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Oxygen channel interview about Skin care in the Sun

Summer is just about to sizzle. If you’re not careful, so will your skin. We brought the summer sun inside, with our dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green who is here to tell us everything you need to know about sun protection.

Oxygen Channel: Hello, Dr. Green.

Dr. Green: Hello.

Oxygen Channel: Now, let’s go through some really important things about sun protection. What do we need to know?

Dr. Green: Okay. You need to know that you have to stay out of the midday sun. That’s the most important thing.

Oxygen Channel: That’s what time period?

Dr. Green: Basically from noon to 2:00 in the afternoon. That’s when the sun is strongest and you’re most likely to get burned.

Oxygen Channel: Right.

Dr. Green: The second thing that’s most important, you have to put sunscreen on.

Oxygen Channel: Okay.

Dr. Green: You wanna use at least an SPF 15 or and SPF 30 on your face. We brought examples of everything to show people.

Oxygen Channel: We actually have this wonderful little shot glass here. Not for drinks, but-

Dr. Green: Exactly.

Oxygen Channel: What is this gonna illustrate?

Dr. Green: That’s one ounce worth of sunscreen.

Oxygen Channel: So, you need to put this much on your body?

Dr. Green: On your entire body. That’s one application. If you look at any of the containers of sunscreen, this has four ounces. That means that you should put this on your body and use this up after four times.

Oxygen Channel: Just four times?

Dr. Green: Four applications, that’s right.

Oxygen Channel: Oh, because I’m always sort of like, oh, I don’t wanna be greasy, but it’s good to just sort of lather up and…

Dr. Green: Lather it on. You should put it on 20 minutes before you go outside, before you go in the sun that way you know where to put it on, you’re not outside, and it gets to set before you go outside.

Oxygen Channel: So you sort of need it to soak into your skin?

Dr. Green: Exactly.

Oxygen Channel: How much, how often, all of that?

Dr. Green: Okay. You have to put on a whole shot glass worth and then you have to reapply it every two hours. If you’re in the sun, you perspire.

Oxygen Channel: Even if you have the active sport stuff?

Dr. Green: Even if you have the active sports stuff, because what happens is, if you perspire, even though you wanna feel confident thatit’s on, it’s really not on for more than two hours. If you’re exercising and you’re really athletic, between the heat, and the sun, and perspiration, it’s gonna come off in two hours.

Oxygen Channel: So, you need to reapply every two hours.

Dr. Green: You need to reapply. You should basically use one of these during the whole day.

Oxygen Channel: One whole bottle for the whole day?

Dr. Green: One whole bottle, that’s right.

Oxygen Channel: Okay. Well, that’s … see, I learned something new. Now, what about African American skin, and Asian skin, and all that?

Dr. Green: People think if they have a darker complexion skin that they do not need sunscreen. That’s a total myth. They absolutely need sunscreen because no matter what you can get darker, you can get irregularly pigmented, and you can burn. So, it’s really important to use an SPF, at least the 15, as well.

Oxygen Channel: So, we’re talking about SPF. What exactly does SPF mean here?

Dr. Green: SPF 15, for example, means protection factor. That means that you can stay in the sun fifteen times longer than normally, if you didn’t have a sunblock on. So, if you wore an SPF 15, technically you could stay in the sun for two and a half hours without burning.

Oxygen Channel: So, how does that … break down that again. So, it’s SPF 15?

Dr. Green: Stay in the sun fifteen times longer than normal, than if you didn’t have a sunblock on.

Oxygen Channel: Okay. So, the higher the SPF, the better it is for us.

Dr. Green: Right. Although, I don’t entirely love that system because it fools people into thinking that they can be out two and a half hours, or three hours, or four hours, or longer without putting sunblock on.

Oxygen Channel: So, if you have an SPF 15 on and you put on another layer, does that then equal SPF 30? Do you see how I’m trying to cheat my way into this?

Dr. Green: Well, if you reapply, you still get a fifteen. It’s a slightly more, it’s like a 3% more increase if you’re a 30. In fact, they’re gonna limit SPF to SPF 30.

