Skin Health, Sun Protection/Damage
Sun and Light Protection: Must-Knows
Wear sunscreen every single day
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Year-round sun and light protection is a high priority at VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® because of the numerous skin and health problems caused by chronic sun exposure. Our obsession with protection has no season: our continuous photodermatological research helps us make some of the safest, most effective sun and light screens, and helps us educate our clients about sun safety. Our philosophy of protection has always been one of sun and light protection, every day, both indoors and outdoors.
Chronic sun and light exposure can cause a whole host of health problems, from life-threatening skin cancer, to immune suppression disorders, as well as vanity-bruising hyperpigmentations and photoaging (sagging, wrinkles, dullness, loss of elasticity). Since the early 1980s, we have made sun and light screens based on research findings showing that UVB is but one of many culprits: UVA and other light rays are as, or even more, harmful. For example, indoor Infrared and Visible Light can cause hyperpigmentations; UVA light can induce immune disorders. This is why we measure our protection factors not just for UVB, but also for UVA light, as well as indoor and outdoor Infrared and Visible Light
We make great sunscreens, but our greater love is skin. We strongly encourage everyone to follow these simple guidelines, based on the American Academy of Dermatology, to which we regularly refer:
• Keep children two years old and under out of the sun. Remember, many of these health problems are cumulative, caused by chronic sun exposure over several years. Starting your children on sun shunning now may help them stay healthier later.
• Practice sun avoidance in general but particularly from 10:00 to 16:00 (10AM to 4PM).
• Even if your sunscreen is made for all-day use, reapply every hour or two, especially for children or the photosensitive.
• And, use a sun and light screen every day, both indoors and outdoors.
What Kind of Light Causes What?
UVB
What It Causes Sources Protection Factor (What to look for in a product)
•Photo-aging (wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, dullness)
•Burning
•Skin cancer
•Outdoor sun
•Bright, cloudless days
•A minimum SPF of 15.
•Depending on your Phototype, you may need a higher SPF.
Armada has SPF values from 30-60.
•Click here to learn your Phototype.
UVA
What It Causes Sources Protection Factor(What to look for in a product)
•Melasma (dark spots and blotches)
•Photo-Aging
•Burning
•Skin cancer
•Causes damage at a slower pace than UVB, but at a deeper level of the skin.
•Immuno-suppresion disorders
•Outdoor sun, even on dark, cloudy days.
•Sunlight, even through glass when indoors.
•Some indoor light sources
•PFA (Protection Factor UVA) of 4 or higher.
•Depending on your Phototype, you may need a higher PFA.
•High to Very High UVA Protection.
•BOOTS Rating of 3 stars or higher.
•A UVA:UVB Ratio that shows high UVA protection.
VISIBLE LIGHT
What It Causes Sources Protection Factor (What to look for in a product)
•Melasma and other hyperpigmentations (dark spots and blotches)
•This is the range of light that we can see because of its color.
•Computer and even TV screens
•Fluorescent lights
•Halogen lights
•Incandescent lights
•PFV (Protection Factor Visible Light, a VMV first)
•Armada is the only sun and light screen with measured protection factors against Visible Light.
•Depending on your Phototype, you may be more prone to Melasma and need protection against Visible Light.
INFRARED LIGHT
What It Causes Sources Protection Factor (What to look for in a product)
•Melasma and other hyperpigmentations (dark spots and blotches)
•Felt as heat.
•Some TV screens
•Saunas
•Ovens
•Stoves
•Flat Irons
•Other heat emitting sources
•PFI (Protection Factor Infrared Light, a VMV first)
•Armada is the only sun and light screen with measured protection factors against Infrared Light.
•Depending on your Phototype, you may be more prone to Melasma and need protection against Infrared Light.
Regardless of Your Phototype, Follow These Best Practices:

It’s best to choose sunscreens with higher protection factors to help mitigate the risk of improper or poor application. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with good UVA protection. If you are prone to or concerned about melasma, look for tested protection factors against indoor light.

Stay out of the sun in general (every bad sunburn can as much as double your risk for skin cancer) and particularly from 10 AM to 4 PM.

No matter what your sunscreen says, reapply every 1 to 2 hours.

Observe your moles and get an annual skin cancer screening and mole mapping. If you’re at risk, get them more frequently, based on your dermatologist’s recommendations.

What about UVC Light, Electromagnetic Rays, Microwaves, Radiation?
UVB, UVA, Visible Light, Infrared Light are collectively just a segment of what is called the electromagnetic spectrum of light. The shortest ones (the ionising rays up to UVC) are the most powerful and are, fortunately, blocked from the earth by the ozone layer. However, new research is showing that compact fluorescent bulbs do leak UVC. Currently, the safest indoor light option in terms of UVA, visible and infrared light, and UVC would seem to be LED.
Microwaves and radio waves are shorter than infrared and do not affect skin.
What Else Should I Know? 
Critical Wavelength
•This is the level below which 90% of UV light is blocked off.
•The US FDA requires at least 370 nm.
•Armada has impressively high Critical Values, the lowest being 377.
UVA : UVB Ratio
•This is primarily of interest to those who are more prone to hyperpigmentation and need more protection against UVA.
•Armada has all its UVA : UVB Ratios clearly printed to help you select the products best suited to your needs, particularly if your Phototype specifies that you are very prone to hyperpigmentations.
•Click here to learn your Phototype.
Click here for more information about Armada.