Staying safe in the sun. We all know the mantra, but do we really know how to be safe? If you've ever thought, what is sunscreen? And why is it important? Do we even need it in the UK? What does SPF actually mean? How often do you reapply sunscreen? .. then read on.
Baz Luhrmann's 1999 song sensibly advises. 'Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it'. He didn't claim the rest of the advice in that song was anything other than opinion, but the sunscreen thing? That was science talking!
What is sunscreen and how does it work?
Sunscreen products are made up of particles that physically bounce radiation off the skin and react with UV rays. A good sunscreen blocks and absorbs harmful UV rays through a combination of physical and chemical particles. It basically prevents the sun's powerful UV radiation from penetrating, or even reaching your skin.
What does sunscreen do?
Sunscreen protects! Whether you burn easy or tan easy, it doesn't matter. It's the level to which your skin is exposed to UV rays over time that matters. Sunscreen is important because it will DECREASE the risk of skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent, and lower the risk of melanoma by 50 percent https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/ And sunscreen will help PREVENT premature ageing of the skin caused by the sun - age spots, sagging and wrinkles.
Stay sun safe. What is SPF and which SPF should I use?
What does SPF mean? Easy - Sun Protection Factor. But the numbers? How does SPF work? It's measured like this. Say your skin (without sunscreen) will redden in ten minutes. An SPF number of 30 means it will take 30 times longer for the skin to redden or burn. An SPF of 10 means it will take 10 times longer to redden than if you were not using any sunscreen. BUT even though it's the standard measurement of SPF, there are other factors you must consider to stay safe in the sun.
Do you still get a tan with sunscreen?
Yes, of course. But because of the SPF, you won't burn as quickly. Because the SPF slows down the reddening by the sun, your tan will be slower, deeper and you'll avoid burning, reduce the risk of sun damage and damage to your skin.
How to apply sunscreen to be safe in the sun.
SPF is only as effective as you are at using sunscreen! So apply enough, everywhere that will be exposed. You should also apply half an hour before sun exposure to allow the sunscreen to absorb fully. And you should reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. Clothing can also remove sunscreen from the skin. Research has shown that most of us don't use enough sunscreen. So be generous with it - apply liberally for best protection and safety in the sun.
How to choose a good sunscreen for ultimate sun safety.
SPF is the big indicator of protection over a period time. But NO SPF will block UV rays completely. Sunscreen is only part of your defence! As we said, one way to make it most effective is apply enough, and frequently. Second thing about choosing a good sunscreen. SPF measures protection against UVB rays. NOT UVA rays (yep, there's two rays!) To protect against both UVB and the deeper penetrating UVA, you need a 'Broad Spectrum' sunscreen. Check the label.
Should you use SPF sunscreen every day, even in the UK?
It's a yes. Even in the good old UK! 80% of UV rays filter through even on a cloudy day. A good SPF sunscreen will also be moisturising so no reason not to double up and use a natural sunscreen moisturiser daily. If you're worried your skin is sensitive, or oily then you should definitely go for natural sunscreens - ones that aren't fully chemically based. Products with natural ingredients tend to be the best sunscreens for the face.
What SPF should I use everyday to be safe in the sun?
Now you know about SPF's, generally the recommendation is a good SPF 15 is adequate protection if you're outdoors, say, to walk the dog or normal activity. Make sure you cover all areas that are exposed. If you're the real outdoors type, working outdoors, trekking for hours, or surfing for example, SPF 30 is the minimum you should consider. SPF is about time spent in the sun. And remember it's not just 12 - 3pm when the sun is the strongest. You can still burn at 4pm through to the evening. And you can burn in the shade!
How long does sunscreen last?
It does have a shelf life. That's because some of the active ingredients will break down over time and be less effective. Always check the expiry or 'best by' date on the sunscreen product. If it's out of date, be safe in the sun and get a new one!
What is a 'natural' sunscreen and are they effective?
