My latest it thing is powder SPF. I discovered this one from RAW Minerals back in November last year but didn't use it until summer came along.

Every time I start to write something about sun protection, I feel like I don't know enough. It is such a controversial topic. Over the years since I started my blog ( we will be three soon !) I've educated myself on various sides of the story. I am just curious like that and can never blindly stick to one party. I like knowing everything and making a regime that suits me from the knowledge I have.

Few Facts I've Learned

1. We need Vitamin D. From grade school on it is drilled into us that sun provides us with our daily dose of Vitamin D and our bodies cannot generate Vitamin D without the help of sun.
But there is more here
- you need have at least half you body exposed
- exposed for at least 15 minutes.
- the time differs based on your weight, skin color,location, age and many more factors.
to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

2. UVA / UVB - there is a lot to talk here. Its mostly boring but keeping in with #1 - UVB is necessary for Vitamin D generation. Sunscreens block the UVB and hence the vitamin does not get generated.

3. You need to apply a shot glass full (4oz) of sunscreen for the SPF to be effective.

4. Higher SPF is not directly proportional with higher protection. "SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. (SPF 30, that old-timer, holds its own, deflecting 96.7 percent)"

5. "If you apply half the amount, you get the protection of only the square root of the SPF. So applying a half-ounce of SPF 70 will not give you the protection of SPF 35, but 8.4" - NYT

6. You need to reapply sunscreen after every two hours - generously. Refer to #3.

7. Many sunscreen lotions out there contain toxic ingredients. Look out for ones that are paraben free and oxybenzone free.

8. Continued beauty of our skin has more to do with diet than just watching out for sun damage.

9. We all need to get some sun everyday in moderation.

10. In addition to UVA / UVB protection with sunscreens, antioxidants play a major role in protecting our skin from harmful rays that come with too much sun exposure. Invest in skin care and foods that are high in antioxidants.

11. Products with additional SPF like moisturizers and others are said to be more volatile / unstable compared to the ones without SPF. So always remember to keep them in a cool dry spot where the sun does not reach it. And since we are not going to apply 4 oz of moisturizer better buy one without sunscreen, one with antioxidants and plenty of other goodness.

What Am I Doing

If it smells like chemicals and feels like chemicals - its probably chemicals. That's the way I feel about sunscreen lotions. But these are chemicals we need to keep our skin from burning during prolonged sun exposure. So I keep from slathering 4 oz of chemicals on my body unless I absolutely must. The best things to do is to avoid baking in the sun for long hours and I do just that. I avoid the sun as much as possible.

And I've taken a liking for powder sunscreen. I've realized I don't need SPF 100 everyday for what little sun seeps into my day. Most sun exposure I get is when I'm in the car traveling back and forth during peak sun hours. So I apply hand cream with SPF on my hands and powder SPF on my face. These are great for so many reasons.

They are light
I can apply them over makeup.
I can reapply as many times as I want without ruining my makeup or looking oily.
I feel good that they are not the first layer on my face. They sit on top of moisturizer and tinted moisturizer.

The powder SPF I am currently using is the one from RAW Minerals - Active Veil SPF 18. It is paraben, oxybenzone free and contains many additional naturally derived antioxidants.Though it looks a white-ish powder, it leaves no white cast on my brown skin. Its just like a good translucent powder. I use it all over my face and neck just before I get out. And if I'm gonna be out again - I keep a kabuki brush and reapply. It makes me feel happy that I get just as much everyday protection as I need and I don't think I need a whole lot !

One other thing I must start doing is taking Vitamin D supplements and get a little sun at least during weekends uniformly. I've been getting loads of antioxidants from the 2 pounds of organic blueberries I picked up last weekend ! Yay for good skin days !

Reading Material

I've learned a lot about the SPF numbers form this article here in NYT . I urge everybody to read it. Also follow Kimberly Snyder's blog - she is an amazing raw food writer who writes a lot about beauty through food !

Indian Girl

This article contains a sample product sent for consideration by PR. For more details on the disclosure policy please refer to it at the bottom of the page.


preeti said... @ July 14, 2010 at 7:56 AM

great post IG, I was not aware of the fact that using half the recommended amount of SPF gives only the square root of the protection...:-(. Thats bad news considering the amount of sunscreen I use!! I can never use 40z, coz I would be a greasy mess then!

Soos said... @ July 14, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Well, now I know what to do with that Raw Minerals veil that came in my BeautyFix. Mahalo!

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