Tag Archives: prod-463508

  • How SPFs are Calculated

    If you’ve ever wondered exactly how those SPF numbers are calculated on your sunscreen, you’ve got some sunburnt volunteers to thank.

    SPF manufacturers test their products’ sun protection factor by slathering it on volunteers, at a rate of 2 mg of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin, and then blast them with UV rays that simulate sunlight until a burn appears. They then calculate the time it takes to create the burn on the protected skin and divide it by the time it takes to burn unprotected skin. The result is an approximation of the amount of time you can spend in the sun wearing a specified SPF until you burn.

    But because most people use sunscreens improperly, sunburns still happen. According to recent research, people apply much less than what is used in the SPF calculations—as little as 1/5 of the amount used on the test subjects. Because of the complex calculations used in the SPFs, this exponentially cuts down the sunscreen’s effectiveness. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult should use about 1 oz of sunscreen per application, about the size of a shotglass. And make sure you use at least a teaspoon on your face.

    So the higher the SPF the better, right? Well, not always. “Higher SPFs give people a false sense of security,” says an esthetician at Pharmaca Santa Fe. Indeed, studies show that people who use high-SPF sunscreens feel safer staying in the sun longer, and therefore do. After swimming, washing or toweling off, even adequate amounts of high-SPF sunscreen can and will lose effectiveness.

    “The trick is to reapply,” the esthetician says. “All chemical sunscreens break down after a few hours.” Our estheticians usually recommend nothing higher than an SPF 30, reapplied every two hours. Mineral sunscreens can also be washed or rubbed off, so reapply as frequently as you would a chemical sunscreen.

    For more on finding the right SPF for you, visit with a practitioner or esthetician at a Pharmaca near you, or check out our online selection of favorite sunscreens from brands like Goddess Garden, Supergoop, Alba and Badger.

  • Sun Protection Decoded

    The world of sunscreens can be confusing these days, and chances are, you need some help decoding which sun protection is best for you and your family.

    Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has developed a sophisticated system of rating sunscreens for their safety and effectiveness. And fortunately for you, Pharmaca carries a wide variety of sunscreens marked with the EWG's stamp of approval. (And don't forget that covering up in the sun means it's harder for your body to make vitamin D-make sure you integrate supplementation into your summer regime!)

    New at Pharmaca

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream
    For long-lasting, high-SPF protection, turn to expert sunscreens from La Roche-Posay, one of Europe's best-selling skin care lines. Anthelios is water resistant and protects skin on both face and body. Save 20% in July!

    Packed with organics

    Goddess Garden Facial Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
    Protect and repair with sheer UV-blocking ZinClear and 70 percent certified organic ingredients! Goddess Garden's latest creation includes skin-healing aloe and green tea to repair skin from the sun's damaging rays.

    Great for a day at the beach

    Vanicream Sunscreen Sport SPF 35
    This non-greasy, long-lasting formula offers broad-spectrum protection, ideal for outdoor sports. Vanicream is formulated with transparent zinc oxide and octinoxate.

    One to stash in the car (or your purse)

    Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, in SPF 15 and 30
    Badger's SPF formulas are water resistant, safe for children of all ages, block both UVA and UVB rays with zinc oxide, and thoroughly moisturize while they protect your skin.

    For the face

    MyChelle Sun Shield, SPF 28
    Mychelle's line features dermaceutical-grade and bioactive ingredients that offer powerful but gentle protection. Zinc and titanium oxide offer full-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, along with soothing aloe and fortifying soybean oil.

    Makeup Sunscreen

    jane iredale PurePressed Base, SPF 20
    One convenient compact provides a foundation, powder, concealer and UVA/UVB SPF 20 sunscreen all in one place. Natural looking and weightless on the skin, this compact also creates less waste by offering refill inserts. Plus, this base is one of five jane iredale products that have also received the Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation. (Compact and refill sold separately.)

    Just for lips

    Alba Botanica TerraTint, SPF 8
    Alba's lip-smacking sunscreens come in a variety of subtle colors to enhance your sun-kissed glow. Zinc oxide provides chemical free sun protection and organic oils, beeswax and peppermint soothe and cool.

    Stop in to Pharmaca today to explore our selection of top-rated sun protection.

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