Picking The Right Sunscreen Is Not As Easy As It Used To Be


The truth is that sun safety is always in season. Did you know that the sun’s rays are just as damaging in the winter and fall as they are in the summer? However, with summer upon us it means that it’s time for picnics, losing weight to fit your favorite bathing suit, trips to the beach and increased chances of getting the dreaded sunburn. Several studies in the last 30 years have shown that exposure to the sun can cause damage to the skin and blood vessels and even lead to all three types of skin cancer.

Sunburn is a type of sun damage to the skin that is easily seen. This sun damage is caused by the invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation found within the sun’s rays. Avoiding direct sun when possible, covering up whatever you can, and using a sunscreen on those areas that are exposed to unavoidable sun offers the best protection. Getting the proper protection from those harmful rays is important and sunscreens are just one of many measures that you should use to get the best protection from the sun’s rays. Sunscreens should not be used to extend time in the sun.

Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens

Always choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection. Broad-spectrum protection means that it protects against all Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and most of the Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation. While sunburns and skin cancer risks are usually blamed on UVB radiation, UVA radiation is also an important contributor to increased skin cancer risk. UVA radiation is also responsible for skin ageing and tuning down the human immune system.

SPF, or Suntan Protection Factor, only indicates the protection offered by the sunscreen’s ability to prevent tanning due to UVB radiation. SPF is a number used to describe the amount of protection offered by the sunscreen product against a suntan. Traditional narrow-band sunscreens with SPF that were greater than 60 did not demonstrate that they provided any additional protection compared to products with SPF values of 60. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) implemented new rules for all sunscreens and broad-spectrum products.

UVB wavelengths are from 280 to 320, UVA wavelengths are from 320 to 400, and the US FDA requires substantial protection from 280 through 370 to qualify for the ‘Broad Spectrum’ label.

Anthelios XL and Ombrelle Sunscreens Offer Protection

Here at Canada Drugs we want you to enjoy the sun safely! Two of the leading broad-spectrum sunscreens recommended by dermatologists and pharmacists in Canada are Anthelios XL and Ombrelle. Both of these sunscreen products include the UVA filter Mexoryl SX and/or Mexoryl XL plus other effective sun protection agents.

Mexoryl SX has been available in popular sunscreens like Ombrelle in Canada for about 15 years and is an effective UVA and UVB filter and is water-soluble. Mexoryl XL was just recently approved by Health Canada and is an oil soluble form of Mexoryl that allows for formulations of sunscreen that are more water-resistant. Anthelios XL and other sunscreens with Mexoryl XL also protect against a broader spectrum of the UVA range, offering you greater protection against UVA rays. The result is sunscreens with ultimate sun protection.

Sun Safety Tips

Spending time in the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce this risk, we recommend that you regularly use sun protection measures including:

Use sunscreens with broad-spectrum SPF values like Ombrelle or Anthelios XL and contain titanium oxide regularly and as directed. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, more often if you’re sweating or jumping in and out of the water. Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Daylight Saving Time), when the sun’s rays are most intense.

Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun; for example, long-sleeved shirts and, pants. Hold them up to the sun – if you can see the sun through them, the sun can see you. You will likely need to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen under sheer materials.

Wear big sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats. Ball caps are not really hats, and will not protect your ears. Consider wearing a neck-protector on the back of your hat.

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