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How to choose the best sunscreen for you
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How to choose the best sunscreen for you

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Have fun in the sun, safely

Not all sunscreens are created equal and with so many options out there, what sunscreen should you be reaching for? Read on for what to look for in a sunscreen, what to avoid and the best A-beauty sunscreens to shop now.

What to look for in a sunscreen

#1 Broad-spectrum protection: WebMD advises to look for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum or even multi-spectrum protection against both types of ultraviolet rays—UVA and UVB. Both these rays can cause serious harm to the skin, including sunburn, visible signs of ageing and skin cancer. So, when buying a sunscreen, it’s essential that it offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

#2 A high SPF: The higher the SPF—which stands for sun protection factor—the higher the protection against the sun. Here in Australia where the sun’s rays are some of the harshest on the planet, The Melanoma Institute advises using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50+ (the highest SPF available in Australia).

#3 Water and sweat resistance: If a swim, a workout or even just a walk that might get your heart rate up is on the agenda, opt in for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers water and/or sweat resistance. However, sunscreen isn’t invincible, so always reapply after a dip or active outdoor activity.

Try: We Are Feel Good Inc Signature Sunscreen SPF 50+

What ingredients to look for in a sunscreen

You’ve got the basics down—opt for a broad-spectrum SPF 50+—but what ingredients will be best suited to your skin and your day ahead in the sun?

There are two types of sunscreen, physical and chemical, with different ingredients that offer different benefits. Should you opt for a chemical broad-spectrum SPF 50+ or a physical broad-spectrum SPF 50+?

Physical (or mineral) sunscreens are formulated with ingredients that physically block the sun to protect it from UV rays. The ingredients in physical sunscreens that do this are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. The key benefits of mineral sunscreens according to SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics include providing excellent protection, working instantly on application so need to wait around for the sunscreen to absorb, and suitability for sensitive skin due to the sunscreen sitting on the surface of the skin rather than being absorbed, which can cause irritation. The main disadvantage of physical sunscreens is the sunscreen can come off quite easily when swimming or sweating because it sits on the surface of the skin and regular reapplication is required.

Try: Hunter Lab SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen

SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics notes that chemical sunscreens are formulated with chemical ingredients that convert UV rays into heat which is then released from the body. Some of the most common chemical sunscreen ingredients include benzophenone, oxybenzone, octinoxate and cinnamates. The benefits include easy application and they resist sweat and water better than physical sunscreens. The disadvantages are that they can irritate the skin, some chemical sunscreens have been found to be harmful to reefs when worn swimming in the ocean, and they need time to absorb after application.

What to avoid in a sunscreen

If you have sensitive skin or suffer from inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, WebMD suggests going for a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (i.e a physical sunscreen) rather than a chemical option. In addition, for anyone who suffers from skin irritation and/or allergies, look for sunscreens that don’t contain skin-irritants like alcohol, fragrances or preservatives.

Try: We Are Feel Good Inc Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 50+

It’s also important to avoid sunscreens that could harm the environment such as those containing chemicals that may damage coral reefs. According to the National Ocean Service some of the chemicals found to harm reefs include 3-Benzylidene camphor, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, octocrylene, and OD-PABA. Instead, look for sunscreen brands and sunscreens that are “reef safe” like We Are Feel Good Inc.

How much and how often should sunscreen be applied?

Sunscreen should be applied liberally and reapplied often. According to the NSW Cancer Council most people don’t apply nearly enough sunscreen and don’t reapply frequently enough. And, given sunscreen is only effective if it’s properly applied (and reapplied) it’s well worth taking the time to do it right.

As a guide, the Cancer Council suggests adults use approximately one teaspoon of sunscreen for the face, neck and ears; one teaspoon for each arm and leg; and a teaspoon for the front of the torso as well as a teaspoon for the back of the torso.

It’s also worth noting that sunscreen shouldn’t be solely relied for protection against ultraviolet radiation. Wearing a hat and protective clothing as well as finding a shady spot when you’re outdoors will also help protect your skin from the damaging UV rays.

Does sunscreen expire?

Yes! It sure does. Always check the expiry date before applying sunscreen to ensure it’s not out of date.

What are the best A-beauty sunscreens to buy?

Here in Australia with our harsh sun-filled climate we make some of the best and most effective sunscreens on the market. Shop our favourite A-beauty sunscreens below:

 

Best sunscreen for sensitive skin:

We Are Feel Good Inc Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 50+

Best all-rounder sunscreen:

We Are Feel Good Inc Signature Sunscreen SPF 50+

Most deliciously scented sunscreen:

We Are Feel Good Inc Coconut Sunscreen SPF 50+

Best lip balm with SPF:

We Are Feel Good Inc Cocoa Lip Balm SPF 50+

Top facial sunscreen:

Hunter Lab SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen

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