Everything you need to know about sun care protection
How many times have you been told that you need to wear sunscreen on a daily basis? And at least four times a day if you'll be out in the sun? Countless times?
Although many people are now used to the idea of wearing a sunscreen, some still don't know the importance of sun protection, not just when the sun’s out, but all year round.
We asked Karen Bester, Medical Trainer at Lamelle Research Laboratories, a few commonly asked questions about SPF protection:
Should you wear an SPF every day?
In South Africa we are all constantly exposed to sunlight. Sunlight ages your skin, causes pigmentation to darken and causes damage that may lead to illnesses of the skin, including skin cancer.
Apart from sun protecting habits and clothing, at Lamelle, we advise that everybody applies a sun protection product to the exposed skin daily, before they go into the sun. More specifically, a broad spectrum sun sunscreen with an SPF of 50+.
What is the lowest SPF to wear on your face for daily use?
Sun protection habits are well studied and well known. From trials we know that, in general, we do not apply enough product to get the actual protection factor that is advertised on the bottle. To protect your skin adequately, from general in and out of buildings and cars etc, you would need at least an SPF 15.
What is the difference between UVA and UVB and why you should look for a product that protects against both?
In short, UVB does not penetrate skin well and will cause more burning effects in the top layers of the skin. UVA penetrates better and will cause more ageing effects.
Both of these frequencies cause darkening of skin and both have free radical production effects. UVB causes more direct damage to the DNA of skin cells while UVA causes more free radical damage to DNA in human skin.
What are your top tips for staying safe in the sun this summer?
- Apply sunscreen every day before you go into the sun.
- Even a high SPF does not give you 100% protection, so if you are outdoors and in the sun re-apply your sun protection products every 2-3 hours.
- Re-apply sun protection products when you are swimming or sweating (even water resistant sunscreens – resistant not waterproof).
- Remember the tip of your nose and your tips of your ears.
- Wear sun protective clothing – hats and shirts.
- Stay out of the sun between 12h00 and 15h00.
- Drink extra antioxidants if you are planning on being in the sun – Ovelle D3 which is an oral supplement with Pygnogenol and activated Vitamin D, it increases the skin’s resistance to UVA by 80%. More than that – it significantly improves the appearance of Melasma (hormonal pigmentation), and delays premature ageing of the skin.
- If you are a high risk for burning (very fair skin) or skin cancer (you or a direct family member have received treatment for skin cancer) look for a product that will give you more than just UVA and UVB protection such as Helase 50 +.