I recently had an old friend ask me about my thoughts on the safest sun protection for her children. This is such a great topic to talk about in the midst of spring and with summer fast approaching here on the Gold Coast.
I personally don’t like being in the sun. In my earlier years the desire for a golden tan has left me with irreparable sun damage and a skin check every 3 months. But avoiding the sun in Australia is pretty difficult to do.
Much of the following information has been sourced from the Environmental Working Group website which, if you haven’t heard of it, is the best place to source information about cosmetics and their ingredients.
Sunscreen comes in two forms, either mineral filters or chemical filters.
Chemical Filters are the most commonly found in the sunscreens on the market. They contain two or more of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and create a physical barrier on your skin which blocks the sun’s rays.
Let’s first talk about what suncream actually does and how the damage from the sun occurs.
The sun’s rays are ultraviolet (UV) and there are two types of ultraviolet rays which I am sure you have heard of – UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the ones that give you the burn but they don’t penetrate very deep into the skins layers while UVA rays penetrate deeper than the skins layers and cause DNA cell damage, hello premature ageing!
A few years ago there was a study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology by Monash University finding Australian women are ageing up to 20 years faster than the rest of the world because of our country’s high UV levels.
Most of us think it’s only a few minutes hanging out the washing or “I work inside all day in an office,” however sun damage accumulates! Most of us don’t start to see the effects until we’re in our late 30’s or 40’s when our collagen and elastin depletes. The skin becomes thinner, showing sagging, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and vascular disorders come through which is more than likely sun damage from your earlier years.
UVA can penetrate through clouds and glass, so yes, you’re still exposed to UVA whilst driving!
Ever notice your right hand may be more tanned or freckly than the left? Or if you work next to an office window all day that one side shows more pigmentation than the other?
As far as the percentage of each in our sun’s rays?
In the middle of the day in summer, UVA makes up 95% while UVB contributes just 5%. All in all while sunscreens definitely have a role in preventing skin damage, they should not be relied upon alone.
Some ways you can avoid sun damage to your skin include:
- Avoid the sun between the hours of 11am – 3pm when the sun’s rays are at their harshest.
- Cover up at the beach with a sarong or wet shirt, wear a big hat and sunglasses and sit under the shade.
- Opt for more neutral tone or brown sunglass frames, as black attracts the sun.
- Make it a daily habit in your morning routine to apply an SPF to your face, neck, décolletage & back of hands. These are the areas that are most exposed on a daily basis and will be the first to show signs of ageing. Most moisturisers now include SPF in them or our favourite way we love MUKTI’s Daily Moisturiser SPF15+ and/or mixing The Kind Sunscreen SPF30+ with a dash of EVOHE mineral powder for an easy tinted moisturiser (lRead more of our best beauty hacks for busy women).
- Use a Vitamin C serum daily for an extra boost of antioxidant protection which can neutralize the effects of UV rays and help lighten, brighten and tighten any existing sun damage! We recommend the Earth and Skin Day Serum.
Yes – It’s difficult to find a natural, toxin-free sunscreen that still provides protection from the sun. Luckily for you, we now stock The Kind Sunscreen at Earth and Skin Organic Day Spa.
Made with just 9 ingredients, the sunscreen is:
- Reef & Ocean Safe
- Cruelty-Free and Vegan
- Breastfeeding Safe
- Protects from both UVA and UVB rays
- Australian Made
What about Vitamin D ?
Don’t forget that we all need the sun for that all important production of Vitamin D which can only occur in your skin from exposure to the sun. Around 10 mins every day on a large area of your skin is all you need to get Vitamin D without causing skin damage.
I like exposing my belly so I don’t feel like my already damaged hands, décolletage and face are getting any more exposure. Your tummy is a great place too because the fattier areas allow for greater vitamin D production.
At times when I’m just enjoying the outdoors, my friends and family laugh at me in my big hat, rash vest and sunglasses but I am hoping that my kids will learn from my example and respect the sun and be more aware of the damage it can do.
Earth and Skin is a Gold Coast organic day spa with a difference. We offer beauty treatments and products that are vegan, organic, chemical-free and free from animal cruelty. We have done the research into the safety and toxicity of common beauty rituals and have developed our menu based on the safest, most effective treatments available. If you’d love to experience beauty that cares for you and the Earth, we’d love to see you. Call now on 07 5530 7959 to book an appointment or book online.