June 23, 2021

What You Need to Know About Sunscreen

The song goes, ‘summertime and the livin’ is easy,’ but what it fails to mention is that there’s a massive fireball in the sky and we need to factor that in. 

A lot of people think that if it isn’t summer, or if they live in a climate that’s not that hot or has a lot of cloud cover that they don’t need sunscreen, This is not the case. 

Everyone needs sunscreen. Whether you’re outside, in your car, or in your house, you need sunscreen. In fact, sunscreen is one of the most important things you can use to prevent skin aging. Done and done.

Not so fast. As important as it is to use sunscreen daily (and liberally), it’s equally important to find products that protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, and are safe for you and the environment.

The FDA recently conducted a study finding that the six most common ingredients used in sunscreens stay in the body much longer than first suspected. While further testing is needed and using any sunscreen is still better than not, keep the following in mind– 

  • Out of the six chemicals flagged by the FDA, the most worrisome is oxybenzone. While reported percentages vary, oxybenzone has shown up in a large number of sunscreens on the market and can have serious negative effects on your body and the environment. 

  • Oxybenzone has been shown to affect coral's reproductive DNA and increase its susceptibility to bleaching among other things. It can cause this damage with shockingly low doses whether it’s entering the oceans via swimmers or washing in as product residue left on beach sand. 

  • Beyond covering when you go outside, there are products that are deemed reef (and body) safe in the form of physical sunscreens. Of course, even some physical sunscreen ingredients can be harmful if levels rise high enough, but by and large physical sunscreens are considered to be the best option for both the coral reef and your body.

But what is physical sunscreen as opposed to chemical? In short terms, a chemical sunscreen acts like a sponge while a physical sunscreen acts as a shield. Instead of sinking into your skin, physical sunscreens sit on your skin and deflect the sun’s rays, making them safe and still super effective. A key term to remember is ‘non-nano’, which means the particles are big enough to not pass through the skin’s surface. 

By and large, formulas with titanium dioxide and non-nano zinc oxide tend to be top of the list for physical sunscreens, and they both have their parts to play. 

Titanium dioxide is great for blocking UVB rays which cause sunburns, but zinc oxide offers more important protection. Zinc oxide blocks UVA rays which can cause wrinkles, skin damage, and DNA changes. UVA rays can also pass through glass (which is why wearing sunscreen inside is important!) 

Looking to get the best of both worlds? A broad-spectrum sunscreen is advised since they block both A and B UV rays. 

Of course, keeping your application game up is key when using any type of sunscreen. 

So remember, sunscreen needs to be applied daily, and while no sunscreen can provide 100 percent protection, the FDA recommends SPF15 for day-to-day use and increasing SPF on days when the UV index is higher. 

All Atticus sunscreens have been formulated to provide broad-spectrum coverage, are 100% reef safe, made without oxybenzone, and utilize one of the highest quality non-nano Zinc Oxide available on the market.

Use the Essential Moisturizer (SPF15) for a dependable daily sunscreen in temperate climates; the Light Moisturizer (SPF25) when you need a lightweight ride-or-die sunscreen for high UV days, humidity, or when working up a sweat; and the Super Moisturizer (SPF15) for when your skin needs a little extra help in cold weather or dry environments. 

Although an SPF is higher, this doesn’t mean you should stay out in the sun longer. Seek shade, cover up, and protect yourself against lengthy exposure to spend your summer the way it should be spent– easy.


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