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Every year, dermatologists stress the value of sun cream to protect us from the sun’s harsh rays, but it’s important to know what you’re buying, so you can make the best choice for you and your family.
We’ve broken it down to what you need to know and where to buy our top picks.
Don’t forget to check the promos and discount codes on offer before you part with your pennies!
Sun cream is one of the best methods of protecting your skin from the sun. Depending on the type and brand, sun creams can either absorb or reflect UV rays from the sun, keeping your skin cells safe from harm. It is sold as a lotion, a gel, a stick, a cream or a spray and can even be mixed in with some makeup formulas so that you can look fantastic AND protect yourself.
There are two different types of sun cream: regular and broad spectrum. Broad spectrum sun creams protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Both types of rays are responsible for severe skin damage, ageing and skin cancers, but the main differences between the rays lie in the frequency and aesthetic effect. UVA rays occur almost all the time and tend to cause tanning. UVB rays are dependent on location and time and are responsible for burning or reddening.
Not protecting your skin can lead to serious damage or even skin cancer, so ultimately (with the exception of allergies) the risk of not using approved sun cream is far worse than any problems that may arise from the products themselves. Having said that, it’s important to know what to look for on the bottle to make sure your sun cream is appropriate for you.
As sun cream is designed to cover our bodies very extensively, we need to ensure that there’s no risk of ingesting or absorbing harmful chemicals.
Most of the concerns about sun cream stem from confusion over its chemical makeup and whether there are substances within the products that could actually be harmful to the skin in the long run.
The two main types of sun cream have different active ingredients. One type contains organic chemical filters and the other contains inorganic metal filters. The latter is considered better for UV protection and overall coverage due to the presence of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which scatter UV rays and prevent them from being absorbed into the skin. Chemical filters are less popular as they can occasionally cause allergies and some people believe them to be harmful. However, they are still regarded as effective UV-radiation blockers.
Unless you suffer from skin sensitivity or allergies, you shouldn’t experience any issues with sun cream. If you’re worried, then just be mindful of the ingredients before you purchase any and ensure you use your product correctly for maximum protection.
There are a lot of confusing terms on the back of most sun cream bottles, but it doesn’t all have to seem like a completely different language. Here are the most commonly used terms, and what they really mean:
If you’re the kind of person who rocks a full face of makeup every day, it’s important that you keep your blank canvas safe underneath. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your routine in order to keep sun safe. A number of brands offer face products with SPF protection, including tinted moisturisers, BB creams and even setting sprays.
If you aren’t sold on swapping out any of your regular products for those with SPF, just pop on your sun cream before your primer and you’re good to go. When it comes to reapplying, a setting spray or mist with SPF is your safest bet and won’t cause any issues with your look.
One of the most frustrating deterrents that come with SPF is flashback. This occurs when the SPF within the product reflects the light from flash photography, giving off a chalky, ghostly look. The best way to avoid this is to have a separate foundation for day and night use. During the day, you won’t have to worry about flash photography, but at night you can use an SPF moisturiser underneath a non-SPF foundation and powder.
Wearing sun cream on a daily basis is an important part of any skincare routine to help maximise your skin’s health. Choose a product that works well for your skin and your budget.
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