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Sunscreen, SPF, UV Rays, and the Skin Microbiome

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We all know the feeling: walking down the street in the hot noon sun, skin slowly tightening and starting to sting… it’s sunburn season, people.

Slathering on some protective SPF is never a bad idea. (Skin cancer, however, is.) But all of that product isn’t necessarily biome-friendly - it sits heavily on the skin and often contains compounds that are harmful to AOB. Keeping your skin safe from sunburn and maintaining a healthy microbiome is all about balance.

Dive Into Sun Protection

Ever wondered how sunscreen keeps you safe from sunburn?

The sun’s rays are categorized as UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays go deeper into the skin where they produce free radicals, while UVB rays stay in the upper layers of the skin and damage the cell DNA, causing burns and sometimes cancer. Sunscreen acts as a full-body sunshade, blocking the UV rays right at the skin’s surface. The protective layer absorbs some of the UV rays and reflects more, preventing rays from reaching the skin.

So what do those SPF numbers really mean?

The Sun Protection Factor indicates how much UV radiation reaches the skin. The higher the SPF, the less UV radiation your skin is exposed to - theoretically. In practice, the increase in protection becomes minimal after SPF 50+, and studies have shown that using higher SPF leads people to assume they’re totally safe from the sun. Re-applying lotion and getting in the shade when you can are safe practices!

Easy fixes to keep your skin biome-friendly while being sunburn-free:

  • Remember to spritz your mist at times that you aren't wearing the sunscreen, and in areas that are protected from the sun by your clothing
  • Midnight Misting! The evening is actually the best time to mist because that is when the bacteria are most active
  • Armpits, groin, feet, and scalp are always fair game for Misting, as they’re naturally protected from the sun and you’re probably not coating these areas with sunscreen

While we haven't tested many SPFs for their compatibility with AOB, it's likely that they aren't very good for bacteria. We’ll keep testing and looking for a solution, we’re constantly working on biome-friendly solutions for everyday skincare products. Stay up to date by reading our blog posts and emails ;)

In the meantime, remember that Misting isn’t all or nothing. Keeping your AOB happy in the evenings and protecting yourself from the sun during the day is a great way to go!

Sunny days and sprays are headed your way.

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