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What You Might Not Know About Sunscreen

sunscreen factsIf you're one of the many people concerned about sun protection, you have probably read a number of news reports and stories on how to properly use sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer and age spots and the myriad benefits of sunscreen. The Huffington Post recently ran a great story uncovering some surprising facts and tips about sunscreen use. What may surprise you is the history of sunscreen as well as the truth behind spray-on sunscreens. Here's a look at the top take-aways from The Huffington Post story: A Little Sunscreen History Long before it was a widely known fact that the sun causes sunburn, some early thinkers believed the sunburn culprit was from heat. This belief was disproven in 1820 when an English physician named Sir Everard Home conducted an experiment. He covered one hand in a dark cloth and left the other hand exposed to the sun. The hand that was left in the sun got sunburned, while the other one remained untouched by the sun. In 1889 a man named Johan Widmark found that ultraviolet rays were the dangerous sunburning rays. The First Sunscreens Some of the very earliest forms of sunscreen were hats, umbrellas and mineral crusts or herbal extracts made from such things as clay, tar and iron. We've thankfully come a long way from those days of wearing pasty, thick ingredients on our skin to protect it from the sun. The modern day sunscreens are made with nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are light-reflecting mineral compounds. With the new nanotechnology, we have the ability to wear sunscreens that are invisible and do not leave us looking like a ghost. Chemical ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone. The way those chemical compounds work is by absorbing UV rays and releasing their heat. The SPF concept first came about in the 1960s. SPF stands for how long the sunscreen is protecting your skin from the sun. The Truth About Spray-On Sunscreens You may have heard recent warnings about the safety of spray-on sunscreens. There were reported incidents of a specific brand of spray-on sunscreens becoming flammable, but that brand has since been removed from the market. If you are going to use a spray-on sunscreen, make sure to spray it close enough to your body to get proper coverage. Also, do not spray the face. Use a traditional suncream for the face, as you do not want to inhale the spray on sunscreen chemicals. When you do apply spray-on sunscreen it's best to do it outside.  
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Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022
212.283.3000
contact@schweigerderm.com

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