The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover yourself.

Sun Cream Staining

When writing this piece, highlighting that a SPF, UV protection lotion can stain your jerseys was the issue. While testing my garments for comfort, the lotion would applied liberally to the exposed areas being face, neck, arms and legs. Only one lotion on the market has this problem. My research also found more interesting facts about modern sunscreens, but first the stains.

Oxidization Stains on your Clothes

The white areas of the Coldfront and Rainmap jersey would discolour with a rust type stain with this brand of lotion. Even areas where the lotion was not directly applied to the skin,  staining occurred to the garment. Was it coming from my hands? My legs? Possibly, the lotion absorbed into my system, and was then expelled as sweat.

The company advised that the active ingredient, Avobenzone, was reacting to the water that the garments were washed in. If your water is harder, it contains more minerals and iron in it. The iron oxidizes when combined with the ingredients of the sunscreen and the water, which produces the rust coloured stain.
Once the lotion stain appears, you will need to soak it for a length of time with an oxidizing powder, like baking soda, and then hand wash with liquid detergent, or if you must, machine wash on delicate. Hand washing the garment is recommended. Air dry only as the heat in mechanical drying will serve to set the stain permanently.

Let’s get some RAYS Man

UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are known to cause ageing and wrinkling,
UVB rays cause burning to the surface of the skin which can lead to reddening and burning and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer
UVC rays are scattered as they enter the atmosphere and are not considered harmful.
UV rays are not just harmful on sunny days. Cloudy days reflect the UV light between the ground and clouds several times increasing exposure. Light coloured surfaces, reflect the UV light spectrum and you receive a double dose.

How Sunscreens work

Sunscreens, like any product have evolved into different types. Not so long ago, lotions contained zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, effectively layering platelets onto your skin. These lotions and cremes basically reflected UV rays but were inefficient with all types of UV light, water and sweat.
Modern day sunscreens are known as chemical sunscreens. They contain Avobenzone and some combine with Oxybenzone. These sunscreens absorb UVA and UVB light spectrum and then converts the UV light into an energy that is less damaging to the skin.
The down side with these lotions is that the Avobenzone breaks down easily and quickly under the UV spectrum is which it releases free radical elements into your system that accelerate the aging process and may increase the risk of illness, including cancer.

What is Effective Protection?

Simply, the best way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover yourself with fabric. Modern day weaves that allow ventilation and moisture release, while blocking the sun is the most effective and least harmful.
We can also use our dietary habits to assist in strengthening the skin and help prevent sun damage to your skin. The following foods aid in this respect

  • Astaxanthin – found in salmon and shrimp
  • Resveratrol – found in grapes an dwine
  • Omega 3 – fatty Acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Catechins – found in high levels in Green tea
  • Beta-carotene – found in vegetables like carrots and bell peppers

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