Sunscreens that are described as 'natural' typically don't have a chemical based sun protection filter. They will usually be paraben free, which we're all looking for in all our beauty products these days. Instead of a list of ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate (eek!), natural sunscreen formulas will contain plant or natural mineral based active ingredients. Like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Are natural mineral sunscreens as effective?
Yes. And it's these two ingredients that really give an effective natural SPF. They make natural sunscreen as safe in the sun as chemical formulas. And, will be more gentle on your skin. Natural sunscreens are the natural choice when we are all trying to reduce the amount of chemicals our body's are absorbing. Many natural sun safe products will also power up their formulas by including plant based ingredients that have naturally occurring sun protection (though this isn't the same as an SPF or true UV filter). So, if you see ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, wheat germ oil or red raspberry seed oil along with zinc oxide, thats good! These natural beauties may carry some mild sun protection, so can't hurt. BUT they are nor enough on their own. You need the mineral ingredients for effective protection.
Where to buy the best natural sunscreens to stay safe in the sun.
Happily, the natural sunscreen market is growing as people want to increasingly avoid harsh chemical formulas. Here at Organics.com, we only stock natural and organic products that meet our standards. So our staying safe in the sun products are guaranteed natural, with excellent mineral sunscreen SPF protection. We love Suntribe's range, with this best all rounder natural mineral sunscreen moisturiser.
Click on the image to know more about this amazing Natural Sunscreen
With a perfect stay safe in the sun SPF 30, its packed with beautiful coconut oil and cacao, with perfect broad spectrum protection from non nano zinc oxide. Which (even better news) according to research is the safest available UV-filter for human health, corals and marine life.
Is sunscreen good for your skin?
Like anything, it depends what's in it! As we said, natural sunscreens avoid the harsh chemical formulas that can cause skin problems. Particularly if you have sensitive or dry skin. And as well as powerful mineral protection and effective SPF's, the best natural sunscreens are packed with skin friendly ingredients. They are formulated to avoid all the usual skin problems, like not clogging pores, or stinging eyes or excess oil. Like this little beauty Metapora Synergy Daylight Dreams Sunscreen Moisturizer With olive and jojoba Oils for lasting hydration, and zinc oxide along with other gorgeous ingredients, Metapora's daylight dreams sunscreen moisturiser packs a cool everyday use SPF15 and is super kind and hydrating to skin. So, an everyday moisturiser with great protection too.
Click on the image to get more information about this Sunscreen and moisturizer
Keeping kids safe in the sun. Can you use Sunscreen for children and babies?
Absolutely. And you should. Children's skin is much more sensitive than adults skin. Go for natural mineral sunscreens with a minimum of SPF30 and preferably up to SPF50 depending on how long they are in the sun for at a time. If your kids are active or little water babies, reapply, reapply, reapply is the mantra. But, because kids skins are super sensitive, sunscreen is only part of defence against the sun. Cover them up with clothes where possible and avoid exposure in the sun when it's at its strongest during the day (12 - 3pm)
Suntribe's All Mineral Body and Face Sunscreen uses no chemicals and is paraben free. Suntribe recommend their product for children and sensitive skins.https://organics.com/products/all-natural-mineral-body-amp-face-sunscreen-spf-30
Staying safe in the sun is easy. Wear Sunscreen!
Baz Lurhmann was absolutely spot on. Wear the best natural sunscreen you can find. Know your SPF's and what your lifestyle needs to stay sun safe. Reapply, reapply. But also, the sun is a mighty powerful force. A great sunscreen should be just part of your defence against UV rays. If you really want to stay safe in the sun, start rocking a wide brimmed hat and invest in some high quality sunglasses. make sure your summer wardrobe includes loose long sleeved tops and cool, wide legged trousers. Which are right on trend for summer 21! Know your skin and protect it sensibly.
Love your summer, wherever you are. Smile, be happy, be kind and be sun safe!