- Is the best sunscreen zinc?
- should I be using an SPF 30 or 50?
- what are the best sunscreen ingredients?
- what is the best sunscreen for sensitive skin?
- what is the best sunscreen for acne-prone skin?
- should I use physical or chemical sunscreen?
These are just some of the questions we get asked by our customers in our clinic.
The fact of the matter is there are a whole host of ways that UV can funk with your skin.
But there is also a minefield of pseudoscientific myths surrounding the best sunscreen practices.
This is perpetuated by people who aren’t sure what they’re talking about.
Fortunately, our professional advice holds more water than a regular beauty vlogger; but we appreciate there’s so much to know.
So join us as we help you understand the best sunscreen protection practices you can introduce into your skincare routine.
Tip One: Start early to prevent premature ageing
The earlier you start using sunscreen, the better; any pigmentation changes you see in your skin comes from accumulative damage over a lifetime, which begins at an early age. The damage may not show in your skin until you’re in your 30s.
Extensive sun exposure can cause the formation of free radicals; these alter your DNA cells, where there is a biochemical potential for cancer cells to form. These free radicals cause oxidation and destroy your collagen and elastin — the structures that help keep your skin looking plump and give it that youthful snap back.
Wrinkles, sagging skin, and poor skin texture begin to show when this happens.
Tip Two: Regularly apply your sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens use one of several compounds as their protective agent—an example of which is Oxybenzone.
The rhetoric that once surrounded “unsafe” chemical sun protection making it unfit for use, comes from unstable UVA blockers. Fortunately, today new advances in chemistry and FDA guidelines mean fewer problems with chemical-based sunscreens.
Physical sunscreens use agents such as Titanium and Zinc. We believe both chemical and biological sunscreens work equally well.
Tip Three: Understand that SPF is not enough to protect your skin fully
The number on your sunscreen represents the sun protection factor (SPF), which measures how long you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. If you don’t apply sunscreen, your skin will burn in around 30 minutes. Thus, an SPF of 6 would allow you to stay out six times longer, or 3 hours without getting burnt.
However, the term SPF is outdated because it measures how long it takes for clinical inflammation to appear. This inflammation is cellular damage and can occur long before your skin starts turning red.
So apply your sunscreen regularly, and don’t forget to use safe sun practices to prevent sun-damaged skin.
Tip Four: Why antioxidants can protect your skin from the sun
More productive than scrutinising your SPF’s number, we believe, is looking at non-SPF ingredients that work in synergy; this is especially true of Antioxidants.
Some UV rays penetrate your skin and cause free radical damage, even with SPF, so using an Antioxidant product will prevent oxidation.
In other words, good protection should involve a sunscreen with an SPF factor and a combination of Antioxidants to prevent and stop free radical damage, which is why we created the following products:
Glo dark spot complex with its cocktail of lightening and brightening ingredients and Antioxidants; Co-Enzyme Q10, Bearberry and Kojic Acid are essential melanin inhibitors that will help shift hyperpigmentation.
This, combined with the C+ skin shot — a stable form of Vitamin C that is blended with Antioxidants Vinanza Grape and Ferulic Acid to neutralise oxidation.
Tip Five: Understand sun damage and how you can treat it.
The symptoms of skin damage due to excessive sun exposure can include hyperpigmentation, sagging skin, uneven skin texture, broken capillaries and inflammation.
To understand what causes this damage, we need to look at ultraviolet light in more detail:
UVA rays are known as the ageing ray in the beauty industry. This is because they damage your skin’s dermal structures, such as; collagen and elastin. These rays are longer and more penetrating and are responsible for DNA damage. UVA rays also cause melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
UVB rays are known as burning rays. They’re shorter when compared to UVA rays and cause sunburn. They are responsible for most non-melanoma skin cancers.
UV rays speed up the process of melanin production, the pigment responsible for giving your skin its colour. The overactivation of pigment cells causes irregular pigmentation, so age spots will appear whenever melanin is produced in high concentrations, especially in skin that has had years of sun exposure.
Our article on melanin is a great place to start if you want to understand more about what happens to your skin when it becomes damaged by UV rays.
Bonus Tip; sunscreen for skin types
We get asked a lot about the best sunscreen for oily skin or my skin type?
Applying sunscreen can be unappealing if you have oily skin, especially since many can leave a greasy, white cast after they’re applied. The good news? There are plenty of sunscreens that leave a non-oily finish on your skin.
If you have acne skin, look for labels that say oil-free or non-comedogenic, and in terms of application type, powder and gel sunscreens will be more ideal. Cetaphil Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30 is a good example.
For all you sensitive skin folks, the best sunscreen every day is one with a lower SPF. As a rule of thumb, the higher the SPF, the more chemicals, so if your skin is sensitive, stick to an SPF 20 or below.
Implementing the best sunscreen practices will protect your skin from sunburn and help lower your risk of skin cancer., but as you can see, there is a lot to know.
Too much exposure to the sun can do your skin more harm than good, leading to hyperpigmentation, redness, and premature ageing due to collagen and elastin damage.
It’s a good idea to know terms like SPF and understand just how destructive UV rays can be on your skin and how a combination of a good SPF sunscreen,
Vitamin C and Antioxidant-rich formula will keep your skin clear, defending it against sun rays, helping to reverse some of the damage done.
Once armed with this knowledge, you are better equipped to treat your skin correctly and protect it from the early signs of ageing.
On a final note, if you have moles changing shape, please consult your doctor or dermatologist. Usually, pigmented changes can be corrected, but every individual is different.