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Sunscreen Do’s & Don’t’s

Seasonal Skincare, Tips
Posted on September 27, 2021

You’ll likely already know the importance of SPF – particularly if you’re well-versed in your skincare. There is more to ensuring your using sunscreen as part of your routine, as with any product, using it correctly means that you’ll receive the results you’re hoping for. Improper use of sunscreen often leads to little or no protection from UV rays, not to mention the money and product waste (of your skincare, too!) that it can lead to.

In Australia, the Cancer Council found that 4 in 5 Australians don’t apply enough sunscreen – that’s 80% of our population within a geographical area that has harsher sun than the rest of the world. If used correctly, a 50ml bottle of sunscreen, if used properly, shouldn’t last more than two to three weeks. While not amazing news for our wallets, consider the copious amounts of skincare to try counteracting the damage done by those rays!

Our sunscreens are mineral based, rather than chemical sunscreens. The key difference is that mineral sunscreen is physical, meaning it sits on top of the skin and blocks rays at the surface using ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Chemical sunscreens absorb rays like a sponge, using ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octisalate. While chemical sunscreens often have a nicer after-skin feel, there have been investigations with some of these chemicals used whereby many feel safer with a physical, mineral sunscreen. The downside to physical sunscreens is that they often leave a white cast due to the zinc, however there are plenty of beautiful formulas that have been balanced out with nourishing oils and butters to be worked into the skin.


Our top SPF Do’s & Don’t’s


DO – Choose Broad Spectrum

To protect the skin from both UVA & UVB rays, broad spectrum sunscreen is the best option.

UVA rays are present all year round, contributing to the environmental stress our skin faces daily. UVA is responsible for 95% of all UV light. UVB is more prevalent in the direct sun where burning can occur. Broad Spectrum is to be worn by all skin tones as protection.


DON’T – Rely on Make-up For Protection

Generally, tinting in make-up or the physical block offered by some foundations lead some to believe it suffices for protection. Likely, it will provide a tiny bit of UVB protection if any. It’s also likely you won’t apply enough or in the correct places for full protection. Remember skincare, SPF, then make-up. If you’re spending more time outdoors and can’t reapply over make-up, bring a hat and seek shade.


DO – The 2 Finger Method

Studies have come to light showing that most people are only applying 25–75% of the adequate amount to protect their skin. Using a SPF 30 or higher, apply sunscreen to along your index and middle finger. That is the standardised amount to apply for maximum coverage. If you’re not using SPF appropriately, you may as well throw out your skincare.


DON’T – Wear a Low SPF

Some people prefer SPF 15 as mineral sunscreens higher than this often come side by side with a white cast. SPF 15 is usually marketed as a tinted moisturiser, and is a perfectly fine product for working indoors, near windows, in winter. Though not the preferred choice, they are still available. If spending time outdoors, SPF 30 is a minimum.


DO – Reapply Every 2 Hours

Recommended reapplication is every 2 hours. If you’re barefaced and in the sun, this shouldn’t be a problem. We often find reapplication harder when we wear make-up – in which case, if you’re spending time outdoors for longer than 2 hours, opt for a tinted moisturiser to ease reapplication, or if it’s a full face of make-up, bring a hat. There are other forms of sun safety to protect you!


DON’T – Forget The Rest Of Your Body!

It’s easy to take about SPF for our face as it comes with its cosmetic or aesthetic benefits. However, the real reason we use sun protection is for our harsh rays – remember to slip, slop, slap on any exposed parts of the body to protect it from the rays. You will most definitely still get your Vitamin D in this process; however our Australian sun has a harsher sting and it’s important to protect our skin as we would any other organ.


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