10 Things You Need to Know About Sun Protection


Protecting your skin from the sun is no joke, especially when you live in Australia. There are so many myths around sun protection and sunscreens that today, we are sharing ten critical facts that you need to know to keep yourself safe and use sunscreens correctly. Keep reading to find out more!

SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor

Let’s start with the basics. The term SPF indicates how long it would take the sun’s UV radiation to burn your skin when using sunscreen versus the time it would take without any sunscreen. It’s a bit confusing but think of it in these terms. SPF 50 would take you 50 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing that sunscreen. Make a little more sense? The takeaway here is that you should reapply and avoid direct sunlight, given you can still get burnt as a small percentage of the sun’s rays will hit your skin.

You should wear sun protection when the UV index is over 2

There are a few things to unpack here. Firstly, the UV index is an estimate and a measure that indicates low to extreme UV rays. It is essentially a guide to help you understand how the sun’s UV rays are on any given day or time. A UV index over 2 is considered ‘moderate’, and applying sunscreen is recommended. When you get to UV index levels of 6 and higher, that’s when you really need to be vigilant, reapply and avoid direct sunlight. In saying all of this, remember that the UV index is an estimate, so even if the day is rated under 2, it could be best to play it safe and wear sunscreen regardless. It also gets you into good habits of wearing sun protection daily.

Sunscreens do not pose a risk to pregnant women

We repeat, anyone with skin should be wearing sunscreen, given the devastating effects that sun exposure can cause. Pregnant women or breastfeeding women included! That said, if you’re introducing a new product or have specific concerns, it’s always recommended to talk to your doctor first.

You should wear sunscreen even when indoors

It’s a big misconception that you don’t need to wear sunscreen if you’re working indoors! We hate to break it to you, but windows don’t block UVA rays. Ultraviolet A (UVA) are the rays that cause signs of premature ageing like wrinkles, sunspots, fine lines and freckles. PSA this also goes for car, train, and plane windows!

Wear sunscreen after moisturiser

One of the most asked questions on the internet regarding sunscreen is the order to wear it. There are conflicting opinions on this question from dermatologists, with some saying to apply under moisturiser and others as the last step of your skincare routine. We advise you to wear after your moisturiser because anything layered on top of sunscreen can dilute the formula and, therefore, reduce the product’s effectiveness.

Sunscreen is the best skincare product you can use for anti-ageing

Did you know that UV rays are the single most significant cause of premature ageing? We’re talking about UVA rays specifically here (UVB are responsible for even more significant consequences like skin cancer). If you want to prevent premature ageing, wearing daily sunscreen is vital.

Australian made sunscreens are the toughest in the world

Did you know that Australian-made sunscreens are the toughest in the world? They work against the harshest conditions (hello to Australia’s thinned ozone layer) and undergo the most rigorous testing standards globally. For these reasons, it’s always better to buy and use an Australian-made and tested SPF than one made and tested overseas.

You should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours

This goes for if you’re in direct sunlight. If you’re swimming or sweating, you should apply more regularly too.

Sunscreen expires, so remember to always check the expiry date

Attention! You might not realise, but sunscreen does expire just like all skincare and makeup! It’s imperative to take note of the expiration date on the bottle of your sunscreen and stop using it when it’s expired. This is extremely important because otherwise, you could be using a sunscreen that no longer offers optimal sun protection. Generally speaking, sunscreens last from 1- 3 years, but the formula can actually deteriorate if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. To keep your sunscreen in optimal condition, try to leave it in a cool, dark place or wrapped up in a towel in your handbag.

Chemical and physical sunscreens both absorb UV radiation which prevents it from reaching the skin

Another confusing factor about sunscreen is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen formulas. In addition to absorbing UV radiation, physical/mineral/inorganic filters also scatter or reflect UV radiation. Unfortunately, this has led to some people believing that mineral sunscreens work by reflecting 100% of sun rays and perceiving it to be more effective than chemicals, which is entirely untrue. Conversely, chemical/organic sunscreens work solely by absorbing UV radiation.

Are you feeling a little bit more empowered with your sun protection? If you’re looking for a trusted Australian-made sunscreen brand for the new year, be sure to check out Ultra Violette. A new gen of skinscreens designed to work with your current skincare and makeup and keep you protected from UV rays at the same time.

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