Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sorting Out That Sun Protection and Searching for Mexoryl

Okay,I'll admit it. I'm a reluctant user of sunscreen, sunblock etc. Yes I do slather it on and follow all the rules rubbing it in thirty minutes before exposure and reapplying throughout the day etc. etc. and each summer I head for the drug store and check out what's new in the world of sun protection. What I'm really looking for doesn't exist but I'm always hopeful that someday there will be a product that will provide adequate protection from those harmful rays while allowing me to replicate that golden tan I used to get from iodine and baby oil.
After all these years and two episodes of squamous cell skin cancer, it's still hard to picture a pale me in the summer. I love being tan. The summer sun transforms me. A few sessions in the sun makes my eyes appear bluer, my hair blonder, my spider veins invisible and even the stubborn cellulite on my thighs look firmer. Just add a tan and any body part looks more appealing.
But it's more than that. I crave the caress of the sun on the side of my face the way a smoker looks forward to that first drag of the day. The sun energizes me, lifts my spirits and its hard to imagine that something that feels so good could be so bad.
Enough complaining. I'm out to stock up on sunblock which until recently I confused with sunscreen. So what's the difference? Suncreen contain chemicals like PABA, benzophenones, cinnamates and salicylates that absorb UV rays. Sunblocks reflect those rays instead of absorbing them and contain such chemicals an titanian dioxide and zinc oxide. Remember that white streak on the lifeguard's nose?)
The sun protection product you chose should offer protection against both UVB (burning) and UVA (aging)rays. Each year the SPF factor keeps climbing and now some products now offer SPF 70 or more So does that mean that you can bask from dawn to dusk. Not necessarily It just means you have a bit more protection in case you didn't apply the right amount in the first place. Recommended is a teaspoon for your face and a tablespoon each for each arm and leg.

I intended to stick to my old favorite Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock SPF45. Then I recalled that Mexoryl Sunsreen long popular in Canada, Europe Asia and Australia was finally approved late last summer for sale in the US and I started to get that reved up just have to have it feeling. However a thorough search showed it hasn't made it to my neck of the woods yet but it is available for sale on the web. Several manufacturers are making it among them Ombrelle, a division of L'Oreal,
So what's so good about it . Well Dr. Vincent DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at Columbia University claims "It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine." He's not alone in his praise. His colleague Dr. Darrell Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU claims that Mexoryl is the number one individual ingredient in terms of protection from ultraviolet A radiation. Those are the rays that penetrate deeper into the skin down to those layers that are responsible for skin tone and elasticity. When they're damaged by those nasty rays you end up with lines wrinkles and all other sort of unsightly aging things.
Mexoryl may just be what I've been searching for. I' m ordering mine today and will report back soon. There's nothing like a bit of hope to buoy one along.

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