Things You Didn’t Know About Sunscreen

Sun protection is crucial for your skin. You’re probably using sunscreen every day, but do you know how to use it?

  1. Higher SPF doesn’t mean better protection – it means longer protection. SPF of 15 filters up to 95% of the UVs while SPF50 up to 98%. But the higher the SPF number, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. In theory, SPF of 15 means you can safely be in the sun up to 15 times longer than you could without using sunscreen. This is only a guideline and it is 100% valid only if you’re using the sunscreen correctly and reapplying as indicated.
  2. Less is NOT more. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen lotion– and make sure you reapply as needed. You can lose protection even when you sweat or rub your skin.
  3. UV-Bs are the ultraviolet rays that burn your skin – but not the only ones to cause damage! While UV-As only cause sun burns in large doses, they are still associated with aging and other detrimental changes to the skin because of their action on the collagen and elastin fibrils. UV-As are milder, but they are still not safe. So make sure you choose a sunscreen that guards skin from both UV-As and UV-Bs.
  4. The SPF number only measures the amount of UV-B protection you get. It doesn’t measure the amount of UV-A protection, which is given by another number. When purchasing a product, try to find out the UV-A protection factor. If this is not available, a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects against both A and B rays will suffice.
  5. Clothes are not an efficient barrier against sun damage. Wear sunscreen on your entire body under your clothes when you spend lots of time outdoors. Clothes only have a SPF of 4 up to 7, not enough to protect during longer sun exposure.
  6. Tan is the skin’s defense reaction to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. It eventually acts as a filter for ultraviolet rays (partially) but this doesn’t recommend using your newly achieved tan as SPF. The beginning stage of tanning is essentially skin inflammation and the tan itself is just damaged skin which can be seriously affected when overexposed to sun.
  7. Layering sunscreen lotions will not multiply the SPF protection. If you apply a lotion with SPF 15 and then makeup with SPF 20, the total SPF you’re benefiting from is 20; the SPF you end up with is the highest one you have applied.
  8. Sunscreen will not prevent body from producing the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Your skin needs UV-B rays to make vitamin D. While these can be filtered out by sunscreen, you only need approximately 10 minutes of sun a day for producing vitamin D – which you are likely to get considering people almost never apply sunscreen correctly and just a little time outdoors is enough. Be careful though: your skin stops producing Vitamin D a few minutes after sun exposure. Sunbathing for hours will not increase your vitamin D levels.
Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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How sunscreen protects

Sunscreens protect your skin by blocking or absorbing the sun’s rays. Depending on the active ingredients in the sunscreen you use, you will protect yourself from the burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and the more penetrating ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.

The growing awareness of UVA’s destructive power is especially disturbing because since sunscreens were invented we have has the ability to protect ourselves against the burning UVB rays. That, obviously is a good thing. However, the downside is that since we’re less likely to burn, there is no warning sign that we’ve gotten too much sun. We could stay at the beach or on the golf course much longer than we might have in the days before sunscreens, exposing our skin to huge doses of UVA. Today we have broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Tip: Always wear a moisturizer with SPF.

What are the side effects of sun damage?

Dr. Murad explains.


Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Managing Rosacea and Redness


One of the most emotionally challenging skin conditions I see as a dermatologist is rosacea. With redness and bumps that can be mistaken for acne, it can lead to the same kind of feelings of embarrassment and isolation in middle-aged people as acne does in teens. Because it is a chronic skin condition with no known cause or cure, lifestyle modification and targeted, consistent, gentle skincare are essential to managing the condition.

Symptoms of rosacea typically include persistent redness on the nose, chin, cheeks or forehead and may also include small bumps or pimples; spider veins; and watery, irritated eyes. While anyone can experience rosacea, it’s a condition that most often afflicts middle-aged women with fair complexions, and it tends to run in families. A key component to managing the condition is avoiding these known triggers for rosacea flare ups:

  1. Extreme temperatures; strenuous exercise; hot baths; saunas. Through dilation and contraction of blood vessels, the skin plays a big role in helping the body to regulate temperature. Both extreme heat and cold can cause a rapid flow of blood to the skin’s surface that causes it to flush red. In extreme heat, the body tries to dissipate heat from its core, and in extreme cold, the body tries to defend the skin and extremities from the damaging effects of cold, such as frost bite.
  2. Hot foods; hot beverages; spicy foods; alcohol. These can all trigger dilation of the blood vessels, just like the body’s response to extreme heat.
  3. Sunlight. UV light from the sun damages the skin both in the short term, by gradually raising the skin’s surface temperature as it burns, and in the long term, by damaging collagen, DNA, immune cells and vascular structures within in the skin. That’s why it is essential to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather.
  4. Stress, anger or embarrassment. All can cause us to flush red or go pale. Just as with extreme temperatures, the body uses the skin as a buffer to regulate spikes and drops in blood pressure that can be associated with extreme emotional states.
  5. Topical skincare products with irritants. Rosacea-prone skin is sensitive and easily irritated. To avoid triggering flare ups, I recommend a gentle daily face wash that has been specifically formulated to be extra gentle and to help calm the skin. I also recommend treatment products with azelaic acid and soothing goji berry extract.


