Summer has drawn to a close, but the need for serious UV protection most certainly has not!

In light of the inspiring (and very important) #calltimeonmelanoma movement, we’ve collectively taken a look at our SPF habits- how often we’re applying, the coverage we’re relying on and the products we’re physically using. We implore you to examine your own attitude to sunscreen with a fine toothed comb. Knowledge is power and, in turn, is our greatest defense against UV. It’s not too late to educate yourself and change your SPF habits. There’s no time like the present to work UV protection into your daily routine, and we’re here to assist.

Why wear sunscreen?

Protection for UVA and UVB rays is our onlydefense against melanoma- the third most common cancer in Australia. Keeping the skin covered with clothing, hats and sunglasses is an effective way to stay protected, as is finding shade during intense hours of sunlight, however if the mercury is high, it’s natural to develop an aversion to long sleeved shirts and full length trousers. It’s also near impossible to avoid UV at all times- even time spent walking to the letterbox, hanging out the washing and sitting in the car will all add up.

A large part of the solution is to work an SPF50+ sunscreen into your everyday routine. Your sunscreen needs to protect you from both UVA andUVB rays, and it needs to be applied year ‘round.

Secondary to protection from melanoma is physical ageing. As glamorous as you think a tan may be, a tan is a scar and will only lead to premature ageing somewhere down the line. Even if your deep complexion “doesn’t burn,” you are not immune to the effects of UV damage. 

Do I need to wear sunscreen in winter?

Sunscreen absolutely needs to be worn in the winter. While you may not require the same level of protection as you do in intense summer sunshine, UV rays have the ability to penetrate cloud cover and only one form of UV (UVB specifically) is lessened by clouds- the dangers of UVA remain just as high year ‘round.

What level of SPF do I need?

If you can guarantee that you’ll be indoors for almost the entire day (and before you start nodding, consider the time you’ll spend in the car or outdoors for lunch!), you mightbe able to get away with an SPF15+. It’s still a risk though, and SPF50+ is recommended for maximum protection- particularly under the Australian sun.

Do I need to reapply sunscreen?

The Cancer Council of Australia recommends reapplying your broad spectrum (meaning a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB coverage) SPF every two hours if you are out in the sun. This means that if you’ve applied sunscreen in the morning, you’ll need to reapply before you step out to lunch. We understand that this can be really difficult, however, especially if you’re wearing makeup. We’ve found an effective solution to be dusting a mineral powder with SPF coverage over your makeup- this will top up your UV protection and keep your makeup looking fresh! Jane Iredale make beautiful powders, both pressed and loose, with coverage of SPF20+.

Is makeup with SPF enough?

Makeup with SPF is not enough protection, as the way SPF levels in foundation are measured is very different to the system used for sunscreens. It’s estimated that to receive the labelled SPF coverage from your foundation alone, you would need to apply SEVEN TIMES the amount of foundation you’d ordinarily wear.

Physical vs chemical sunscreen?

The pros and cons of physical and chemical sunscreens are hotly debated, but it really comes down to personal preference. Physical sunscreens will contain a mineral such as zinc oxide to act as a barrier between your skin and the sun, almost bouncing the UV back off your face like a mirror, while chemical or synthetic sunscreens convert the UV to heat. Both physical and chemical sunscreens will offer you adequate protection as long as you choose a high level, broad spectrum SPF and reapply regularly.




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