|Headhunter Surfscreens FAQs:
- What is Heavy Water Technology?
- Why is Sunscreen Important?
- What's the Difference between "Water Resistant," "Very Water-Resistant," and "Waterproof"?
- What' s SPF?
- Okay, So What Are UVB and UVA?
- What's the Difference between a Physical Sunscreen Filter and a Chemical Sunscreen Filter?
- How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen?
- What's the Difference between a Sunscreen and a Sunblock?
What is Heavy Water Technology? It's our special base, developed through years of testing in some of the heaviest waves in the world, that binds Headhunter to your skin. All the sophisticated filtering compounds in the world won't do you any good if they wash off on the first duck-dive. At the time, most of the sunscreens we found just weren't up to the task of providing UV protection for the hardcore surfer. So we formulated Headhunter, the only waveproof surfscreen.
Why is Sunscreen Important? Because the sun throws out all sorts of ultraviolet radiation that leads to various fatal skin cancers, wrinkles, and liver spots. Liberal, daily use of a good sunscreen like Headhunter will cut down on sun-related nastiness.
What is the Difference between "Water Resistant," "Very Water-Resistant," and "Waterproof"? A lot. The FDA recognizes the terms "water resistant" and "very water resistant." It does not recognize the term "waterproof." If a sunscreen says "waterproof" it's just marketing hype from the maker himself. According to the FDA, all Headhunter sunscreens are "very water resistant," the FDA's stickiest designation. We like to call 'em "waveproof," which is our own shorthand meaning our surfscreens will last longer than a three-wave hold-down at Waimea Bay.
What's SPF? "Sun Protection Factor." The higher the SPF (though there's no appreciable difference in protection in numbers above SPF 50), the better the sunscreen protects against UVB (the shorter length ultraviolet rays that are associated with sunburn and skin cancer). SPF only refers to UVB screening. If your sunscreen says "SPF 15" then you know that it provides fifteen times your natural protection against UVB (the cause of sunburn and skin cancer) but nothing about how well it protects you against UVA (the culprit behind wrinkles, photo-aging, and skin cancer). Headhunter surfscreens contain both FDA-approved UVA and UVB sunscreen filters for complete UVA and UVB protection. (The FDA is working on a UVA rating system. We'll keep you posted.)
Okay, So What Are UVB and UVA? Put on your high school physics hat for a second. When it comes to sunscreens, it's all about the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is shorter wavelength UV while Ultraviolet A (UVA) is longer wavelength. Think of it as the difference between the quick, disorganized energy of a windswell (UVB) and the long, deep lines of a groundswell (UVA). Both are bad for you.
UVB is associated with sunburns while UVA is linked to "photo-aging" (think of the crusty old local at your spot whose skin looks like a cowboy boot). Both are linked to skin cancer, so your sunscreen should filter both.
While there is a laundry list of FDA-approved UVB filters, there are only five FDA-approved UVA filters at this time: Titanium dioxide (also an approved UVB filter), zinc oxide (also an approved UVB filter), avobenzone (aka Parasol 1789), oxybenzone, and Mexoryl (ecamsule). Make sure that whichever sunscreen you use contains at least one of these FDA-approved UVA filters (most sunscreens already do a good job with UVB). We build our SPF 30+ surfscreens around titanium dioxide, a physical sunscreen filter, because it blocks both UVA and UVB and it doesn't break down in sunlight like the chemical sunscreen filters.
What is the Difference between a Physical Sunscreen Filter and a Chemical Sunscreen Filter? A physical sunscreen filter blocks and scatters the UV rays before they get to your skin. A chemical sunscreen filter absorbs the UV and re-emits it as harmless energy. We use both an FDA-approved physical filter (titanium dioxide which we prefer to zinc oxide, the other approved physical filter, because it sticks to your skin better) and a FDA approved chemical filter (usually more than one) in our SPF 30+ products to ensure bullet-proof protection. Physical filters are far more "photo-stable" than chemical filters; they are far less likely to lose their ability to block UV over time when exposed to sunlight.
How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen? Definitely whenever you get out of the water or after sweating. Aside from those two situations, every 90 minutes or so. Chemical sunscreens break down under sunlight and lose their effectiveness over time, that's why you have to reload. Put sunscreen on 15 minutes before you paddle out to give it time to bond with your skin.
What's the Difference between a Sunscreen and a Sunblock? Nothing, but "sunscreen" is a more accurate term because nothing "blocks" UV completely (not even clothing).