Wear Protective Layers, Cover Up, Sunscreen is Not Enough
Sun protection is a must. The UV light is ultra-reflective at our mountain altitude in all weather conditions year-round. Covering and protecting your skin is necessary when recreating, especially in Jackson Hole’s altitude. Sunscreen is not enough and some even debate its efficacy or argue chemicals in sunscreen cause added harm. Consider you want to shield not just your facial skin, arms, and legs. You also need to protect neck, ears, eyes, especially eyelids, forehead, nose, the back of hands, and scalp from harmful sun damage.
Skin Cancer is Preventable
We are all vulnerable to developing disease and cancerous conditions. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people under the age of 30, especially women. Approximately 70k new cases are diagnosed each year. Know the signs. Be SunSmart and practice Slip! Slop! Slap! Seek! Slide! Bring layers and be ready for your day outdoors. Take breaks, seek shade, and know when you’ve had enough. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Avoid overexposure by being prepared and taking precautions.
When recreating in Jackson Hole, “Take Simple Steps”
First Cover Exposed Skin with Protective Clothing & Accessories
Hiking, Biking, Boating, Golfing, Fishing, Skiing
Sand, Water, Snow, and Bright Surfaces Increase Your Sun Exposure
Consider UPF 50+ clothing rated for sun protection. Solumbra, Prana, Athleta, OR/Outdoor Research, Northface, Patagonia, Coolibar, Lilli Pulitzer, Orvis, and STIO, are just some of the companies that make SPF/UPF sun protective clothing.
Wear UV-Absorbent Sunglasses
A Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat protects neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
EXTREME full sun, at PEAK RAY TIMES 10-4 p.m., can call for EXTREME protection: Neck gaiter, infinity scarf, sun parasol/umbrella, even gloves may be necessary.
UVA and UVB Rays
UV-A: longer range rays, penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer.
UV-B: shortwave ultraviolet rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin.
UV Index in Jackson Hole: Often “Extreme”
After just 5 minutes of exposure, your skin can absorb enough UV radiation to develop pigment changes and sunburn. UV Index is a scale that tells you how strong the UV rays will be for a day, so you know how much sun protection you will need and what to wear. It is based on a scale of 1 – 11+ Jackson Hole is often from 10+, which is EXTREME=high risk/harm. Unprotected skin can/will burn in minutes. Avoid “Peak Rays” and/or cover up during most intensive times of the day. Look at your shadow. If it is shorter than you UV is high. See the “shadow rule” and Check today’s UV Report: Jackson Hole
SPF / Sun Protection Factor Rating. Higher Rating is Not Better
SPF is the Sun Protection Factor rating. For example, SPF 30 lets you stay outdoors 30 times longer than you could without sun protection before you get a minimal sunburn. According to FDA guidelines, lotions with ultra-high SPF ratings, like 70, offer marginally more sun protection than SPF 30, so don’t rely on these lotions to offer much additional protection.
Does Chemical-Free Exist In Any Skin Care?
A chemist would say there is no such thing as “chemical” free and talk about inorganic versus organic compounds. Some products omit carbon-based chemicals and claim “chemical-free”? Due to labeling practice and made-up terminology acceptance the public is highly uninformed. This is a side topic which is a huge debate in skincare.
Does Sunscreen Preventing Skin Cancer
Dr. Marianne Berwick, Chief of Epidemiology at the UNM School of Medicine, published an often quoted and misquoted article, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Sunscreens”, stating, “sunscreens protect against sunburn, but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma” she expands on this to say it’s because the behavior of individuals leads them to overexposure perhaps even “abuse” of sunscreen.
Elizabeth Buzney, MD of Harvard Medical School, assistant professor of dermatology and Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee member advocates it is proven that sunscreen (does) help prevent skin cancer. Interview: Sunscreen Safety.
U.S. Lacks Modern Sunscreen Technology Due to FDA “Purgatory”
Some say the U.S. sun protection is lagging and outdated. Do consumers in Europe, Korea, Australia have sunscreens with more tools against the more dangerous UV-A rays and bolstered UV-B protection? Research says, YES, the U.S. has blocked advances in sunscreen technology formulation.
Even EWG /Environmental Working Group, an organization opposed to overuse of chemicals, backed The Pass Coalition/Public Acess to Sunscreen and the bill to grant greater access to new technology/ingredients for cosmetic formulators to bring about “next generation of Over-The-Counter (OTC) sunscreens.” The EWG is diligent in protecting consumers and they are onboard with enacting legislature for use of ingredients in use in Europe since 2000, the 8 “new” ingredients, (that)”provide broad-spectrum formulations for more efficacious product.”
It is 4 years after the bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA), was signed into law. The Act was designed to streamline the approval process and allow for collaborative work between the FDA, the White House, Congress, health providers, consumer organizations and sunscreen manufacturers to establish a transparent process for pre-market approval of sunscreen components. Still, in 2018, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to complete the review of applications for any new sunscreen components even though the need and technology exist.
Oxybenzone and octinoxate are UV-filtering ingredients said to damage reefs and pristine waters. A study led to the Hawaii Senate Bill introduced by Will Espero to potentially ban harmful reef-killing chemicals that possibly interrupt hormones in aquatic species. If passed, the bill will ban the use of these chemicals, except for individuals with prescriptions.
Chemical or Physical or Both?
Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds, such as octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone and the worrysome oxybenzone. These create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. Often referred to as chemical or organic absorbers.
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which sit on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. Often referred to as physical blockers.
Tips To Shop Sunscreen
Look for “broad spectrum” sunscreen includes both a physical/blockers and chemical protection
Look for both UVA & UVB protection.
Look for Eco-Cert, Eco, Reef Safe, you can also find sunscreens that are paraben free, gluten free and cruelty-free
Look for non-nano particle, non micronized zinc oxide, (though it’s debated, see above in the “chemical” debate, that, they are technically mislabeled.)
Simplify your routine by choosing moisturizer, primer, BB( Beauty/Blemish Balm) or CC cream (Color Correction) that contain SPF
Choose something you will use and reapply
Apply products from lightest to heaviest, i.e. serum, moisturizers first. Allow each layer to dry & absorb
Shake sunscreen well
Apply sunscreen BEFORE you go outside (It’s suggested to let it absorb 20 Minutes )
Use a lip balm with SPF
Repeat. every 2 hours, or, according to time on the label, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Use your products from thinnest consistency to thicker consistency
moisturizer, primer, BB or CC cream, (better yet if they contain SPF), THEN apply makeup.
Finish your look with an SPF setting spray
Reapply by touching up every 2-3 hours.
To Reapply OVER makeup, use a sunscreen powder like Colorescience, a mineral based SPF in a compact, or reapply setting spray with SPF.
Remove Sunscreen and Makeup. Thoroughly wash face and skin in the evening.
IMPACT Melanoma – The ABCDE Signs of Melanoma. Know Your Moles
CDC Center For Disease Control-What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Skin Cancer?
WHO World Health Organization – Sun Skin & Cancer Prevention Handbook
We can agree it is important to protect yourself from the sun and find products and from new habits you will practice. At Sena Spa, we seek to use effective and efficacious ingredients and making informed decisions oriented toward healthful practices. We realize some are advocates for not using sunscreen due to concerns about chemicals proven to be harmful such as oxybenzone. We are continually researching in search of practices that do the least harm to ourselves and our environment.
Disclaimer: Information above is intended to encourage your own investigation for healthful practices.
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