Guide to safe Sun-Worshiping
July 13, 2017
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A Guide to Safe Sun Worshiping

Dr. Anthony E Faro, MS, DC, DABCI

Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Internist 

When I was a younger we didn’t think much about sun screen.  My girlfriend would put iodine in baby oil and we would all bake in the sun.  Hopefully we know better than that these days. 

The negative effects of sun exposure can occur over prolonged periods of time or in a very short time as the result of a sunburn.   Sunburns are especially problematic in babies, young children and elderly folks who are not out doors on a regular basis.  I recently took my 91 year old father to the beach.  He did not want sun screen as he was under the umbrella.  The umbrella doesn’t take the place of sun screen and he received a mild sunburn on an over cast day in about 60 minutes. 

Sunburns are directly related to skin cancer and one of the red flags for future risk of Melanoma is severe sunburn especially on the trunk.     Sunburns also increase the risk of Basil Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  Sun exposure both short and long term without burns is responsible for increased appearance of skin aging and actinic keratosis.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to protect your skin from the damaging UVA and UVB rays of the sun. 

Although most of us are not using baby oil and iodine these days it is well worth your while to become familiar with the benefits of sun screen and the risk factors associated with prolonged sun exposure.  Full Spectrum Sunscreens reduces the risk for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers, chronic actinic damage, acute phototoxic reaction and Full spectrum sun screens can actually help reduce the appearance of aging associated with exposure to UV rays.

To be designated a total protection sun screen, both UVA and UVB rays must be blocked.  Many of us only look at the SPF ratings, but the drawback to SPF rating is it designates only UVB protection.  Sunscreens can have a high SPF and not block against UVA rays which are associated with skin aging and skin cancer.  Unlike UVB, UVA rays are not filtered by the ozone and can lead to premature skin aging.  This leads to degradation of collagen and connective which nobody I know wants.   So the take away here is look for a sunscreen that is marketed “broad spectrum”  as this will assure you that the product blocks 90% of the long spectrum UVA waves.  Also remember that SPF is not an additive number.  SPF 30 is not twice as affective as SPF15.  SPF 15 sunscreens filter out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 protects against 97% and SPF 50 98%.  In addition, going above an SPF 50 is not really necessary and the FDA is considering not allowing companies to claim an SPF above 50 which already block 98% of UVB rays. 

How to Calculate an SPF That’s Right for You

· Fair skin — can stay in the sun 10 minutes before burning

· Olive skin — can stay in the sun 15 minutes before burning

· Dark skin — can stay in the sun 20 minutes before burning

Multiply the SPF by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun before burning. For example: (SPF) 20 x 10min (Fair skin) = 200 minutes (amount of time you can stay in the sun before burning if you have Fair skin and use an SPF of 20).  * re-applied as per the manufacturer recommendations.

The regulations governing label requirements and statements last changed in December 2012.  For instance, manufacturers can’t claim all day protection or water proof anymore.  Manufactures can make claims regarding water resiliency for 40 or 80 minutes only.  There is no all-day protection and recall the evidence that links skin cancer risk to the number and severity of sunburns, so re apply when recommended. 

The FDA latest Sun screen Rules

• Sunscreens may be labeled “broad- spectrum” if they provide protection against both UVA and UVB radiation according to FDA-sanctioned test methods.

• Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher may state that they protect against skin cancer if used as directed with other sun protection measures.

• Broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPFs of 2-14 must display a warning that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.

• The terms “sunblock,” “sweatproof” and “waterproof” are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels.

• Sunscreens may claim to be “water-resistant,” but must specify whether they protect the skin for 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Sunscreens that are not water-resistant must instruct consumers to use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating.

• A company cannot claim that its sunscreen products provide sun protection for more than two hours without submitting test results to prove this.


You might think picking a sun screen is easy but according to Web MD,  “Study Finds 4 in 10 Sunscreens Fall Short on SPF”  by Kathleen Doheny:  May 20, 2016.  40% of the sunscreens tested fell short on their label claims and according to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) many sun screens contain potentially hazardous ingredients.  According to Dave Andrews of the EWG, "Many products do not provide enough UVA protection and some contain hazardous chemicals such as the hormone disruptor oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage." – Andrews. 1  

Each of us must weigh the risks and benefits of sun exposure and the proper use of sun screens and no of days everyone is looking for natural and environmentally safe products.  It would be in our best interest to use those products with the least toxic ingredients and that offer the best protection.  There is conflicting research regarding chemicals in sun screens and although Avobenzone is safe prior to photo reactions with the sun, once it is exposed to sunlight it is degraded.  The degraded compound may interact with other chemicals in the sun screen and even with octocrylene and be potentially unsafe.  There are alternatives to sunscreen that contain Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Avobenzone.  Read the ingredients list and you will be surprised to find a lot of chemicals in brands touting “natural or botanical” on the labels.  If you’re looking for natural products the Non Nanoparticle mineral sunscreens are best, and best when applied as lotions.  Be cautions when using spray sunscreens as they do not cover well and do not use spray sunscreen on children.  The FDA has warned that when sprayed on children there are possible health risks associated with inhalation of these products and can be a sever irritant to those suffering from asthma and other inhalation disorders.  Mineral based zinc oxide formulas block both UVA and UVB while titanium dioxide blocks more UVB and some UVA. 

Rules for safe sun worshiping.

  • Ware cloths and long sleeves when possible.
  • Protect your eyes from the damaging UVA rays with proper sunglasses.
  • Keep hydrated while in the sun and avoid alcohol.
  • Plan your work and leisure time to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • Use the proper sun screen for your skin type, re apply as recommended.
  • Be mindful of Drug induced Photosensitivity.

Many drugs including antibiotics have warnings against exposure to the sun while taking the prescription.  These include Tetracycline, Doxycycline and Ciprofloxacin; the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory Ibuprofen; and the diuretic furosemide, as well as retinoid’s.  Many other drugs pose a photosensitivity risk, so be sure to read your drug inserts. 

  • Don’t forget your after-sun care. 

Look for serums with Vit C and Vit E in them to help nourish skin and provide essential antioxidants to protect against cell death and damage.

If you have any other questions or comments feel free to email at  Go to my web site at or call my office at 863-676-2225.  Dr. Faro prescribes the number 1 full spectrum all natural sun screen 100% natural and 94% certified organic and is reef and ecologically safe for the environment.  Mention this blog post for 15% off all our 100% natural sun care and after sun care products.  Lip balms, Sun screen, baby sun screens, moisturizers and more.  



“80% of sunscreens are ineffective or harmful, according to new guide” Derek Markham