Even if you don’t suffer from all the symptoms of rosacea, you may find that following these general recommendations for redness management can help you with occasional episodes of tight, red or dry skin. Topical products formulated to calm rosacea-prone skin are also great for calming skin that’s been over-exposed to sun or cold weather and after cosmetic procedures that can irritate your skin, such as hair removal.


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.




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Food Is Medicine

Before there was medicine, there was food. An emerging body of evidence suggests that if we ate a healthier diet, we might not need so much medication. Have you ever asked why certain things grow in some places and not in others? Take, for example, oranges, pomegranates, and apricots, which are grown in the Middle East and also in California. These fruits originally came from Southeast Asia but as people traveled, they carried the fruits with them for quick and easy nourishment. For example, sailors planted orange groves along their trade routes to prevent scurvy caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. But beyond ease of transportation and transplantation, each of these fruits served a health purpose.

Scientifically, we now know that oranges, pomegranates, goji berries and apricots are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can help combat cell oxidation and sun damage, and in the case of pomegranates, even boost natural damage, and in the case of pomegranates, even boost natural sunscreen levels, which is extremely helpful in warm, sunny climates. Going further, science has illuminated the importance of obtaining antioxidants from the diet because the body cannot make many of them, including vitamin C. Antioxidants also assist in the cellular renewal process and help cells stay plump with water.


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Sun Safety Checklist

As temperatures heat up outside, days get longer and the sun shine stronger, it is more than ever important to keep you safe from the sun whether you are traveling or not. We’ve developed a handy Sun Safety Checklist to help you stay protected – so you can look, live and feel #BetterEveryDay. By making sure you check each of those will decrease your risk of sun damage which can ultimately prevent skin cancer. The summer is beautiful, so is your skin.



Now go enjoy the Summer, but always remember to make sun protection part of your daily routine. Make sure you are wearing sunscreen, it  will not only decrease your risk of getting skin cancer but also will help you fight premature aging, dark spots and age spots.Check out our Environmental Shield line and for a daily protection our SPF products.

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What to look for in a sunscreen.

Most sun damage occurs from incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not at the beach. Wherever there is light, there is UV (ultraviolet) radiation. And where there is UV radiation, there is the potential for harm to the skin.
UV Radiation.

In urban and suburban landscapes, we are exposed to more than just sun light itself. Light also reflects off of metal, glass and concrete. Exposure from going indoors and out, exposure from light coming through building and car windows (unless they’re specifically treated with UV filters), and even exposure thin clothing, all adds up.

Bad weather offers no refuge either. At the beach or on the slopes, for example, even on cloudy, cool, or overcast days, dangerous ultraviolet rays travel through clouds to reflect off sand, water, or snow.

One serious sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer by as much as 50%.

Unfortunately, there is no statute of limitations on burns. A single childhood sunburn may be the trigger for skin cancers many years down the road.
Just because you’re not tan (another indication of sun damage) or sunburned, doesn’t mean that you are out of harm’s way.

Sun damage is cumulative and shows up later as sings of skin aging, or in worse case scenarios, as skin cancer.

95% of all skin cancers are found on light-exposed areas such as the face, top of the ears, neck and chest. Because over a million new cases of skin cancer in the U.S. are diagnosed each year (plus, the large numbers that go unreported), protecting yourself every day with sunscreen and clothing is more important than ever.

What to look for in a sunscreen

Primitive versions of physical sunscreens have been around for centuries. Chemical sunscreens have been in use since the early 1920’s but early versions were greasy, irritating, staining, and could not be made into water resistant formulas.

Today we make non-irritating, cosmetically pleasing sunscreens in a variety of formulas, making them a pleasure to wear every day. One size does not fit all however, and you’ll want to choose the appropriate one for that day’s activity.

Features to look for in a sunscreen are:
Full spectrum sun protection
To protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.
To neutralize aging free radicals
Anti-inflammatory agents
To prevent redness and soothe skin.
Hydrating ingredients
To replace moisture loss as a consequence of exposure.
Repairing ingredients
Since UVA rays attack connective tissue, sun protection products – such as Murad Age-Proof Suncare products containing our patened Skin Repair System with Co-3® – are highly desirable and can help fortity and repair connective tissue while working to prevent fine lines and wrinkles

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