lovely golden glow.

Once you’re past the first 2-3 days you will find that the skin starts to take on a healthy glow which you can then build on with regular use of the body oil.

(If you’re out and about sightseeing or shopping then applying the NES106 Body Lotion over the top of the No: 7 Oil works really well to lock in the oil and leave a matt finish)

An added bonus is to shower at the end of the day with our Peppermint & Cucumber shampoo & body wash (NES301) followed by our lovely Sensitive skin body lotion (NES106) to lock in the tan.

If after all of the above, you really can’t bear to be parted from your SPF cream, put the NES133 Sensitive Facial Oil or the No: 7 Sensitive Body Oil on first and then apply your SPF product over the top…job done.

Sun Fact: SPF 50 only filters out 1% more UVB light than SPF30.

If you need further help please don’t hesitate to contact us at The Essentially Yours Company…01299 253994