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Is Your Sunscreen Doing More Harm Than Good?

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Is Your Sunscreen Doing More Harm Than Good?

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What is your role and how do you provide optimum healthy sun protection for your clients? Educate clients about the importance of sun protection, and provide them with the tools to obtain and maintain healthy skin. You want peace of mind when it comes to what you recommend for your clients’ skin. There are other factors that play into how well a sunscreen formula performs, depending on the type of work you are doing and what your clients are using in their daily skin care regimens. If clients are on vitamin A derivatives, other acid-based correctives and lighteners, or they are receiving skin-peeling treatments or microdermabrasion, you not only have to consider the value of their protection, but also how that formula will interact with the disturbance to the skin and the sun/heat exposure.

If your client prefers mineral-based sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, but dislikes the texture, color or outcome, get creative ... as long as it doesn’t affect the sunscreen’s efficiency. For instance, to eliminate dryness or create a creamier feel, blend a mineral-based sunscreen with a moisturizer or hydrating serum. For a tinted look, combine foundation or concealer with the sunscreen before applying it to the skin.

Always encourage clients to wear some type of sunscreen. The best form of sunscreen is one they will use—this especially applies to men. In addition to sunscreen, recommend that clients spend no more than 10 minutes each day in direct sunlight, or at the very least, seek shade, avoid midday sun, and wear broad-brimmed hats and sun-protective clothing. Remember, UV rays are among the most damaging elements to the skin and a primary cause of aging. A good SPF is about the health of the skin as well as maintaining a more youthful appearance.