Questions About Sun Protection: An Interview with our Co-Founder

Laura Co-Founder of Klenskin

Not sure when to use sunscreen, what type is best or why you should wear it? How about what makes Klenskin stand out from other sunscreens on the market? We’re sitting down with one of our founders, Laura E. Cohen, M.D. to get the full scoop on sun protection.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about your background? How do you know so much about sun protection?

A. As an MD, a Board Certified Dermatologist and a Fellow in the American Academy of Dermatology, I am a medical specialist trained to diagnose and treat skin disease. Early in my career, I became a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists where I lectured on skin care and sun protection. During that time, I noticed that one of the common trends involving patient care was teaching prevention and sunscreen offers a clear means for the prevention of many skin issues ranging from cancer to aging skin.

Q. How dangerous is the sun?

A. The World Health Organization categorizes UVR (Ultraviolet Radiation) in the same health danger zone as plutonium and smoking! Throughout my career, as both a parent and child with occasional sunburns, it didn't take long for me to learn that sun damage is one of the most dangerous natural forces wreaking havoc on the skin. UVR alone is responsible for 90% of skin cancer, plus it ages the skin causing lines, wrinkles, and dis-pigmentation to name a few.

Q. What SPF should I be using?

A. It is important to look at the SPF and choose one with at least an SPF 30 or above. Be sure that the product is Broad Spectrum, meaning it will protect your skin against UVA as well as UVB rays. A water-resistant sunscreen is also important if you’re planning to swim or sweat.

Q. Why did you create Klenskin and what makes it different?

A. I wanted to create a safe, user-friendly sunscreen line that would be enriched with moisturizers and antioxidants to offset everyday damage. Uniquely, Klenskin sunscreens place the active ingredients into a micro-encapsulate that is designed to remain on the skin. These encapsulates are given an electrostatic charge that attracts them to the skin which is negatively charged, resulting in 80% less absorption. Most importantly, our sunscreens fit into a busy and active lifestyle and won’t leave your skin white or sticky.

Q. When should I apply sunscreen?

A. I recommend applying it first thing in the morning to all exposed skin to provide a base layer of protection. If you use our Wash On Sunscreen, keep it right in your shower or at the sink so you won’t forget. It is also important to generously apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before exposure to the sun, and to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are out all day.

Q. Can you share more about the Wash On Sunscreen? How does it work?

A. My daughter Lisa and I teamed up to create the first wet skin application SPF 30 Sunscreen after talking to patients and realizing that a convenient, effortless product didn’t exist yet. We wanted to combine sun protection with something people were already using every day, like body wash, for unparalleled multi-tasking! Our patented QuantaSphere ® Encapsulated technology allows us to suspend the sunscreen in a cosmetically elegant way to wash it onto the face and body for both men and women. You simply apply it to wet skin, lather for two minutes, rinse off the excess, then gently pat it dry.

Q. Are there different types of sunscreens?

A. Yes, there are physical and chemical sunscreens. Sunblocks physically remain on the surface of the skin forming a layer of protection that blocks the sun’s rays, which is effective but often leaves a white, sticky residue. Some of the newer, more popular blocks contain nano-particles that soak into the skin like chemical sunscreens and contain FDA-allowed active ingredients that prevent sun damage.

Q. Do children need to wear sunscreen? I cannot get my kids to put it on!

A. Absolutely! Children are outdoors so much, and a great deal of sun damage isn’t even revealed until later in life. Unfortunately, today, many young adults in their 20’s are developing skin cancers, partially due to the effects of tanning booths as well as sun exposure when they were younger. As a parent, try to find a convenient lotion that your kids won’t mind applying regularly throughout the day. Try to avoid spray applications because they spray a great deal of the sunscreen into the air instead of onto the skin.

Q. How am I consistently tan if I rarely go to the beach?

A. Most people think that if they don’t lay in the sun to “sunbathe” they won’t get sun damage. However, about 80% of sun exposure comes from incidental things like walking the dog, swimming, skiing, and watching your kids play outdoor sports. Your left side is also usually tanner because of exposure to the sun while driving!

Q. I work outside, what should I do to protect myself?

A. Being employed at a job where you must work outdoors creates a significant responsibility to protect your skin. Find a Broad-Spectrum sunscreen you like and reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days. It is also important to wear wide brimmed hats and protective clothing and try to stay in the shade when possible. The face, ears, arms and exposed scalp see the most daily sun but the back, feet and legs commonly get intense intermittent sun. While you can get skin cancer anywhere on your body, it is more common on the heavily exposed areas.

Q. How can I improve my skin if I’ve been in the sun all my life?

Using sunscreen regularly with frequent reapplications is an easy start. Your skin will improve with diligent sun protection. Additionally, moisturizers and antioxidants help to improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. Other options include using chemical peels, IPL, and laser treatments.

Q. What is the new concern regarding the blue light emitted from our cell phones and computers screens?

A. It is a good idea to wear a sunscreen enriched with antioxidants since we know this high energy visible light generates free radicals in the skin. However, blue light treatments are currently used in dermatology for acne treatment and in combination with photosensitizers to destroy some skin cancers, but studies are underway to better understand the true significance of this energy and its impact on the skin.