UV Radiation from the sun is reaching your skin in two different forms, UVA and UVB rays. UVB radiation is the key cause of skin cancer and is the form that is blocked by most sunscreens out there.
When it comes to choosing a great SPF there’s a few things to keep in mind
The Level of SPF
SPF 15 protects typically against 93% of UVB radiation, SPF30 96.7% and SPF50 98%.
The amount of SPF you’re going to apply
When you’re applying your sunscreen use about a teaspoon for each arm, leg and side of your mid-section for full coverage.
The timeframe you’re exposed
The SPF of your favourite sunscreen represents also the amount of time a product ‘protects’ you from sun damage. For example an SPF15 would protect you for 15 times the amount of time your skin can naturally sustain sun exposure. So if you can be out for 10 minutes without burning, the SPF15 would give you 150 minutes of protection. But! Most of the research for SPF is conducted under conditions that don’t account for maybe missing a spot, sweat, water etc. So for guaranteed protection, it’s best to re-apply after any swim, or every two hours.
Keep it broad
Always opt for a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB. Although that pink, sensitive burn is caused by UVB, UVA can also cause damage including pre-mature ageing and skin cancer.
Best SPF for the Face
Clarins’ new SPF50+ Sunscreen Control Cream for Face ($40, Available November 28) hydrates and protects against sun damage causing age spots.
Best SPF for the Body
La Roche’s new Anthelios SPF50 Nutritive Oil ($35.95) smooths and nourishes the skin whilst providing high, broad spectrum protection.
Perfect for athletic types the Neutrogena CoolDry Sport range uses their new MICROMESH™ technology that allows sweat to evaporate through the sunscreen offering powerful protection and a great cooling sensation as you work out.
Best SPF for the Eyes
Alpha-H’s Absolute Eye Cream SPF15 is perfect for the sensitive eye area. Giving the area hydration and protection in one it protects from the pre-mature aging effects of sun damage in a super light-weight cream.
Best SPF for the Hands
One of the first signs of ageing is your hands, protect them from rays coming in through the windscreen while driving and when you’re out and about with QV’s new SPF15 Hand Cream that protects, nourishes and protects when applied after each hand wash.
Best for the Kids
Instilling great SPF habits is super important. Make sun protection fun with the Cancer Council’s SPF50 Peppa Pig Sunscreen.
Best for Scars
Sun damage can really exacerbate scarring. Protect and nourish them with Cancer Council’s specialised SPF for scars with nourishing Vitamin E and Niacinamide.
Best SPF in Makeup
Time poor? Choose a base with SPF to boot! It Cosmetic’s CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation offers coverage, anti-ageing serum and SPF in one easy-to-use foundation. Broad spectrum and physical SPF only the Veil is the perfect summer base!
Want something a little lighter? The SunSense Daily Face SPF50+ gives you a light tinted and matte finish with great protection for any skin type.