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Do you know the difference between UVA and UVB? Do you know what SPF means and what it protects you from? Do you know how often you need to apply sunscreen for it to be effective?



Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a type of energy produced by the sun and some artificial sources, such as sunbeds. The sun’s UV is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage also causes sunburn, tanning and eye damage. UV rays aren’t like the sun’s light or heat, which we can see and feel. Your senses cannot detect UV, so you won’t notice the damage until it has been done.

UV exposure is also the main cause of pre-mature aging. This means you end up with lined or wrinkled, loose, blotchy, discoloured and rough skin. If you are wanting to stay looking youthful longer then you need to protect yourself from the suns damaging rays, the sooner we start the better. After all prevention is far better than cure. There are three UV rays UV A, UV B and UV C.

UV C is short waved and completely absorbed by the Ozone layer and Atmosphere.

UVB, which mainly reaches the top layer of your skin, is responsible for sun-damage including sunburn, and some non-melanoma skin cancers.

UVA, which penetrate deeper into skin, are responsible for pre-mature aging photo-aging and melanoma.


SPF stands for Sun Protection factor. The truth is that most SPF’s only protect you from UVB damage – not UVA. Many sunscreens will only be SPF. Due to the media we all tend
to think that the higher the factor of the sunscreen or SPF number is, the better the protection it provides against ageing and skin cancer. Even better if it is marked “waterproof”. If its marked with waterproof then we tend to think we don’t need to worry about the sun, whether we are in or out the water. All sunscreens need re-application and directly after swimming. The Food and Drug Administration has banned the word “Waterproof” on sunscreens. The word “Waterproof” is seen to prevent people from re-applying their sunscreen after swimming. A fatal mistake.

The “experts” obsession with using the highest SPF available is contributing to this issue. It may seem logical on the surface, because the higher factors are automatically associated with better protection by the companies that sell them. However, the factor of a sunscreen merely refers to the length of time one will be able to longer tolerate the sun before burning compared to the time-to-burn without such protection. It can unfortunately not tell us in any way how well it will protect us against DNA damage or eventual cancer.

Recently many skin care companies are bringing out very high SPF sunscreens. It is strongly recommended to stick with an SPF under 20 or
30 at the very most. A SPF 15 gives you 95% protection from UVB compared to a SPF 50 which gives you 97% protection from UVB. The
extra chemicals added to give 2% more protection are doing more damage to your skin than the 2% UV exposure.



The only ingredient that provides a full protection from both UVA and UVB rays is Zinc Oxide. Antioxidants (found in our antioxidant gel from Environ) such as Vit A, C and E in high doses will provide a natural protection from UVA.

The solution took a brilliant mind like Dr. Des Fernandes to put anti-oxidant vitamins into Environ’s RAD sunscreen. Dr. Fernandes was the first to actively and aggressively promote the use of anti-oxidants in high doses in a commercial sun-screening product. All cream sunscreens regardless of the SPF need to be reapplied every 2-3 hours. Pure Minerals – like Jane Iredale can be applied in the morning over your RAD and reapplied throughout the day.


In Conclusion

Should everyone therefore avoid the sun at all costs? The answer is no, one can enjoy sunshine and get great benefit from it, yet one must abide by the simple rules of “Safe Sun”:

Wear a hat, be sun wise, anti-oxidise! 

Re-apply, re-apply and re-apply

Check your Sunscreen-

  1. Is it UVA and UVB broad spectrum.?
  2. Is it SPF 20 or at least SPF 30 and under?
  3. If it’s a cream sunscreen are you reapplying it every 2-3 hours?
  4. Does it contain Zinc Oxide?