Hurrah for summer! The benefits of the warmth and sunshine can be ten-fold on your mood, but if you don't take care to cover up with an SPF in your beauty routine, the nasty effects of UV rays will leave you wishing for winter all year round. Wrinkles, sun spots and bad pigmentation aside, deterring skin cancers should also be a top priority, especially considering that:
skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in Australia
between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
the incidence of skin cancer in Aus is one of the highest in the world - two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
Here's how to use SPF for incidental sun exposure in your beauty routine EVERY DAY for better looking (and feeling!) skin for longer. Remember, you only get one chance to love the skin you're in!
But first, a little more info on the specifics of sun protection. Did you know that UVA rays are the ageing rays - in other words, the ones that give you wrinkles, whilst UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin, or the ones that cause skin cancers. This means you have to consider both when choosing the right sun protection for your skin. A great skincare brand, whose products contain protection against both UVA and UVB rays, is True Solutions.
The True Solutions Total Age Protector SPF 30+ Untinted combines sun protection and moisturiser for soft and protected skin. The inbuilt moisture is also great for nourishment after being in the elements - no more wind-burned, chapped or dry skin! Perfect for use on the face, neck, hands and body, apply after cleansing and before your foundation.
We also love the True Solutions All Day Moisture SPF 30+ Tinted Cream too. This tinted moisturiser is great for those casual days where a full face of makeup is just too much - plus it combines a subtle hint of colour with sun protection. We love a two-in-one!
When it comes to full strength sunscreens - not the ones that aren't concerned with cosmetics - we can't go past Soléo Organics All Natural Sunscreen. Organically produced, this all-natural sunscreen contains no chemical UV-absorbers, titanium dioxide, or synthetic preservatives, plus it's water resistant, has a low skin irritation factor and is neutrally scented. Perfect for use on days when you are subjecting your skin to prolonged sun exposure, use all over to make sure you don't end up like a lobster.
And before we go, some more handy hints on sun protection:
- SPF 'strengths' indicate how long your skin will have sun protection for, not the amount of protection against the sun. Confused? If you use an SPF 30, your skin will get 30 times the length of protection against burning than it would without any sun protection. An SPF of 15 will give you 15 times longer in the sun before burning. But this only means 30 or 15 times longer than it would usually take you to burn. If it usually takes you 10 minutes in the sun to burn without sunscreen, you'll have 300 minutes in the sun using an SPF 30 or 150 minutes in the sun using an SPF 15.
- Once you sweat, or go for a swim, you will need to reapply. And your 300 or 150 minutes will take up from where you left off the minute you stepped out in the sun - not from reapplication.
- Don't scrimp when it comes to the SPF. Be sure to use enough to cover up your face, neck, decolletage, and ears for the right amount of protection.
- If you are off on an overseas holiday, buy up on your sun protection before you leave. Not all sunscreens are created equally and some holiday destinations even sell fake sunscreen (Bali, I'm looking at you!) Buy here is Aus and rest assured your SPF is the real deal.
- If you have pledged to look after your skin daily with a SPF, you are, by the way, completely awesome! But remember, using an SPF every day can clog up your skin, so you need to exfoliate your face at least 3 times a week, and at least once a week with a body scrub to keep your pores clean and clog-free.
Of course, the occasional sneaky burn can creep up on anyone. No one is a saint! If you do fall victim to a bit of burn (and you'll probably know if you didn't take the right procautions, so there is no one to blame but yourself!) get some Aloe onto it stat. We love the You Me and Everybody Cool It Aloe Vera Gel and the Plunkett's 99% Pure Aloe Vera Cooling Gel. Both made with natural Aloe Vera, application on burns helps to soothe intense heat as well as deter peeling.
There you have it! Will your skin be high fiving you this summer thanks to your superb commitment to SPF? Which brand of sunscreen is your fave? Do you use a face sunscreen daily? Let us know! - Lauren