I will start off with the most important thing with sunscreen. All the statistic’s that follow will not be true if you don’t use the right amount of sunscreen. The correct amounts are for the average-sized adult:
- apply more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen (about 3 ml) to Face/neck (incuding ears) and to each arm
- Just over one teaspoon (6 ml) to each leg, the front of the body and the back of the body.
That is, approximately 35 ml of sunscreen for one full body application. This is a lot so i recommend buy an excellent quality for face and neck that won’t clog your skin and a slightly cheaper one for the rest of your body.
Sunscreen protects against ultraviolet radiation. This is broken into three types of wavelengths:
- UV-A: (Ageing) This is the longest wavelength and penetrates both the ozone layer and glass as well as penetrating deeper into the skin than UV-B. It causes cancer, premature ageing, age spots and wrinkling
- UV-B: (Burning) Responsible for tanning and sunburns. It is partially blocked by the ozone layer cannot travel as easily through glass.
- UV-C: This is totally absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere; we encounter it only from artificial radiation sources- i.e tanning beds.
There are 2 types of sunscreens- physical and chemical. Both have their pro’s and con’s.
Chemical– absorb uv and stop it from reaching your skin. Chemical filters offer more coverage against UVA and UVB rays than physical sunscreens. It is colourless, odorless, has a runny texture, and doesn’t clog the skin. They can be more irritating to skin if you are highly sensitive, it can make your eyes sting and water. It is normally chemical sunscreens if it doubles as another product ie- makeup primer, moisturiser, foundation.
Physical-The main ingredients are both or either- zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They reflect and scatter UV. They are better for sensitive skin but Titanium dioxide can be problematic for some people. (it can clog the skin and cause breakouts and blackheads) Titanium dioxide protects against UVB rays, but not the full spectrum of UVA rays. Zinc oxide protects against the entire spectrum of UVB and UVA rays. It can be thick and opaque, and may be hard to apply, leaving a white cast to the skin. It rubs off more easily and must be frequently reapplied.
A couple of little tips.
- No sunscreen provides full protection so never rely on sunscreen alone for sun protection. Combine sunscreen with sun-protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat that protects the face, head, neck and ears, shade and sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this).
- Use a generous amount of sunscreen.
- The weather makes little difference. Overcast conditions block as little as 20% of radiation. So you should apply sunscreen every day
- You can get sun damage by just driving to work- so even if you are in an office all day remember UVA (responsible for age spots, premature ageing and cancer) can travel through glass. (see picture of man who was a truck driver for 25years, you can see the side where the sun penetrated through the window)
Many people think that using moisturizer or foundation with SPF is enough protection from the sun. However, this is incorrect. SPF included in these products is usually not very stable and does not provide adequate protection on its own. You also wouldn’t use enough -1/2 teaspoon and because that is mixed in a base with primer/moist/found you would need even more to get sufficient sun protection. Therefore, it’s best to use a moisturizer without SPF and a separate sunscreen afterwards. Saying that- for people who just won’t use a seperate sunscreen- having it in another product is better than not having it at all.
At Shine we sell a mixture of all the above
Aspect sunblock – physical sunblock
Payot spf 50- chemical sunblock
Kryolan primer- spf 20
Payot bb light- moisturiser/tint/spf 15.