Oxygen Channel: Now, from you, looking for sunblocks, it’s a different language. I’m looking at something like this and what are the ingredients that I should be looking for? Because we’ve got some pretty crazy ingredients and…

Dr. Green: Right. What you wanna look for, people used to think that just UVB damage was what caused skin cancers, and wrinkles, and skin cancer, but they found out that UVA damage causes most of that. People were unaware. So, you wanna look for something that blocks UVA and UVB like Neutrogena sunblock.

Oxygen Channel: Right there.

Dr. Green: ..that contains parasol 17-89.

Oxygen Channel: What’s par- … is that an ingredient?

Dr. Green: That’s an ingredient.

Oxygen Channel: Okay.

Dr. Green: That basically blocks UVA rays. So, you wanna look for something that contains parasol. You wanna look for something that contains zinc oxide, which is what the lifeguards used to wear, the white.

Oxygen Channel: Oh, that white thing on their nose.

Dr. Green: Exactly.

Oxygen Channel: Okay.

Dr. Green: But now they have clear versions in most of the sunblocks. So.

Oxygen Channel: So, those are important ingredients.

Dr. Green: Right. That and titanium dioxide. Those are three important ingredients to look for.

Oxygen Channel: Titanium dioxide, zinc-

Dr. Green: Zinc oxide.

Oxygen Channel: And parasol. Okay, great. Now, we also have pictures here of what healthy skin looks like and then what not so healthy skin looks like.

Dr. Green: Okay, great.

Oxygen Channel: This is healthy skin, right? This is someone that’s not had a lot of sun. Then right next to it is the unhealthy skin. Tell me what the difference is medically between the two.

Dr. Green: Well, basically unhealthy skin is skin that is sun damaged, skin that’s been wrinkled from the sun, freckled. Any tan that you get is sun damage.

Dr. Green: So, when you look at someone older and you see that they have liver spots or wrinkles, it’s really just from the sun.

Oxygen Channel: That’s from the sun.

Dr. Green: If they had stayed out of the sun, they wouldn’t have any of that.

Oxygen Channel: You see? So, that’s the key.

Dr. Green: Yeah. Any tan is really sun damage, and people don’t realize that.

Oxygen Channel: Now, a lot of things, it is confusing. We have all these SPF 30s, and 45s, and they go up pretty high. But in 2002, the FDA is gonna change all of that so that we as consumers can be better informed. I wanna sort of talk about what they’re changing and why they’re changing it. So, they’re not gonna have 40 to 50 SPF anymore, why is that?

Dr. Green: Well, what happened is people were lulled into a sense of security. Oh, if I put my SPF 60 on, I’m 60 times less likely to get skin cancer, and-

Oxygen Channel: I can be in the sun all day.

Dr. Green: I can be in the sun for six hours. So, they didn’t really understand what it meant. They found that there’s not that much difference between SPF 30 versus a 45 versus a 60. So, now what they’re doing is they’re limiting it to a 30 plus and saying that that’s the maximum sunscreen, so that they can’t have this false sense of security. It really makes much more sense for people, so they know what they’re getting.

Oxygen Channel: So, you’re pretty good with SPF 30? That’s good?

Dr. Green: Yeah. SPF 30 is a great sunscreen.

Oxygen Channel: Okay. How about the term sunblock and all day protection? I mean, you have that on all of these bottles here.

Dr. Green: Yeah. I mean, it’s also a little misleading. They’re also going to be getting rid of words like all day protection, because unless you reapply it all during the day, there is no all day protection. As well as waterproof, they’re going to get rid of waterproof too and just have water resistant. Because a lot of the sports ones, a lot of the active sport sunblocks were saying that they were waterproof. They thought you could go swimming, but there’s just as much sun damage, actually more, if you’re in the water.

Oxygen Channel: Because it’s reflecting off it.

Dr. Green: Exactly, and it goes right through too. So, you’re getting sun both ways. Now the packaging will just say water resistant.

Oxygen Channel: Water resistant. Okay. Well, these are all great things. So, thank you so much.

Dr. Green: You’re welcome.

Oxygen Channel: I feel much safer going in the sun. Thank you very much.

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