The Importance of Sunscreen: A Guest Interview with Project Sunscreen
Sunscreen is so important! We're excited to have a guest blog post about all things sunscreen from Rachel Henderson, Co-Founder & CEO of Project Sunscreen.
Tell us about Project Sunscreen!
Why did you start it?
What's the story behind the brand?
In my early 20s, I started noticing small blemishes on my face that would come and go. At first, I thought it was acne, but as they grew in size, I immediately visited my dermatologist who informed me it was skin cancer. It was most likely caused by sun exposure from a much earlier age – stemming from my childhood in New Zealand, and living in Australia — two countries with some of the harshest sun conditions in the world. As a mom, it made me nervous to think that my children could suffer the same fate so I decided to do something about it and that’s when “Project Sunscreen” was born. Ultimately our mission is to protect everyone, everywhere, every day and to raise awareness of the importance of wearing sunscreen.
Who is the sunscreen safe for — babies, kids, adults?
Sun safety is important for people of all ages, but it’s even more critical to protect babies skin, which is far more sensitive and not as developed as that of older children and adults. The FDA recommends not using any sunscreen products on infants under six months of age, so keep newborns out of the sun as much as possible and limit sun time for babies over six months of age too. Sunscreen should be built into your everyday routine, regardless of age.
All Project Sunscreen products are made from mineral ingredients that form a physical barrier against the sun's rays. These ingredients are not absorbed into the skin and are tolerated far better by sensitive skin. All Project Sunscreen products are free of artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, chemical sunscreen agents and are benzene free.
Why mineral sunscreen?
We get asked a lot about why we use mineral-based ingredients in Project Sunscreen.
Mineral-based sunscreens are generally a better choice for your skin versus chemical-based sunscreen. Mineral properties protect your skin from the sun, and they’re also moisturizing, gentler, and better tolerated by sensitive skins as they’re not absorbed in the skin. Instead, mineral sunscreens act as a reflective barrier and are more efficient – naturally and more immediately by providing the broadest range of UVA/UVB protection.
How much sunscreen should I use?
People tend to be a bit light-handed with their sunscreen application, only applying 25-50 percent of the amount that’s recommended. It’s important to apply enough to shield your skin in areas your clothing won’t cover. You don’t need to slather it on, either, as you only need about 1-ounce to fully cover your body. Mentally picture that an ounce fills up a shot glass or enough to fill two tablespoons.
How often should I reapply?
You should apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before heading out. Once you are outdoors, you should reapply sunscreen to your body and face at least every two hours. Comparatively, for beach days or long days in the sun, we recommend reapplying sun protection every 90 minutes. Additionally, you should reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating. Apply it immediately after drying with a towel in this case.
Is Project Sunscreen reef-friendly?
Yes! Studies indicate that reef-safe sunscreens appear to be safer for coral reefs than chemical ones. Having lived in Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef (the world’s largest coral reef system) protecting the reef and environment are just part of my DNA. For that reason, all of the ingredients in the Project Sunscreen collection are reef-safe.
Why's that important?
Aside from living in Australia before the US, my mom lives close to the Great Barrier Reef and I’m passionate about protecting one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. One of the key ingredients in most chemical sunscreens is oxybenzone, a synthetic molecule known to be toxic to corals, algae, sea urchins, fish, and mammals. Project Sunscreen is 100% mineral-based sunscreen that is not harmful to reefs.
What spots are typically missed when applying sunscreen - that we especially need to remember?
People often forget about their feet, neck, chest, eyelids, lips, back and side of the neck, and ears. Our roll-on sunscreen makes accessing these areas super easy.
Where can I buy Project Sunscreen?
Our entire collection of Baby, Kids, Teens, and Adults is available on projectsunscreen.com, Amazon, and select retailers such as Target.
Anything else we should know?
It’s really simple to incorporate ‘the sunscreen habit’ into your routine when you find products you love. An excellent place to start is with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s easy to apply and make sure you use it throughout the day. Keep in mind that UV rays can reflect off water, cement, snow, and sand. So, don’t forget to roll on before you roll out to the beach, slopes, or park!