Yay! I feel Summer poking its head around the corner! So you know what that means………
Bikinis, Mojitos and Frolicking in the sand…….
Hold up wait a minute………in my dreams :P
Hmmmmm the joys of motherhood, responsibility and the effects of gravity. Trust me that sag is real!
So as we are creeping towards those Sunnier days it made me think of sunscreens.
I am constantly asked about my opinion on Sunscreens. It’s a common product that many react to especially children.
Fortunately, we live in beautiful sunny Australia that unfortunately has a hole in the ozone layer over it. Which means we need to uber careful about protecting ourselves even on overcast cooler days.
It is advised by the Cancer Council of Australiathat during the hottest months between 9.30am and 4.30pm we should avoid as much exposure to the sun as possible. There advice is to Slip, Slop, Slap and Seek. Slip on sun protective clothing, Slop on Sunscreen that is broad spectrum and has a minimum 30 plus protection, Slap on a hat and Seek shade where possible.
The Cancer Council also recommends if the UV index is above 3 then you should consider using sunscreen as part of your daily routine.
The confusion for most lies in what SPF factor actually means and the second is knowing what is better to put on your skin.
Before I go into that lets first understand UV Rays and the 3 types.
What ultimately you are seeking in a sunscreen is broad protection which means it protects against UVA and UVB both.
Now, SPF or Sun Protection Factor. This ranges from 10+ right up to 50+. And before you ask……Why would you choose one over the other? Let me break down what we are looking at.
The SPF rating of a product refers to how long it takes for you to be exposed to the sun before you would get burnt in comparison to using nothing at all. This ratio is based on a 10 minute factor, so for example an SPF of 15 means that it will take 15 times longer to burn, meaning 150 minutes. So the higher the SPF, theoretically it should take you longer to burn……but this all depends on how you have applied. And this is the most critical step in using sunscreen.
You must and I have to emphasize MUST apply sunscreen 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. So no slopping on and then jumping in the pool kiddies! I’m the first to admit I've done this with my kiddies far too often. And this Summer I am going to be very diligent.
So how do Sunscreens work?
Sunscreens work ultimately in 2 ways either by absorbing the UV Rays or reflecting them and can be split into chemical or physical sunscreens.
A physical sunscreen works by reflecting the suns UV rays by providing a physical barrier to the sun. They contain mineral based ingredients like zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide.
A chemical based sunscreen absorb the suns UV rays and work by filtering and reducing UV radiation. Common chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone (now banned in many countries), octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone.
My concern with chemical based sunscreens are how they are absorbed by the skin tissue. When the sun hits your skin, your skin absorbs the UV rays and then neutralises them. As a result heat can be generated within the skin which can lead to free radical damage and inflammation.
So for this reason, the physical barrier protection is what I recommend. Physical sunscreen active ingredients also carry anti-inflammatory benefits and are a less toxic option for your body.
So what products are out there? If you are a DIYer then go for it but I generally don’t endorse this purely because I have never tried it myself so cant compare it.
If you’re like me and struggle to fit a bit of mixing in your life then these are ones I am happy to recommend to you.
Eco Logical Skincare Sunscreen 30+
Little Urchin Sunscreen 30+
Sun Bums Sunscreen
I personally use Little Urchin for the family and it works the treat.
So make sure you stay sun safe especially this Summer......I feel it's going to be hot one.