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How to Stay Gorgeous and Protected in the Sun!
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How to Stay Gorgeous and Protected in the Sun!

How to Stay Gorgeous and Protected in the Sun!

We all have those fond memories of our mums nagging and chasing us around the house trying to make us wear some sunscreen or wear a cap before we head out. Here are some of the reasons why we should be grateful for their efforts.

Why the sun can be so harmful?

Sun rays are made up of three types of UV rays, UVA, UVB and UVC. The earth’s atmosphere only blocks our UVC rays. UVA rays are responsible for wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other light-induced effects of ageing. UVB is mostly responsible for sunburn and surface skin damage whereas UVA rays penetrate the second layer of skin.

How do Sunscreen Work?

Sunscreens protect the skin from burning in one of two ways.

1. Absorbing harmful rays:
Chemicals like Octylcrylen, Avobenzone and Octinoxate used in sunscreens absorb the harmful UVA and UVB rays and convert them into heat.

2. Reflecting harmful rays:
This is achieved by using physical barriers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Rather than absorbing the sun’s rays these ingredients reflect the rays from the skin.

No sunscreen can provide total protection from all of the sun’s rays and that’s why it is always important to cover up using appropriate clothing and eyewear especially during the hottest part of the day.

sun protection sunscreen from Wotnot

credits: Wotnot & Children of the Tribe

What is SPF and the different categories mean?

The Australian standard for sunscreens allows a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of 50+. While this sounds like a significantly higher level of protection than an SPF30, the difference is not really in the amount of UV protection. An SPF 50 sunscreen will filter 98% of UV radiation in comparison to SPF30, which filters 96.7%. The difference is in the amount of time the protection lasts for.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF numbers are an approximate indication of how much protection from the sun the product will provide for your skin. Everyone’s skin is different, and each person’s skin can be exposed to the sun for different lengths of time before burning. Sunscreen extends the time before burning by a multiple of the SPF. The issue is that all sunscreens will rub off over time with regular activity and perspiration and so in some cases, the higher SPF can be a false sense of security. It is important to remember to reapply all sunscreens regularly, regardless of SPF.

What other sun protection can I use?

Babies should be kept out of direct sun exposure and children and adults should avoid midday exposure and use a combination of sun protection measures, i.e. apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and again every two hours. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear. Also check sunscreen is at its use-by-date and store below 30°C.

sun protection items

credits: Wotnot

By Sinead Roberts, Natural Sunscreen Expert & Founder of Wotnot (www.wotnot.com.au)

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