The cancer alert and awareness comes to life more during the summer months than in the winter (although the blizzard and snow is no excuse to skimp on sun protection for sure). While sifting through the hundreds of sunscreen options available (those that promise a lowly but still effective SPF 15 and those that promise the moon with their SPF 100 claims), we were fascinated by MD SolarSciences for several reasons. The company was founded by dermatologists who really knew their science. They were concerned by comments they heard from men and women around the world who “never thought” that cancer or melanoma would happen to them.
The alarming truth is that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with over 3.5 million cases diagnosed annually. Most (around 90%) of non-melanoma skin cancers have a correlation with the levels of UV ray exposure your skin has. Around 1 in 62 people will die of melanoma every day. We were delighted to catch up with Robert J. Friedman, MD, M Sc (also known as Dr. Glamm Bob on Twitter) over a luncheon a few weeks ago to learn the deets on sunscreen and the line.
The statistics are alarming but the remedies are simple. For one, avoid indoor tanning beds if you can help it because the first exposure to tanning beds will greatly increase your Melanoma risk by 75%. A lot of people (myself included) find the whole idea of sunscreen a bit of a pain in the neck to deal with. It’s like wearing a seat belt though — once you get in the habit of doing it, it’s really easy to get in the rhythm of doing so. The new products by MD SolarSciences are truly top notch and give you several options (there is a Sensitive Skin Formula that is fragrance-free and that’s light and moisturizing); and there’s a No Touch Body Spray that gives you an easy application. This is personally my favorite. It has SPF 40 and perfect for the beach. The spray dries quickly and has zero fragrance, which is yet another reason to invest in this product.
All of MD SolarSciences’ sunscreen formulations are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, PABA (because 40% of the population is sensitive to it), fragrance and parabens, and oxybenone because it has the ability to penetrate the skin and perhaps cause hormone disruptions.
And now, a tutorial on what SPF numbers mean (you knew this was coming):
1) As I’m sure most of you know, the higher the SPF number doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. When we say SPF 15, it means that the skin will take 15 times longer to REDDEN with the protection rather than without. So with an SPF of 30 or 40, you know that the skin will take that much longer to redden if you apply it.
2) There is no statistical significance between SPF 30 and 50, studies have found, because most (93%) of the sun’s UVB rays are screened using an SPF 15.
The fact that MD SolarSciences offers options in the SPF 30 and SPF 40 variety makes sense because they block 97% -98% of UVB rays. Remember, the UVB rays are the burning rays. Many moisturizers don’t shield against the sun because they lack a “broad-spectrum” component in them.
We love the options in the MD SolarSciences family. The Mineral Screen Tinted Gel has SPF 30 and is also non greasy and good for acne. Apply the sunscreen in dots around your face and body (1/2 inch dots around 1 inch apart) and blend. The Ultra Sports Stick SPF 40 is perfect for the athlete and good to apply to face and lips. The Quick Drying Spray SPF 40 produces a fine mist and is suitable for all over protection including the face (excluding the eyes, mouth and nose areas). There is also a light Sensitive Skin Formula Mineral Screen Lotion with SPF 40 that feels hydrating without leaving a tacky, icky feeling on your skin.
Priced from $16 to $36, these sunscreens are highly effective and highly affordable. Purchase them at physician offices or online at mdsolarsciences.com.
Tell us how you are taking the steps to protect your skin from melanoma this summer. What added steps or initiatives will you incorporate into your lifestyle?
– Charu Suri
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