Once again, we can thank our Coolibar Facebook fans for another successful sunscreen forum. If you missed out on the action, here is a short recap of our session with sunscreen/skin care expert Natalja Millsap from Sweetsation Therapy.
Q. Does your baby lip balm have SPF protection? Is it safe for babies to eat this stuff?
A. There is no SPF protection because we believe that the balm gets eaten faster than it would last for sun protection. But it does contain natural sun protection in a form of Shea butter. It’s about 4%…Other natural oils also add sun protection, like raspberry SPF4, hemp SPF6, grape seed SPF4 and avocado SPF4.
Q. What if I sweat a lot in the summer? How do your products hold up against water/perspiration?
A. They hold up pretty well, however some of it comes off with the sweat. So re-application is essential.
Q. Can your sunscreen be used on extremely sensitive skin? We are always looking for sunscreens that work and won’t cause a rash.
A. Yes it can! … Titanium Dioxide is the best UV blocker if you have very sensitive skin.
Q. What area of the body do people usually forget to cover with sunscreen? What area is the most sensitive to sun?
A. I would say areas with the thinnest skin. Top of your feet, hands, neck. So you have to pay attention to those too.
Q. What about my baby…putting sunscreen on his hands when he is always putting his hands in his mouth?
A. That’s something that comes with the territory. They always do that. At least make sure sunscreen is applied on the back of his/her hands because that’s the area that is exposed to the sun the most.
Q. What ingredients are safe in sunscreens?
A. ZnO and TiO2 are definitely safe.
Q. Are there any particular ingredients I should avoid in sunscreens?
A. With mineral sunscreens, you are safe. But I would avoid parabens, artificial fragrances that may appear among “other” ingredients in a product. As for chemical sunscreens – oxybenzone is the one I definitely would stay away [from]. It’s very common in commercial sunscreens.
Q. What is the difference between “organic” and “natural” sunscreens, if there is one?
A. Organic products contain at least 70% of organic ingredients by volume. Natural [products] don’t have to.
Q. So is the organic distinction just for marketing purposes, or are organic products generally safer or less abrasive for some skins?
A. Feel-wise, there wouldn’t be any difference, but they’re considered to be the “cleaner” choice without contamination of pesticides.
Q. What is the best way to store sunscreen so it will last the longest?
A. The best place is at room temperature out of direct sunlight. It is not necessary to refrigerate it. Standard shelf life is 2 years; however our sunscreens can last longer because they are packaged in air tight containers that not only prevent bacterial contamination but also curious children hands.
Q. Is it really necessary/is there any benefit to wearing sunscreen under clothing? How about under UPF 50+ rated clothing?
A. No, there is no real need to wear sunscreen under clothing that offers sun protection.
A. From Coolibar – It’s not necessary to wear sunscreen under UPF 50+ clothing; however, you may want to wear sunscreen under regular summer clothing as some summer T-shirts have very little sun protection. If you’re wearing Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing, you only need to cover exposed areas.
Q. How much sun protection do tinted car windows provide?
A. From Coolibar – According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, since UVA penetrates glass, consider adding flat, tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and rear windows as well as to house and business windows. This film blocks up to 99.9% of UV radiation and lets in up to 80% of visible light. http://www.skincancer.org/understanding-uva-and-uvb.html
Q. Does sunscreen start to lose its protection immediately? How often do you suggest reapplying your product? Is more frequently always better or are there drawbacks to putting it on too often? How important is it to wait the 15-30 minutes before going in the sun? What is one to do if they are spending a length of a day outdoors and can’t get inside to reapply? (Is it better/safer to reapply in the sun or not reapply?)
A. Yes, indeed, it’s better to reapply as directed (every 2 hours) than not reapply at all. Even if you are already out. There are no drawbacks to reapplying too often. Sunscreen is there to protect your skin.
Q. Why is it recommended to wait the 15-30 minutes after application before exposure?
A. That’s what the American Academy of Dermatology recommends to give it ample time to absorb.
Q. I spend a few hours every day in the sun, always wearing (cheap OTC / drugstore) sunscreen SPF 100+ and sometimes (whenever it’ll be a longer exposure (wearing SPF/UPF shirts/jackets. My skin is still coloring, the slightest bit. Ought I to be concerned? What a high-rated SPF Sweetsation sunscreen can I expect no evidence of sun exposure even when I’m out in it every day? Or is ultimate sun protection impossible or unnecessary?
A. Our highest SPF is SPF 50. Percentage wise, it is not a big difference between SPF30 or 50 or even 100. But I am not aware of any sunscreen that would provide 100% of protection. SPF 30 covers 97% of UV while SPF 50 covers 98%. I think it’s all about the application … making sure that you apply a sufficient amount and making sure that all areas exposed to the sun are properly covered.
Q. Is it really important to use a different sunscreen on your face than your body? Why?
A. Our sunscreens can be used for the face and body at the same time. I can’t comment on other brands…
If you have more questions regarding Sweetsation Therapy or sunscreen in general, let us know by posting a question on Facebook or writing a comment below. To purchase Sweetsation Therapy Sunscreen from Coolibar, visit www.coolibar.com/sunscreen.html.