We all know sunscreen is essential in our harsh, sun-drenched climate. But are we using it the right way? To help you stay protected this summer and all year round, here are 6 sunscreen rules to live by. How many have you been breaking?
1. Shop for your skin type
Not all sunscreens are created equal, and some modern-day formulas are very advanced, helping to do things like hydrate the skin, prevent redness or even mattify. Shopping for your skin type – dry, oily, combination or normal – will ensure your skin is comfortable as well as protected. Oily skins will typically need a lighter formula, while drier skins might benefit from a richer, more nourishing cream. And, as with skincare, sensitive skin types need to be especially careful when selecting sun protection. Thankfully, our friends at La Roche-Posay have formulated the Anthelios range for maximum tolerance from the most sensitive skins. The hypoallergenic products are tested under dermatological control, and all provide high-level broad-spectrum protection from ageing UVA and cancer-causing UVB rays.
2. Reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming
To stay safe when you’re out and about, reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. Or even sooner, if you’ve been swimming or working up a sweat with a workout. In this case, reapply as soon as you’ve towelled off.
3. Don’t skimp!
Many of us just aren’t using enough sunscreen. Here’s how many teaspoons you should apply to cover the following body parts:
1 teaspoon - Head, neck and face
1 teaspoon - Front of the body
1 teaspoon - Back of the body
1 teaspoon - Arms
2 teaspoons - Legs (each)
4. Face sunscreen for the face, body for the body
Believe it or not, face and body sunscreens are formulated differently, so stick with what it says on the bottle. For the face, it is particularly important to choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen to reduce the risk of breakouts. La Roche-Posay has tinted versions of all its SPF 50+ broad spectrum facial sunscreens for those seeking some extra coverage and a natural-looking glow. And for those with oily, shiny skin, the all-new Anthelios Anti-Shine Dry Touch SPF 50+ uses anti-shine technology for a perfectly matte finish. For the body, you should still shop for your skin type. If your skin’s thirsty, Anthelios Nutritive Oil SPF 50 is a great, lightweight and non-greasy option. With a dry-oil finish and lovely hypoallergenic perfume, it helps to nourish and protect drier skin types, and prevent sun-induced pigmentation.
5. Layer up with protective clothing
Sunscreen is amazing, but it can’t be expected to do all the work. Try to abide by the Cancer Council slogan of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide. Slip on some sun-protective clothing. Slop on some broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen. Slap on a broad brim hat. Seek shade. Slide on some sunglasses.
6. If in doubt, chuck it out
If you’ve ever had a nasty sunburn, despite slathering yourself in sunscreen, it could be that your bottle has passed its use-by. Sunscreen loses efficacy over time, so make sure you bin it once it reaches its expiry date.