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Sadly, according to recent studies, only less than 15% of the world population uses sunscreen ever. Feeling proud? Yes, to some extent. But raise your hands, who uses their sunscreen according to what is written below. We tend to apply it once in the morning and forget about it till the next day. Same applies to winter, people think they don’t need it if it’s “dark” most of the time. It’s scary, but “if there is enough light to stimulate the retina, there's enough light to stimulate melanocytes and ageing factors in the skin.” So it’s not just day light, it’s light that damages the skin. “Wherever there's light and you can see where you are going, the skin needs sunscreen.” People assume that it's a holiday product, but the majority actually get their worst sunburns on holidays because they don't use the product properly, so it's a matter of application. You go out for a walk in the afternoon, do you reapply your sunscreen? Have a read and see what you did not know about your sun protection.
DARK SIDE TO THE SUN
There is a dark side to the sun.
Both overtime long-term exposure (lifetime) and your intense sun exposure (holidays/using tanning beds) are known causes of skin cancer. “Studies have shown that chronic sun exposure is most associated with the development of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer, while both chronic and intense, intermittent exposure are believed to play a role in basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer.”
UV-induced skin aging (so called photoageing) is another long-term effect of sun exposure. Unprotected time in the sun leads to premature wrinkles, sagging, leathery texture of the skin and hyperpigmentation (so-called “age spots” or “liver spots” that are really the result of sun damage)
UVA RAYS vs UVB RAYS
UVA rays are ultraviolet rays that penetrate deep into skin’s inner dermal layer, affecting the elastin in the skin and leading to sun-induced premature ageing, wrinkles, and an increased risk of cancer.
UVB rays are the more intense ultraviolet rays that damage the outer epidermal layer of the skin. They’re known for causing sunburn. They also increase the risk of skin cancer, such as malignant melanoma and basal carcinoma.
So both UVA and UVB can damage DNA in the skin, which can lead to skin cancer AND skin ageing. Therefore using a good quality broad spectrum SPF is a necessity. For both reasons. Always. Every day.
UNDERSTANDING SPF. HOW IT WORKS.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number beside it indicates the theoretical amount of time a sunscreen is able to protect the skin from turning red. So, for example, if you use SPF10, it means you will be able to prevent sunburn for an additional 10 minutes over and above the normal time your unprotected skin would take to burn. With SPF15 it’s an additional 15 minutes etc.
CHEMICAL VS PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS
Physical sunscreens are made of minerals that actually physically reflect ultraviolet light away from the skin.
Chemical sunscreens use chemicals that actually absorb light and dissipate their reactive oxygen species or rusting effect of light.
WHAT SPF NUMBER TO GO FOR
You should choose your sunscreen according to your personal preference. Anything that's SPF 15 and above is around a 95% light blocker. SPF 30 blocks around 97-98% of light. SPF 50 is not going to protect you any more than this unless applied every 2 hours. So going that high isn’t always necessary. It’s not really what factor you use, but how you use it is the key.
HOW MUCH TO APPLY
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT PROTECTIVE MEASURES
SPF products are your main tools as part of your sun protection program. Sun should be avoided altogether during peak sunlight hours (10am to 4pm), as they are the highest UV transmitting times of the day whether it’s cloudy or not. So, during these hours, always wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat and good quality UV rays blocking sunglasses. Babies under 6 months should be kept completely away from the sun or protected with clothes and an umbrella/stroller hood. Everyone over the age of 6 months should be using a sunscreen daily year-round, in any weather. Why? If there’s no sun, why do I need an SPF? 70-80% radiation, especially those ageing UVA rays, still penetrates on even the most overcast days. “In addition, according to the World Health Organization, UV radiation levels rise by about 4 to 5 percent for every 1000 feet of altitude, and reflection from sand, water, snow or concrete magnifies their effects by up to 80 percent.” So beware.
WHAT SPF FOR WHAT SKIN. MILLIES RECOMMENDATIONS:
For skin that is prone to irritation, suffering from rosacea, eczema or psoriasis, look for products with physical SPF ingredients such as zinc and titanium.
Dermalogica SuperSensitive Shield SPF30
Broad Spectrum sunscreen ideal for sensitized, reactive skin. Natural mineral sunscreens help shield against photodamage and UV exposure. Contains Dermalogica exclusive UltraCalmingTM Complex with Oat and botanical actives to help minimize discomfort, burning and itching. Sheer formula provides optimal hydration and helps protect and reinforce barrier lipids, which are often compromised in sensitized skin conditions. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.
If your skin is oily or prone to acne, look for oil-free, non-comedogenic formulas.
Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF30
Oil-free, Broad Spectrum sunscreen helps prevent shine on oily and breakout-prone skin. Lightweight, ultra-sheer formula helps regulate oil production, maintain an all-day matte finish, and defend against skin-aging UV light.
This oil-free, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen delivers high sun protection in a mattifying, antioxidant-rich base that’s perfect for oily and acne-prone skin types. Micro-sponge technology absorbs surface oils and gives skin a flawless, shine-free finish. It doubles as a protective primer to create a healthy glow before makeup application.
If your skin is dry, look for a richer formula or a moisturizer with SPF built into it.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF30
Bestselling anti-wrinkle cream has now been formulated with a revolutionary blend of sunscreen to offer superior broad spectrum protection. Amazing for fine lines and restoring hydration in dehydrated skins.
Sheer, lightweight hydrator, the essential final step in your daily skincare routine. This mineral-based SPF 30 moisturiser contains a unique form of zinc oxide that absorbs quickly into the skin, delivering broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, lasting hydration and antioxidant defense without a white cast or residue. It’s free of parabens and perfect for dry, redness-prone and sensitive skin.
Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50
Help minimize skin-aging triggers with this medium-weight, emollient daily moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF50. Patented Oleosome encapsulation technology boosts sunscreen effectiveness for critical protection against UV rays, while a unique polypeptide helps encourage collagen-producing activities. Super hydrating for those drier and aged skin types but also a nice daily defender for preventing skin ageing.