We all know the detrimental effects of the sun and with summer just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you are protecting your skin from harsh UVA and UVB rays. But what exactly are UVA and UVB rays and what sunscreen should you be using? Read on to find out…
What is SPF? How is it calculated?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF only measures the Sun Protection Factor against UVB rays. To determine the best SPF for you, you first need to figure out how long you can stay in the sun before turning red. Assuming it’s 10 minutes, if you apply a sunscreen with SPF 15, you can stay in the sun 10 x 15 or 150 minutes (2.5 hours) before burning.
What is the difference between UVA/UVB rays?
The sun radiates three kinds of light: UVA, UVB and UVC. Of these three, UVC is naturally filtered out by the earth’s ozone layer, leaving UVA and UVB rays as the most harmful to your skin. UVB causes redness or sunburn that you see. UVA is the stronger type of solar radiation that can effect lower layers of the skin and cause skin damage and skin cancer. The most common ingredients that can protect against UVA radiation are avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. If your sunscreen does not include one of these ingredients, you are putting yourself at risk for serious skin damage.
What is the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?
Mineral sunscreens reflect UV rays from the skin and usually cause no irritation. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays. They are both safe and effective for use.
SPF Products We Love:
NEUTROGENA Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF 70 RRP $22.99
NEUTROGENA Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF70 is a broad-spectrum, high protection sunscreen which absorbs excess sunscreen oil, leaving a lightweight, non-shiny finish. Applying sunscreen lotion when at the beach can be annoying but with the easy application of the body mist we do not have to deal with sticky hands. NEUTROGENA Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF70 is non-comedogenic, and contains helioplex technology to give stabilised protection from the sun’s UVA rays and is suitable for sensitive skin.
LA’BONIC Natural Sun Block SPF 30 Roll On RRP $27.60
A new natural sunscreen combining natural, pure ingredients and made right here in New Zealand. Unlike chemical sun blocks which have to be absorbed into the skin to be effective, LA’BONIC Natural Sun Block sits on top of the skin creating a UV rays reflecting barrier that works as soon as it’s applied. The fact that this sun block works instantly, means there is no need to pre-apply it before going into the sun and unlike many natural sunscreens, it’s non-sticky, very light on the skin with no white film residue. LA’BONIC Natural Sun Block is suitable for all age groups including the sensitive and young skin of babies and children.
NIVEA Light Moisturising Day Cream with SPF 30 RRP $12.99
NIVEA Visage Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream Normal & Combination Skin SPF30+ is specifically formulated for normal and combination skin. Formulated with Hydra IQ, NIVEA’s innovative active ingredient that naturally hydrates skin from the inside, the lightweight moisturiser nourishes the skin and helps maintain its natural moisture balance.
COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Finish – Unscented Tint OR Cucumber RRP $55.00
Naturally shield and nourish skin everyday with these antioxidant-infused, mineral matte SPF 30 high performance broad-spectrum UVA/UVB plus environmental protection. Choose from either the unscented, lightly tinted (just the right amount of tint for healthy,vibrant skin) or Organic Cucumber that lightly scents as it calms sun-exposed skin and gives skin an immediate line-smoothing finish. Made with Organic Rose Hip Oil, rich in free radical fighting Vitamin C Organic calming Evening Primrose and Flax Seed Oils, delivering abundant Omega-3 and Gamma-Linolenic Acid to improve elasticity and help skin retain moisture. Organic Shea Butter smoothes and hydrates while the phyto-protector Plankton Extract rejuvenates skin
Nimue Sun-C SPF40 RRP $69.95
This lightweight, non-oily, moisturising formulation glides on for a matt finish making it ideal for wearing every day, on its own or under makeup. The superior broad-spectrum photo protective system contains high performance sunscreens to guard against irreversible UV-induced damage. The powerful antioxidant complex protects skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, while the environmentally friendly preservative system is suitable for all skin classifications.