5 Things to Know to Get Your Clients to Use Sunscreen


I recently read an interview featuring a prominent dermatologist. The writer asked him, "Doctor what is the best sunscreen?" His answer? "The one that people will actually use."

As skin care professionals we all know sun exposure is Public Enemy #1 to the skihn. KNowing these facts, we should make it a point to educate every client on the importance of using sunscreen daily.

The trick to getting your clients to actually wear a good sunscreen is to match them to a product they love - that meets their skin care and lifestyle needs. Here's what to look for:

Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: The product shields UVB (ultraviolet B) rays and UVA (ultraviolet A). UVA rays are the longer and deeper penetrating rays that destroy collagen and elastin in the dermis and cause major symptoms of skin aging as well as melanoma (skin cancer). The product must contain both to be effective.

SPF: There must be a fun protection factor of at least 15 to qualify for broad spectrum status. SPF is the best know n rating but it only measures how long it takes to get inflamed from sun exposure - in other words, the length of time you can stay out in the sun without burning. It doesn't measure how much ultraviolet light is actually filtered, so most skin scientists do not give the SPF rating claim as much weight as broad spectrum. Higher SPFs (above 50) are available but many scientists believe that SPF's above 50 are just marketing hype.

Wearability: This may be the most important factor to getting people to use sunscreen every day. A product can be broad spectrum and have a high SPF - but if it's dense, sticky, causes makeup to "pill" or feels greasy - people won't wear it routinely. The product should go on smoothly, play well with makeup and feel good throughout the day.

Moisturizers with SPF: There's an old wives tale that moisturizers should be applied separately from sunscreen. With modern technology, there's no reason that two products need to be used. (For instance - our Raw Elements Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30 is a super wearable moisturizer & SPF in one) The weight of the SPF moisturizer is important. Specific skin types have different requirements. Dry or mature skin needs a product a bit heavier in emollient, while oily skin needs a matte-finish sunscreen and less emollient. It should be non-comedogenic (pore clogging). Combination skin needs something in between.

Sensitive Skin: Clients with sensitive or easily irritated skin conditions create another specific need. Sensitive skin tends wot work well with sunscreens that contain physical sunscreen ingredients (like Raw Elements) like zinc or titanium oxide. These agents "bounce" the rays off the skin rather than absorbing the rays, resulting in less heat on the skin which helps avoid inflammation. Sunscreens developed specifically for sensitive skin can also contain redness-reducing ingredients like green tea or licorice extracts which help squelch reactivity.

Your role as a skin care professional is also that of skin health educator. Teach your clients how to properly use and apply the right sunscreen - and emphasize the need for everyday use to prevent skin cancer and premature aging.

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