What you need to know about Sunscreen

12th January, 2016
René Vrey

Sunscreen should be used all year round, more so when the warmer weather creeps up. Here’s what you need to know about sunscreens and SPF.

Why Wear Sunscreen?

  • Whenever you are outsideyou’re silently attacked by invisible raysthat can cause your skin to darken and burn
  • This ultra-violet radiationalso damages skin cells, causing common skin conditions such as pigmentationor skin mutationsthat can leadto skin cancer
  • There are twotypes of UV radiation
  1. UVBcauses sunburn and many other skin conditions.
  2. UVAradiation penetrates deeper into the skin and can cause premature wrinkling, age spots and can also increase the risk of skin cancers.
  • You can protectthe skin against many of the damaging effects of these rays with sunscreenalso known as SPF.

What Is SPF?

  • SPFstands for Sun Protection Factor, and refers to how well the sunscreen protects against UVAand UVB radiation.
  • Sunscreenscome in many formulationsand texturessuch as sprays, lotions, gels, creamsandoils, suited for the various skin typesand sensitivities. 
  • Inorganicingredients such as titanium oxideandzinc oxidein sunscreen reflect or scatter the light awayfrom the skin, and organicingredients absorb UV raysso that our skin doesn’t.

Who Should Use Sunscreen?

  • Anyone over the age of six monthsshould use a sunscreen daily.
  • Even those who work insideare exposed to ultraviolet radiationfor brief periods throughout the day, especially if they travel a lot.
  • Childrenunder the age of six monthsshould not be exposed to the sun ever; their skins are highly sensitiveto the chemical ingredients in sunscreen as well as to the sun’s rays. 
  • Dis‑Chemoffers BioNike Barriera UV protectionthat contains nochemical filters specifically for infants and anyone that has atopic skin. 
  • Sunscreen is still necessary even if it is cold and cloudy. Ultra violet rays reach the earth on a completely cloudy day. This misconception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with noprotection from the sun.

What To Know About SPF:

  • No SPF can block 100% of UV rays. Some UV radiation still gets through the sunscreen and into your skin. 
  • SPF number refers to roughly how long it will take for a person’s skin to turn red. The most common sun protection factors are SPF 15, SPF 30and SPF 50+.
  • A sunscreen with an SPF of 15protects against about 93%of UVB rays and a sunscreen with an SPF of 30protects against 97%of rays.
  • Roughly multiplyyour SPF factor by 10 and that gives you the amount of time your sunscreen will be effective:
  1. SPF 15 x 10 = 150 minutes,
  2. SPF 30 x 10 =300 minutes,
  3. SPF 50 x 10 = 500 minutes
  • You should apply sunscreen every two hoursespecially when you areoutdoors because sunscreen washes off in the pool, or is wiped off while we sweat.
  • For the most effective protectionmake sure your sunscreen has broad-spectrum protectionand is water-resistant

Other Ways To Protect Yourself From The Sun:

  • Apply enough sunscreen at least 15 minutesbefore dressing and/or going outside. Don’t forget areas like your ears,lips,neck, handsand feet
  • If possible limityour sun exposure during 10amand 3pmwhen the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear a hat: choose a wide brim to protect your ears, face and neck.
  • Make sure your sunglasseshave UVAand UVB protection.
  • Sunscreens shouldbe used every day, 365 days a year!

10 Sunscreens To Buy From Dis-Chem:

Dis‑Chem Pharmacies offer extensive ranges of sun care for all skin types.

Recommended Sun Care Rangesfor most effective protection with broad spectrum protection:

1. BioNike(exclusive to Dis‑Chem) 

  • Defence Sun SPF 50+: very high protection sun care lotion (for face and body) R145
  • Defence Sun SPF 30: high protection sun spray lotion (for face and body) R144.95
  • Barriera UV defence sun: barrier cream without chemical filters for atopic skins R99.95
  • Defence Sun food supplement: this is taken orally and assists in photo-protection (UVA) R180
  • Acteen Sun SPF 30: for acne skin R99.95
  • Defence Sun SPF 50+ for face: tinted sun cream R129.95

2. NutriWomen(exclusive to Dis‑Chem)

  • Hydropore Sun SPF 30 for face and neck R169

3. SUNSCREEN (Dis‑Chem brand)

  • Ultra Defense SPF 30: fun for all the family in a spray R89.95 or cream formulation R49.95

4. Eucerin

  • SPF 50+ Sun crème for the face R165

5. LUV that SUN(exclusive to Dis‑Chem)

  • SPF 30 Sunscreen infused with kiwi oil for body R69.95

6. Nivea Sun

  • SPF 50 Protect and refresh invisible cooling mist for body R144.95

7. Bioderma

  • Photoderm SPOT SPF 50+ preventative anti-mark effect cream for face R218.95
  • Photoderm Anti-age SPF 30 anti-wrinkle smoothing effect for face R189.95

8. Vichy

  • SPF 50+ Sun-cream for face with anti-eye itching R229
  • SPF 50 milk protection for children 300ml R315

9. Caribbean Tan

  • Sun protection and tan enhancer SPF 30 protection in a can R71.95
  • Tinted facial moisturiser SPF 20 R64.95

10. Coverderm

  • 2-in-1 Total block SPF 40 extra-long protection and water proof R449

Visit your nearest Dis‑Chem Pharmacyto get advice on your ideal
sunscreen from our beauty advisors.