ASCP Skin Deep

MARCH | APRIL 2020

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Gotta Love It What you need to know about sunscreen so your clients will actually use it by Mark Lees, PhD I recently read an interview featuring a prominent dermatologist. The writer asked him, "Doctor, what is the best sunscreen?" The dermatologist answered, "The best sunscreen is the one that people will actually use." As a "many-year" practicing skin therapist, I certainly agree! As skin care professionals, we all know that sun exposure is the number-one enemy of the skin, the main cause of premature aging, and the top cause of skin cancers. Knowing these facts, we should make it a point to educate every client on the importance of using sunscreen daily. The trick to getting clients to actually wear a good sunscreen is to match them with a product they love. You'll want to suggest a product that's not only a great sunscreen, but one that also meets their skin care, beauty, and lifestyle needs. Following are some examples and requisites. BROAD-SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN Broad spectrum means the product shields not only ultraviolet B (UVB) rays but also ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. UVB rays cause most sunburns and common skin cancers. UVA rays are the longer, deeper penetrating rays that destroy collagen and elastin in the dermis, which causes major symptoms of skin aging and is also believed to be a major cause of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer. Make sure all your sunscreen recommendations are broad spectrum—probably the most important factor when making suggestions. To state that a sunscreen is broad spectrum, the FDA requires that the product undergo a test called critical wavelength. Critical wavelength determines the spectrum of light shielded by the product. The results must show that the product protects against both UVB and UVA rays. KNOW YOUR SPFs Sunscreens must have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to qualify for broad- spectrum status. SPF is the best known "rating," but it only measures how long it takes to get inflamed from sun exposure— in other words, the length of time a person can stay out in the sun without burning. expertadvice SKIN SOLUTIONS

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