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How to choose the best sunscreen for summer

Everything you need to know about UVA, UVB, White Casts & key ingredients.

The festive season is here and the last thing we want to worry about is the damage the sun can cause to our skin. In May 2021, CANSA reported that skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and South Africa has one of the highest monitored ultraviolet (UV) levels in the world, resulting in one of the highest skin cancer rates globally.

To help you protect your skin during the summer holidays the team at SKIN functional has shared a few tips to help you choose the right sunscreen and some insight about when and how often to apply it. We also share our top sunscreen picks for summer 2021.

Choosing the right Sunscreen

More often than not people get confused between SPF and sunscreen. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, a measure of how well a sunscreen protects against UVB rays. SPF is a ratio of burn time, while sunscreen is the actual product. Experts recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

When choosing the correct sunscreen, firstly make sure that it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen. What does this mean? It needs to protect you from UVA and UVB rays. These filter together with an effective Anti-Oxidant to provide you with the highest level of protection and is the best anti-ageing product you can use.

How and when to apply?

Your sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30) should be applied about 15 to 20 minutes before you step outside or into the sun. If you are in full sun or perspiring, reapplication is essential as often as possible. If you are going to be swimming you will also need to check for indications that your sunscreen is waterproof.

If you are wondering at what step in your skincare routine sunscreen falls into, it’s the last step. You need to apply 2g per square cm of skin. Research has shown that the majority of consumers apply less than half of the amount required.

Quick Tip

If having a white cast on your face is what is repelling you from using your sunscreen every day here’s what you need to know. When purchasing sunscreen for everyday use always read the ingredients. Zinc Oxide Titanium Dioxide or Iron Oxide are the white cast culprits. They are tiny particles in the cream which sit on the surface of the skin to help reflect UV radiation. If the sunscreen has this ingredient it will cause a white cast, so look for one without this ingredient. These ingredients are what we call mineral sunscreens. It is very important to note that there are sunscreens that don’t have Zinc Oxide Titanium Dioxide or Iron Oxide and still provide protection against UVA and UVB rays this is called a chemical sunscreen, one such product is the SKIN functional Sunscreen SPF 50

Here are 5 of our top sunscreen picks for summer 2021:

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