Ale's Lifestyle Confessions

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    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 100+ or Is the High SPF Not Worth the Hype?

    I have a love hate relationship with this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch sunscreen! It has one of the highest SPF value available on the market. This sunscreen also includes Helioplex Technology which allows for you to be protected from both UVA and UVB rays. Not only is it nicely applied onto your skin, it is also water resistant for up to 80 mins. Do not forget though, water resistant is not the same as waterproof. However, do we really need such a high SPF? The higher the SPF gets, the less difference between the numbers there are. 

    Since this is a chemical sunscreen, you will need to apply it at least 15 minutes before you go out into the sun. The sunscreen is not greasy at all and does not contain any oil products in the ingredients. It leaves a slight matte smooth feel on your skin. Make sure you rub it into your skin as it is a chemical sunscreen and therefore needs to be absorbed unlike a mineral sunscreen. When you swim or sweat you should make sure you reapply at most after 80 minutes. Personally, even though they say it is water resistant, most sunscreens are not as water resistant as you think. So, you should probably reapply the sunscreen after 40 minutes to make sure you are really protected fully. 

    I would recommend this product to adults who aren’t breastfeeding or pregnant. Chemical sunscreens is like a sponge where it absorbs the UV light and keeps you safe. The other type would be a mineral sunscreen in which it is like applying a shield and leaving your skin protected without anything being absorbed. This is why most children or baby sunscreens generally use mineral instead of chemical for their sunscreens. Pretty much the only benefit of chemical sunscreens are that the formula is generally created to be more easily to apply and prevent the general white cast on your face. 

    Many people are worried about chemical sunscreens in that there has been studies to show that some ingredients in sunscreen can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Despite that, so far there has been data to show that the sunscreens approved by the FDA might be harmful. We have been using sunscreen for a very long time, and if anything negative happens to your body, it generally would have been found out already. 

    This sunscreen has the prime ingredients that will protect you from UVA and UVB. It contains 3% avobenzone. This ingredient is commonly used to block the full range of UVA rays and mixed with other ingredients to make sure it does not lose its ability to block UVA within an hour in the light. The reason it is only at 3% is because the FDA has restricted it to only 3% to be safe. Whereas for UVB, there is homosalate in the ingredients to help absorb the short wave UVB rays. One issue with this ingredient is that studies have shown that homosalate helps enhance the amount of pesticides our skin absorbs. This ingredient is commonly in most chemical sunscreens, therefore if you truly want to keep yourself safe from any harmful chemicals, it is best to use mineral sunscreens as those are physical blockers and would not be absorbed into your skin. 

    What is different about this sunscreen is that the SPF is really high, one of the highest I’ve ever seen. Sunscreen with an SPF 15 protects about 93% of the UV light, SPF 30 protects 97%, SPF 50 protects 98% and an SPF 110 will protect at least 99% of the UV light. A study done with 199 adults had adults put an SPF 50 sunscreen on one side and an SPF 100 on the other side to spend a day in natural sunlight. The day after, the researchers found that the SPF 100 did make a measurable difference no matter what skin type you have. The researchers also concluded that people were around 10 times more likely to burn on the SPF 50 side as opposed to the SPF 100 side. As much as it is great that there is more protection, there are factors where it might make you rethink about a higher SPF. The effectiveness of the SPF depends on whether you reapply it. A higher SPF will be useless too if you are going out to the beach for the whole day but only put on sunscreen once. Sometimes a higher SPF sunscreen might give you a false sense of security and might leave you spending more time in the sun and therefore increasing your risk of sunburns and skin cancer. 

    One thing you should also consider is that higher SPF sunscreens do generally require higher concentration of ingredients. This is especially important for chemical sunscreens as the ingredients are absorbed into your skin and there are studies showing that there might be harmful side effects with the ingredients. Some ingredients may trigger allergic skin reactions or might have the ability to disrupt your hormones. Unfortunately, the ingredients in this product do include the common chemical sunscreen ingredients that might cause issues to you. If you truly want to be safe, I would stick to physical sunscreens. 

    Finally, even though sunscreen is very helpful in preventing sunburns and aging. Don’t forget that there are other steps you can take as well. Wearing a hat, sunglasses or even clothes will be beneficial in preventing sunburns. 

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