When it comes to having fun in the sun safely, it’s all about protecting our skin from the negatives effects of the sun. Floppy hat, check. Oversized sunnies, check. But are you armed with the most important guard against sun exposure, sunscreen? On a recent mission to uncover the perfect sunscreen for different skin types and complexions, I heard about Coola organic sunscreen products and couldn’t resist an exclusive interview with San Diego-based founder Chris Birchby, who was inspired to create the line after his parents experienced melanoma scares. He shares need-to-know facts and dispels common myths about sunscreen.
“Whether the weather is sunny, partially cloudy or cloudy – sunscreen should be part of your daily regimen.”
What sets Coola apart from other sunscreen brands? At COOLA, we’re passionate about making healthy sunscreens that people love to wear. The healthiest and best sunscreen is one that is worn on a daily basis. That’s why we offer a variety of 20+ different sunscreens for the unique skins out there. Whether the weather is sunny, partially cloudy or cloudy – sunscreen should be part of your daily regimen.
What is the newest Coola product and why should it be on our radar? The SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray (left) is the latest and greatest from COOLA. It is the first 70%+ certified organic makeup setting spray to incorporate SPF protection. It features a weightless, matte finish mist that protects sensitive skin while keeping makeup looking fresh all day. Formulated with a combination of natural botanicals and skin-soothers, the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, are reduced while skin is protected from harmful UV rays.
Which one Coola product should everyone have in their beauty arsenal? COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint is a must have! It offers SPF protection with a light tinted coverage that leaves a smooth, glowing finish to skin.
Often it’s difficult for women of color to find a sunscreen that doesn’t give a chalky appearance on the skin. Do you have a product you would recommend from Coola that works better for darker complexions? To avoid SPFs that tend to turn skin ashy or chalky, try a translucent spray or a lightweight, chemical formula. Stay away from mineral SPFs as they are harder to absorb into the skin and tend to make darker tones appear ashy. The COOLA Sport SPF Sunscreen Sprays are a great option to avoid a chalky appearance.
“No sunscreen is waterproof.”
Sunscreen: Fact vs. Myth
Anything over 35 SPF doesn’t work any better. No sunscreen offers 100% protection but the higher SPF, the more protection it provides against long-term skin damage. SPF 15 product blocks about 93% of UVB rays; SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 50 product blocks about 98% of rays. We do not recommend SPF of 50 or higher, as the minimal added protection does not out-weigh the exponentially more active ingredients required to do so. More active ingredients increase the chances of skin irritation.
African Americans don’t need sunscreen because they have more melanin in their skin. Even though African Americans have more melanin in their skin, everyone needs SPF. While the effects of the sun may not be as obvious on darker skin, UVA and UVB rays can still cause skin damage. In addition, it may be more difficult to spot skin disease in African Americans, as their skin tone can camouflage potential risk spots.
Sunscreen never expires. Sunscreen is designed to last up to three years but you should always check the expiration date before using an older SPF.
Any other facts or myths about sunscreen that you would like to clarify or dispel? Check the water resistant factor of your sunscreen if you intend to use it for sport or in the water. Recent FDA rulings have required sunscreens that are water resistant to display a water resistant amount of 40 or 80 minute. No sunscreen is waterproof.