As the temperature rises and we head into beach season (yahoo!!!), it’s time to get sun smart.
We all know the importance of good sun protection, but when it comes to chemical sunscreen versus physical, which SPF is best and how much sun is too much sun for keeping our vitamin D levels in check…well, it can be a bit confusing.
What’s the go with Vitamin D?
It’s true that the sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and general health. However, getting enough Vitamin D while maintaining ‘safe’ sun exposure levels is a balancing act and we don’t blame you if you’re a little confused!
The simple message is: Get outdoors, enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle but apply sun protection—particularly when the UV is at its greatest (between 10am and 4pm).
During the summer months it takes just a few minutes of sun exposure to maintain normal Vitamin D levels, so sun protection should be your priority.
I think we may have just opened a can of worms…. Because choosing a suitable sunscreen isn’t quite as easy as it sounds!
Suncare made simple - physical vs. chemical
Hands up if you have a cupboard full of sunscreens that you stopped using because they didn’t give you the protection you needed, were too greasy, too thick, irritated your skin… You’re not alone :)
The natural option - physical sunscreens
Here in Happy land we think that natural (physical) sunscreens are usually the best choice. They use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their base to block the sun’s rays so they bounce right off your skin. Neat, eh!
Physical sunscreens are mostly perfume and fragrance free and formulated with sensitive skin in mind. So this is a big win for people with sensitive or allergic skin!
The synthetic option - chemical sunscreens
Unlike physical sunscreens which block the sun’s rays with a physical barrier, chemical sunscreens absorb UV light. This sounds great on the surface, but sadly it’s not all rosy here.
Growing research shows that these sunscreens don’t prevent free radical damage to your skin, and then there’s also possible links to health concerns like skin reactions and hormone disruption too.
It’s not just the ‘type’ of sunscreen that can baffle the best of us. The next burning question (haha!) is …. How do you decide which sun protection factor (SPF) to go for?
The higher the SPF the better, right? Umm, not really. The truth is that SPF 50 only gives you slightly more protection from UVB radiation than SPF 30. We’re talking 98% compared to 96.7%.
The problem is, SPF 50 can be a lot thicker and harder to apply than SPF 30—causing us to apply less or none at all. The trick is to choose a sunscreen formula that offers adequate protection (nothing below SPF 15) but, most importantly, feels good on your skin.
Sunscreen is just a part of the bigger picture
Don’t forget, “slopping” on sunscreen is only one part of the sun protection process. If you’re serious about protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, don’t forget to also Slip on some loose clothing, Slap on a hat and find yourself some shade during the middle of the day when the UV index is at its highest.
Understanding the basics of sun protection will help keep your skin from showing signs of age before it should. We’re all for aging naturally, but sun damage is just going to fast track those wrinkles. Boo!
So team your new sun smarts with an all-natural daily skincare regime and your healthy-looking skin will be the talk of the town ;)
Our fave natural sunscreens
Now onto your favourite part… PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS!
We love, love, LOVEEco All Natural Sunscreen - the reason it is our favourite is because it provides Broad Spectrum and SPF30+ protection using 22% non-whitening zinc, it doesn’t clog pores, it’s non greasy and feels light and silky (very similar to a normal moisturiser), it spreads really easily and you don’t feel like you have caked yourself in white peanut butter annnndddd it has been designed to be worn under makeup. Perfect for the whole family (adults and children over 6 months)!!!
Kudos to the fact that it doesn’t contain any fragrances. It smells like an un-fragranced cream so please don’t expect it to smell like Chanel No.5 ;)
No matter what time of year it is we still need to be safe from pesky rays so you can now get it while stocking up on your other Happy Skincare favourites.
Here’s to a sunsmart summer!
What’s your go-to sunscreen? Go on… share away!