it was anticipated that there would be 300, 000 new cases of skin cancer that year in the
U.S. By 1995, both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation
anticipated 1,000,000 new cases in the U.S. - more than all other forms of cancer
combined. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., despite the fact that it is
highly preventable. Some alarming statistics:
- 1 out of 5 people alive today will get skin cancer; 1 out of 3 by the year 2000.
- More skin cancer cases will be reported in 1998 than all other cancers combined.
- Skin cancer kills one American an hour.
- Melanoma rise is dramatic: 1 in 1500 in 1938, 1 in 105 in 1991, 1 in 84 in 1997 (an
1800% increase from 1930), 1 in 75 by 2000.
- 40,000 new cases of melanoma will be reported in 1997, up 5% from 1996.
- Melanoma is the most common cancer in women aged 25-29; the second most frequent in
women aged 30-34.
- Annually, 7,000 people will die of melanoma: 2,000 women, 5,000 men.
- If a melanoma is detected when it is still thin, the survival rate is 90% (up from 80%
in 1992 and 50% in 1950).
- Every blistering sunburn doubles the likelihood of skin cancer formation.
Part of these alarming statistics can be attributed to the fact that the general
public, medical profession, and beauty specialists are all more aware of skin cancer and
its appearance. More cancers are being identified, reported, and successfully treated. However,
this doesnt discount the fact that we are looking at the makings of a potential
epidemic that could be due to a lack of sunscreen use. A recent poll by the
Skin Cancer Foundation and American Health Magazine turned up some disturbing facts. While
almost 9 out of 10 consumers have used a sunscreen at some point:
- Less than 3 out of 10 people apply sunscreen regularly while on vacation.
- Less than 2 out of 10 people wear sunscreen year round.
- Most disturbing: almost 6 out of 10 Americans still actively seek a tan - the
skins signal that sun damage is already underway.
- In addition, 80% of the average persons lifetime sun exposure to UV radiation has
been received by the age of 18!
sun causes damage
toward sunlight have changed over the years. At the turn of the 20th century, the
"pale look" was prized and cultivated. Only laborers who worked outdoors and
could not protect their skin had the tanned look. From the early 1930s to the mid
1970s, more and more people spent their vacations in warm climate areas and the
"tanned, healthy look" became popular. So did the myth that a good tan provides
all the sun protection necessary. Actually, the deepest tan only affords a
maximum SPF of 4, meaning that for the average person who burns in 15 minutes, sun
protection will last just 60 minutes in direct sunlight! Within days of a
half-hour tanning session, a person over 30 will find the damage easy to see: lines and
wrinkles often become more obvious, and sagging, discolorations, and skin cancer can show
up as future injuries.
Sun damage us caused by ultraviolet radiation - commonly called UV damage. Of the total
solar energy reaching the surface of the earth, about 56% is in the infrared range
(700-3,000 nm), and 39% is the visible light (400-700 nm), where nanometers (nm) are the
measurement of wavelength. However, it is the remaining 5%, the ultraviolet light (290-400
nm) which has the most profound effect on the body.
Ultraviolet light is divided into three major wavelengths: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Most is
blocked by the ozone layer (which recent studies tell us is thinning and indeed has a
hole) in the stratosphere (30,000 - 60,000 feet above sea level). This includes UVC and
large amounts of UVB radiation. the intensity of the UVB radiation which reaches the earth
is affected by many factors, such as latitude, altitude, the season, and time of day. UVA,
on the other hand, is not blocked by the ozone layer and reaches the earth in very large
amounts. It is almost constant from the Equator to 60 degrees latitude and is less
affected by altitude, season, or time of day.
Even on an overcast day, 80% of the suns ultraviolet rays pass through the
clouds. On bright, sunny days, the reflection of the sun is considerable: 17% off of sand
and 80% off of snow!
UVC Radiation (200-290 nm)
This is the shortest wavelength. It is a sterilizing ray that is carcinogenic and can
kill small organisms on contact. At present, it does not enter the atmosphere and reach
earth. There are currently no sunscreens that protect against UVC light.
