The Best Sunscreen Tips To Protect Your Skin In 2020
By Stef Crowley-Clough
1. Avoid premature ageing & use a ‘broad-spectrum’ sunscreen.
That is, a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA & UVB rays.
But what does that mean?
Well, let’s start by breaking down UV rays & the difference between UVA & UVB.
When your skin comes into contact with UV rays or environmental pollutants, it causes the production of highly reactive & unstable molecules in your skin (called 'free radicals'). These molecules damage your DNA & collagen – this is known as ‘oxidative stress’. Dr. Scott McGregor.
Both UVA and UVB are forms of ultraviolet light that penetrate the earth's atmosphere. UVA’s penetrate deep into the skin’s dermis which is the skin's thickest layer. Unprotected UVA exposure can lead to premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, wrinkling of the skin and cancer. UVB is what generates a burn or redness to the skin, and ultimately skin cancer as well.
Both can contribute to skin cancers and are key players in causing premature ageing.
Most (all) ‘physical’ or ‘mineral’ sunscreen filters on their own, are not completely broad spectrum. Zinc, for example, doesn't cover UVA1.
“UVA rays are considered the sun’s silent killers, because unlike UVB rays, you do not feel the effects of UVA rays damaging your skin. UVA rays are the cause of tanning, and unless you burn first, getting a tan isn’t painful, but those unfelt UVA rays are reaching deep into the skin, causing havoc in every layer.
"UVA rays penetrate farther into the skin than UVB rays, steadily destroying key substances in skin that give it its firmness and elasticity. UVA rays are a leading cause of wrinkles and a cause of, or major contributor to, every type of skin cancer."
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin! And we’re not talking about the odd glass of water or waiting until you’re thirsty, we’re talking about consistently staying hydrated.
Water is essential to maintaining skin moisture and delivering vital nutrients to the skin cells, helping to nourish the skin tissue and assisting in maintaining skin elasticity.
3. Know your ‘buzz words’.
Terms like natural & organic can be extremely misleading when they’re used in reference to sunscreen.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 'natural sunscreen' as all sunscreens, including mineral, contain some form of chemical, whether it be an organic or inorganic compound (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for example) that has been altered in a laboratory. In order to achieve an SPF rating of 50+ you need a mixture of UV filters.
And organic? Well, all sunscreens are organic as they are made up of organic compounds. Organic is a confusing and misrepresented term when it comes to sunscreen.
4. Use a moisturiser containing Niacinamide, also known as B3!
It protects your skins lipid barrier (the natural fatty layer on the outside of your skin that’s there to help retain moisture and protect you from environmental damage).
It balances your natural sebum levels. Sebum is the oil that your skin produces, an over-production of sebum oil can cause acne & congestion.
It is a powerful anti-inflammatory, you may hear this all the time and think what is inflamed skin, inflamed skin can be anything from a small breakout through to severe acne, red-skin, blotchiness, and rosacea (approx. 30% off the population will experience rosacea).
It reduces the size of pores; this is great for reducing acne signs.
It’s an antioxidant.
It helps reduce hyper-pigmentation & sunspots.
5. Start young!
It is extremely important to make sure your baby/babies (over 6-months) and children are wearing sunscreen. Their young skin is sensitive and fragile. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
Make sure your child seeks the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM. Check the outdoor area where your child plays to make sure there is adequate shade.
And finally, make sure you pick a TGA approved Australian Sunscreen.