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Beauty / Health and wellbeing / Our Products | 04.01.2019

Sunscreens - The basics you should know



Sunscreen is paramount to maintaining a youthful skin and complexion as well as for protection against permanent sun damage. Whilst Vitamin D from the sun's rays is essential to health and you may be basking in your balmy glow, not protecting yourself adequately during the hottest part of the day, is simply not worth the long term risk.

Which of the sun's rays cause the most damage?

It's mainly the ultra violet rays - UVA and UVB.

 

What does broad spectrum mean?

A sunscreen labeled "Broad Spectrum" offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. 

How do sunscreens work?

Sunscreens work in two ways:
1. By absorbing most of the UV
2. By reflecting most of the UV away from your skin

Most reflective sunscreens contain a physical blocker which further increases their effectiveness.

What’s the difference between Physical & Chemical Sunscreens?

Physical Sunscreen

A physical sunscreen acts as a physical barrier on the skin and works by reflecting most of the UV rays. The most common ingredients are mineral based Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. They also have broad spectrum SPF capabilities and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Chemical Sunscreen

A chemical sunscreen contains UV absorbing chemicals. Common chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone (now banned in many countries), octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. Chemical sunscreens work by filtering and reducing UV radiation.

The ingredients in chemical sunscreens can be absorbed into the skin tissues. When exposed to the sun, your skin absorbs the UV rays and neutralizes them. These can cause heat within the skin and create free radical damage and inflammation.

What do SPF numbers mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s a laboratory derived ratio which measures the increased amount of radiation which causes redness in skin when the sunscreen that is being tested is applied, compared to a base line when no sunscreen is used. So, if it takes 10 minutes for unprotected skin to show redness, then an SPF 15 sunscreen correctly applied, will take 15 times as long or 150 minutes to burn. A SPF 15 will give you approximately 93% protection.

How much better are SPF 30+ sunscreens?

Higher numbers on labels are more about marketing. It's the law of diminishing returns.

SPF 30+ allows transmission of 3.4% of UV radiation. It doesn’t mean you can stay out in the sun for longer periods of time. It’s recommended that you should use sunscreen in conjunction with other sun protection measures – such as hats, sunglasses, clothing and shade. A 30+ sunscreen physical sunscreen equates to approximately 97.3% protection against UV Radiation.

A 50+ sunscreen which contains a chemical sunblock ingredient will give you approximately 97.8% protection. While a chemical sunscreen is slightly higher, it may also be contributing to damage within the skin.

Keep in mind that the exact level of protection is challenging to measure accurately because of variable factors like how much you apply, the weather and even your skin type that can’t be controlled. 

How should sunscreens be best applied?

Sunscreens should be applied on all exposed areas of skin at least 20 minutes before exposure to sunlight. It should be applied liberally and evenly to clean, dry skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours to ensure ongoing protection. You should re-apply more regularly if you are swimming, exercising, perspiring or towel drying. 

How much sunscreen should I apply?

For an adult, the recommended application is 5ml (approximately 1 teaspoon full) for each arm, leg, body front, body back and face (including neck and ears). That equates to a total of 35ml (approximately 7 teaspoons full) for a full body application.

For a child, the recommended full body application is about half that used for an adult (this will vary depending on the size of the child) and is around 18mls or approximately half a teaspoon full for each of the body parts listed above. 

Can sunscreens be used on babies and young children?

It’s best to keep babies and children out of the sun as much as possible. When this is not possible, ensure they stay in the shade and wear protective clothing and a hat. Broad spectrum, SPF30+ sunscreen may be applied to small areas of skin that cannot be protected by clothing (such as face, ears and backs of hands). It is best to avoid chemical sunscreens as the long-term effects of using them are unknown. Choose a physical sunscreen instead.

Can you burn on a cloudy day?

Yes you can, as a significant amount of UV can pass through clouds.

What other precautions should be used, other than sunscreens?

Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Sunscreen should never be the first line of defence against sun damage. It’s important to incorporate the use of a broad brimmed hat, protective clothing and sunglasses. Make use of shade where possible. Never use sunscreen to extend the time you would normally spend in the sun. 

Can I still get sunburned if I apply sunscreen?

The manufacture of sunscreens is strictly regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) of Australia, and part of this process is that all batches of sunscreen that are produced are thoroughly tested to ensure that the TGA approved formula is adhered to and that the quantity of approved active ingredients is present before they are released to the public. In all cases that have been investigated, where a consumer has been sunburned after applying sunscreen, it has invariably been found to be due to applying insufficient sunscreen and/or not reapplying sunscreen often enough. 

The age-old notion of SPF is still paramount for protecting the skin year-round. However, when considering your sun defence usage, it's important to weigh up the safety of physical and chemical sunscreens and their environmental impact.

Our new Daily Moisturiser with Sunscreen and new improved Tinted Moisturiser with Sunscreen have 20% total volume zinc oxide. Whilst we are unable to claim more than SPF 15, the ratio of zinc oxide fortified with antioxidants and key actives is suitable for moderate, daily protection. 

When you purchase either one of our sunscreens, for a limited time, you will receive a travel size version free as a gift with purchase.

HAVE YOU TRIED OUR SUNSCREEN? LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE IN THE RUNNING TO WIN $150 WORTH OF PRODUCTS OF YOUR CHOICE.

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