UVB Radiation (290-320 nm)
Considered the "Burning Ray", it is of medium length and makes
up 4 to 5% of UV light. It is carcinogenic. It is the most active UV radiation for
producing sunburn, and penetrates into the epidermis (outer protective layer) of the skin.
It significantly decreases anti-oxidants in the skin, impairing the skins ability to
protect itself against the free radicals generated by exposure to sunlight. It is
considered to be responsible for inducing skin cancer (squamous and basal cell carcinoma)
due to DNA damage. It is also suspected of lowering the skins immune defense system.
- It stimulates melanin formation (tan).
- It is strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- It is strongest at the equator.
- It is strongest at high altitudes.
- It reflects off shiny or white surfaces (water, sand, concrete, etc.) .
- It is 1,000 times stronger than UVA.
- Most sunscreens can provide protection.
UVA Radiation (320-400)
Considered the "Aging Ray", it is the longest wavelength and
makes up 95% of UV light. It is carcinogenic. The longer wavelength penetrates deep into
the epidermis and dermis of the skin. It is involved in the generation of singlet oxygen
and hydroxyl free radicals which can cause damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and
carbohydrates. Like UVB, it can cause structural damage to the DNA, impair the immune
system, and possibly lead to cancer. It has been linked to 67% of malignant melanoma
- It turns melanin dark (moles, sun or "age" spots).
- It is at full strength from sunrise to sunset.
- It is strong from pole to pole.
- It is strong at any altitude.
- It penetrates glass (including car windows).
- It is present 1,000 times more than UVB.
- The right sunscreen can provide protection.
Anti-Oxidants and Free Radicals
Natural body processes, certain lifestyle choices, environmental pollution, and UV
radiation can cause the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are very
reactive molecules, and as such, may cause damage to cells and tissues and
accelerate the aging process. They can damage the skins collagen and
elastin, causing wrinkles and bags. They are believed to produce DNA
mutations that can lead to skin cancer.
There is growing evidence that anti-oxidants (such as Vitamins A, E, C) and Beta
Carotene function as free radical quenchers, thus inhibiting the damage caused by
peroxidative reactions. In laymans terms, they act as free radical scavengers
and as such may suppress the growth of cancer cells.
Studies conducted in the late 1980s and in the 1990s have yielded strong
evidence that certain vitamins and vitamin derivatives can protect
body cells from damage caused by natural body processes, certain lifestye choices
(smoking, drinking) and especially from environmental stress (UV radiation, chemical
pollutants). Others can provide the proper environment for the correction of damage
inflicted on skin, hair, and nails as a result of aging and photoaging (sun damage) or impart
beauty and moisturization. Of particular interest are vitamins A, E, C, B
(Panthenol) and their derivatives.
The combination of vitamins and sunscreens creates an ideal synergy and can play a very
important role in the war against aging and the maintenance of a youthful appearance.
- Vitamin A can improve skin elasticity, increase skin
thickness, normalize photodamaged skin, and help reverse the atrophying of skin with age.
- Vitamin B complexes aid in cell proliferation,
facilitate wound healing (sunburns), and moisturize dry skin.
- Vitamin E, while also a natural moisturizer, also
plays a crucial role in protecting the skin from free radicals damage, protecting the skin
from ozone (environmental) damage, and has a long term, cumulative effect on skin
softening and smoothness.
- Vitamin C helps produce collagen, a major structural
protein in the skin. This aids in minimizing fine lines and wrinkles It is also a powerful
anti-oxidant that minimizes UV induced immune suppression.
