Sunscreen Protection: Ensure that your skin is protected from the rays of the sun this summer
Summer is on its way! Now is a great time to start thinking about your sunscreen protection, ensuring that your precious skin is protected when the sizzling rays of the sun are beating down. Without proper protection, your skin can easily get damaged which can lead to a wide array of issues.
“The first sign of damage is tanning” says Mel Driver, founder of Embalm Skincare.
“When you get sun burnt and your skin beings to peel, this is classed as a second-degree burn, so you need to be savvy about your skin protection!
You need to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go in the sun. This allows it enough time to fully absorb. But you also should reapply it frequently, particularly if you're in and out of the ocean or pool, or sweating a lot.
When on the lookout for sunscreens, look for ones that are made with non-nano zinc oxide for best broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
Keep away from homemade or DIY sunscreens; they are a big no-go, even if they sound fantastic. They will not protect your skin from anything!"
We've put together some of the most important things to look for and consider when choosing your sunscreen this summer.
UVA and UVB rays; what's the difference?
The sun emits both of these types of rays. UVA rays are always in the atmosphere, no matter what season it is or what the weather is doing. These can penetrate the deep layers of your skin, causing wrinkles, sunspots and premature ageing. UVB rays are around more in the hot days of summer, and can cause sunburn and skin cancer.
Mineral/Physical Vs. Chemical Sunscreen
There is a lot of confusion around these two, and when you're standing in front of a shelf full of brightly coloured bottles, it isn't easy to know what to choose! Essentially, there are 2 types of sunscreens available on the market: physical blockers, and chemical absorbers. With chemical absorbers, chemicals absorb the UV rays of the sun and then release them safely.
While a popular choice, these sunscreens can contain chemicals that are synthetic. Physical sunscreens use minerals (such as zinc) to deflect the UV rays of the sun, so that the rays do not penetrate the skin. Physical sunscreens are known to offer full protection and are non-irritating to the skin.
With chemical, what should I look out for?
If you opt for chemical sunscreen, or already have some in your cupboard and want to know if it’s effective and safe, these are the three main chemicals to be aware of. If it contains any of these, its worth avoiding the product alltogether.
Homosalate: This has a EWG (a group who provides information on sunscreen products) hazard score of 4. It is known to disrupt oestrogen, progesterone and androgen.
Octinoxate: This has an EWG hazard score of 8. It can disrupt hormones and can cause skin allergies.
Oxybenzone: With an EWG rating of 8, this can cause skin allergies and also disrupts hormones.
What does the SPF rating mean in sunscreens?
SPF is a measurement of how long a sunscreen will protect you from the rays of the sun. To decide which SPF you need, simply divide the time it takes you to burn wearing sunscreen, by the time it takes you to burn when you are not wearing sunscreen.
As an example, if it takes you 250 minutes to burn with sunscreen and 5 minutes without, the SPF rating needed will be 50.
How should I incorporate sunscreen in to my skincare routine?
To be completely safe, sunscreen should technically be the last step in your skincare routine. Anything that is placed over the top can reduce how effective it is. After you have cleansed your face in the morning, apply your moisturiser and then your sunscreen.
When it comes to foundation, it can dilute the sunscreen, however you can reduce the dilution. Wait five minutes for the sunscreen to absorb, and then apply foundation lightly in downward motions.
What sunscreen will you be choosing this year?
Refer back to this guide when you need a little helping hand choosing the right sunscreen!