Your Number 1 Anti-Wrinkle Essential; Sunscreen!

Protect against wrinkles and sun spots with SPF Protect against wrinkles and sun spots with SPF

We’re all aware of the importance of sunscreen, especially when you live somewhere like Australia, but along with protecting against skin cancer, sunscreen is your go-to, number one, age fighter. UV rays are the biggest cause of lines and wrinkles, so it’s a no brainer that protecting against these harmful rays is your best shot at preventing against accelerated skin ageing.

So, what exactly is an SPF?

Sun protection factor (SPF) or sunscreen protects the skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen however, protects from UVA rays as well as UVB, and it’s the UVA rays you really need to worry about where skin ageing is concerned. Being the longest rays in the spectrum, UVA rays penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, causing damage to our collagen and elastin and like UVB rays, UVA rays are also linked to skin cancer. UVA is the culprit for much of our visible skin ageing; from wrinkles, sagging skin to uneven skin tone and sun spots.

In terms of your options, there are two different types of sunscreen: either a chemical or physical sunscreen. Both are equally effective, they just work differently. For example, a chemical sunscreen absorbs UV light, whilst a physical sunscreen mainly reflects it. Think of a chemical sunscreen like sponges, mopping up the UV radiation, and a physical sunscreen like a mirror, bouncing UV straight back off the skin. It really comes down to personal preference with which type you choose to use. However, those with more sensitive skins tend to prefer a physical sunscreen as they seem to tolerate the physical UV screening agents over the chemical ones.

What should I look for in my sunscreen?

Protection Sport SPF50 Protection Sport SPF50

Good sunscreens today are more than a cream with an SPF factor; they are advanced treatment products that enhance the appearance and quality of the skin. A good sunscreen should always be broad spectrum, contain antioxidants to fight free radical damage, and be free from artificial fragrance. Also look out for sunscreens that are ‘non-comedogenic’, which essentially means they won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. If you’re an oiler skin then you should definitely look for a guaranteed ‘non-comedogenic’ sunscreen, and ideally one that’s oil-free.

Board SPF protection features in multiple Dermalogica's products, from primers to moisturisers, along with standalone sunscreens, making it easy to incorporate sun protection into your regimen.

Protection, Protection, Protection

As sunscreen is fundamental to skin health, you need to be diligent with your application. It’s a common misconception that sunscreen products are designed for use solely in the hotter months. However, given UVA rays are present at the same intensity all year round, sunscreen needs to be a daily habit.

It’s recommended applying sun screen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors, as this allows adequate time for the product to penetrate the surface of the skin. In terms of how much, Australia’s Cancer Council advise using half a teaspoon for the face and neck – including the ears and the back of the neck. For the (average) body, we need about a golf ball size amount of product or at least six teaspoonfuls. And don’t forget to reapply! Sunscreen only protects for a limited time, so slip, slop and slap it back on regularly and every two hours if your outdoors.