Hawaiian Tan Sunscreens (UV Filters)
Ultraviolet filters are ingredients which absorb ultraviolet radiation. They are
incorporated into sun care products to protect skin and hair from the damaging effects of
sunlight. They are classified as UVB and UVA sunscreens. The major product
groups by structure are: Cinnamates, Benzophenones, PABA derivatives, Salicylates, and the
Physical UV Filters Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
Hawaiian Tan® products contain various combinations of these
filters and the above mentioned anti-oxidants to provide broad spectrum (UVA & UVB)
protection through UV absorption, scattering, reflection, blocking, and free radical
Hawaiian Tan® products are the perfect example of the
synergy between sunscreens and vitamins. They can help counteract the negative
effect that UV light has on DNA cells, membranes, and the immune system. Since products
with SPFs as high as 30+ can block only 95% - 97% of UV light, some of the UV
radiation which is not blocked penetrates deep into the skin, generating free radicals and
negatively impacting the immune system. The addition of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, C,
and Beta-Carotene can augment the performance of UV filters and provide the optimal broad
spectrum protection against environmental stress. The combination of vitamins and
sunscreens in the Hawaiian Tan® product line results in a high
performance, multi-functional product that can help consumers protect their body cells
from internal and external damage, correct and beautify, and provide an excellent weapon
in the war against aging and the maintenance of a youthful appearance.
How skin types react to the
suns UV rays
In 1995, with the support of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the
National Weather Service created a standardized system to measure ultraviolet rays. The
program is called the UV Index, and was developed to enhance public awareness of the
harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and to provide the public with specific actions
they can take to reduce the likelihood of these harmful effects, which may include skin
cancer, cataracts, and immune system suppression.
It should be noted that the Index values are meant to be reflective of the overall
problem, not solely one of exposure for on particular skin type. However, as it is
necessary to give a specific number, the National Weather Service has chosen UV effects on
skin Type II - that which usually burns easily and tans minimally.
Skin Types and Their Reactions
skin, blue or green eyes, little or no freckles.
Burns and peels
||Fair skin, blue eyes, blond or brown hair.
Burns severly and
easily peels, tans minimally.
skin, brown hair, brown eyes.
or light brown skin, dark brown hair, dark eyes.
Burns minimally, tans
Rarely burns, tans
easily and substantially.
or dark brown skin, brown eyes, black or dark brown hair.
Burns only with
If your skin description is not obvious, always
use the lower of the potential skin type choices when considering suncare options.
UV Index Value and Sun Exposure
Below is a listing of the National Weather Services UV Index Values, and a
description of how the sun exposure levels relate to these values.
- 0 - 2 (Minimal) - An Index reading of 0 -
2 indicates minimal danger from the suns UV radiation for the average (Type II)
person. Most people can stay in the noon sun for up to an hour without burning.
- 3 - 4 (Low) - An index reading of 3 -4
indicates low risk of harm to the skin from the suns radiation. Type II individuals
can experience a burn in 30 - 60 minutes.
- 5 -6 (Moderate) - An index reading of 5 - 6
indicates some significant risk of skin damage due to the sun. Unprotected exposure can
result in a burn in only 20 - 30 minutes.
- 7 -9 (High) - An index reading of 7 - 9 inducates
high risk of harm from unprotected exposure to the sun. Time in the sun should be limited
during midday (10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.) as skin may burn in as little as 13 - 20 minutes.
- 10+ (Very High) - An index reading of 10 - 15
indicates very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Between 10:00 A.M. and
4:00 P.M. the length of time to burn may be less than 13 minutes without protection.
Which SPF is appropriate for your skin type?
SPF is the abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor and relates directly to the length of
time a person can spend in the sun before they begin to burn with no protection. It is
determined by multiplying the SPF number by the length of time a person can stay in the
sun before they begin to burn with no protection. For example:
- SPF 2 protects from 50% of UVB light,
leaving 50% available to penetrate the skin.
- SPF 8 protects from 87.5% of UVB light,
leaving 12.5% available to penetrate the skin.
- SPF 15 protects from 93.3% of UVB light,
leaving 6.7% available to penetrate the skin.
- SPF 30 protects from 96.7% of UVB light,
leaving 3.3% available to penetrate the skin.
Since burning is caused by UVB light, SPF does not apply to UVA protection. However,
SPFs of 15 and higher do screen out some of the UVA light. Formulations containing
titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and the benzophenones afford UVA protection, and all are
contained in the Hawaiian Tan® suncare formulations.