Why Sunscreen is so Important
Is there any more important anti-ageing product than a sunscreen? We don’t think so. Not only do sunscreens prevent skin ageing, they also help protect skin against skin cancers. According to Gina Cook, Ella Baché National Training Manager, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. By the age of 70, at least 2/3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer. UVA/UVB rays exacerbate the aging process, cause skin discolouration, cause sunburn and most critically, can cause the formation of skin cancer. Australia receives high exposure to UV rays due to our closeness to the equator. Our active, outdoor lifestyles and long summer months also mean we receive high exposure to UVR.
When looking for a sunscreen, make sure you buy one with a high protection factor – as a guide, according to The Cancer Council, SPF30 will block out 96.7% of UVB radiation, whilst SPF50+ will block out 98% (1). Given the severity of the Australian sun, it is a good idea to buy a sunscreen made in Australia – look for the AUSTL number on the bottle or tube. According to Cook, AUSTL means that they are listed with the TGA – Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration which is a regulatory body for therapeutic goods in Australia. All Australian made sunscreens need to comply to their strict standards that are in accordance with the harshness of Australia’s sun.
It is important to develop a sunscreen habit early in life, and keep it up as we age. Gina says “mature skin can be finer, more fragile and at higher risk of sensitivity. Often, mature skins already have sun damage and wearing sunscreen can help to make sure this isn’t exacerbated. Mature skins metabolism is slower and has less resilience to damaging UV rays but ultimately, everyone should be regularly wearing sunscreen. The earlier you start, the less likely you are you experience the damaging effects of UVA/UVB rays”. It is also important to apply enough sunscreen – for an adult, The Cancer Council recommends 7 teaspoons (one for each arm, one for each leg, torso front and back, and face), applied 20 minutes before going outside, and then reapply frequently after swimming and exercise (2).
So, what are our favourite sunscreens to keep sunburn at bay? Here are some of our picks for the upcoming Summer, to keep the entire family sun safe (remember sunscreen is only part of a sun protection plan – slip, slop, slap, seek and slide).
Ella Baché Sportsbloc Great SPF50+
Ella Baché Sportsbloc Great SPF50+ provides very high sun protection for all Australian lifestyles. We love that the formula is water resistant for up to 4 hours, provides very high, Broad Spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and can be used on both face and body – it’s perfect for water sports in particular. Formulated in Australia to combat our local sun and enriched with nourishing Lanolin and Cocoa Butter, the lotion cares for skin while it protects, with a light, dry finish. Pack this one in your sports bag for Summer. Sportsbloc Great SPF50+ 130ml RRP $39.00.
Natio Moisturising Sun Spray SPF 50+
As well as the very high level SPF 50+ sun protection in the Natio Moisturising Sun Spray, we love the convenient, easy to apply spray nozzle, which makes sunscreen application a breeze wherever and whenever you need. Water resistant for up to 4 hours, the ultra light sun lotion is ideal for a day out, or at the beach. Formulated with Aloe and Vitamin E, and ideal for mature and not so mature skin, the deeply moisturising lotion has a very high Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and the formula helps to soften and smooth skin as it protects. Moisturising Sun Spray SPF 50+ 200ml RRP $17.95.
Natio For Men SPF 50+ Face Moisturiser
It can be hard to get some men to wear sunscreen regularly, however this may be just the product to do it. Whilst officially a moisturiser, the high SPF gives this product its place as one of our favourite sunscreens. The new Natio For Men SPF 50+ Face Moisturiser helps to moisturise and protect men’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays. With a very high, Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection, the quick drying, non-greasy formula is suitable for both daily use and for active adventures outdoors. SPF 50+ Face Moisturiser 100g RRP $17.95.
Nivea Sensitive Protect SPF 50
Sensitive skins are already reactive and prone to irritation, so sunscreen is s must. For those with sensitive skin, the Nivea Sensitive Protect SPF 50 is a great, gentle sunscreen. Formulated with Aloe Vera and Chamomile, to help soothe and calm sensitive skin, the sunscreen offers up to 4 hours water resistance, with a high Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. The formula is free from perfumes and colourants, and is dermatologically approved for skin compatibility. Sensitive Protect SPF 50 200ml RRP $16.99. Also available in 100ml size RRP $11.99.
Hamilton Toddler Roll-On SPF 50+
This one has been a favourite in our house since our now 12yo was a toddler. Perfect for younger, and more mature skins (our whole family uses it), this is the perfect sunscreen to keep in a school bag, or hand bag, for touch-ups on the go (and children love that they can apply themselves – just keep an eye on the amount they use to make sure they are protected). The formula provides very high Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and is water resistant for up to 4 hours. The gentle formula is colour, fragrance, and lanolin free. Toddler Roll-On SPF 50+ 50ml RRP $9.50.
These are our go to sunscreens for Summer – do you use any of these, or something else? What do you love about your sunscreen? Let us know in the comments below.