(902) 423-3888

4 Important Things that Diminish the Effectiveness of Your Sun Screens

1. Medications to be aware of. If you or someone you know and care for are taking antidepressants, please use extra caution in the sun! Antidepressants can be affected by sun exposure making the user more likely to experience photosensitivity or increased risk of sunburn, skin rashes or other adverse reactions. Check with your pharmacist regarding your specific prescription and be sure to store your medication away from UV light exposure as the effectiveness can degrade with sun exposure.
Antibiotics, like certain antidepressants may degrade when exposed to UV light over time, which could reduce their therapeutic effectiveness. If taking antibiotics, you should also be cautious of too much time in the sun. The combined effects of medication and UV radiation could diminish the antibiotic's potency. 
2. Skin care ingredients to be aware of. If you are using skin care products containing AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids) and BHA's (salycylic acid) be sure to to try to limit their use to night time and to use effective sun protection during the day. Although highly effective in treated certain skin conditions and improving age related changes in the skin, when combined without proper sun protection they will make you more prone to sunburn and irritation.
Retinol, it's other forms of Vitamin A acid, as well as AHA's and BHA's degrade in effectiveness with sun exposure dramatically reducing their benefits. Using these ingredients once the sun goes down is key to get the most benefits. To learn more about retinol use in the summer check out our related blog on the topic.
3. Food to be aware of. Certain foods and drinks can potentially contribute to increased risk of sunburn or skin sensitivity. The challenge is that many of these things we consume more of in the sun!
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits contain psoralens and furocoumarins, which can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, potentially increasing the risk of sunburn.
Alcohol consumption can dilate blood vessels and dehydrate the body, making the skin more sensitive to UV rays. This can potentially increase the likelihood of sunburn.

Spicy foods, especially those containing capsaicin found in chili peppers, can sometimes cause skin reactions and increase sensitivity to sunlight.

High glycemic index foods that rapidly increase blood sugar levels, such as sugary snacks, white bread, and pastries, may contribute to inflammation that can exacerbate sunburn symptoms.

Processed and fried foods often contain unhealthy fats that can promote inflammation in the body, potentially affecting the skin's ability to recover from sun exposure.

So if you do get a sunburn or sun sensitivity keep these food and beverage tips in mind in order to accelerate the healing.

4. Perfume and Aftershave. Many fragrances contain ingredients that can cause a reaction known when exposed to sunlight. These reactions can lead to skin irritation, redness, or even more severe burns. Therefore, it's important to be cautious with fragranced products during sunny days and to consider using them in areas of the body less exposed to direct sunlight to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

Want to boost your sun protection? Check our our blog to learn how to boost your sun protection from the inside out or how to pick the right sunscreen for your skin type. 

We hope these extra tips help to improve your sun safety and keep your skin radiant and healthy.