The importance of sunscreen
Us Kiwis know better than most how important it is to regularly apply sunscreen. The sun Down Under is pretty harsh, and a good sunscreen is one of the best ways of protecting your skin against harmful ultra-violet (UV) damage.
But when you’re prone to acne, it can be tricky to pick the right sunscreen. There are a lot of sunscreens out there, so we’ve broken down exactly how they work and what to look for when buying one for your skin type.
Sunscreen works by absorbing or blocking the sun’s harmful rays
The sun emits ultra-violet light (UVL), made up of UVA and UVB wavelengths. The shorter UVB lengths can cause sunburn and contribute to skin cancers, and the longer UVA lengths can contribute to premature ageing.
Applying a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen on all areas of exposed skin, and reapplying regularly, helps protect the skin from those harmful rays. Depending on how fair your skin is, we recommend using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
The right sunscreen for your skin type
There are loads of sunscreens on the market and whether you have dry, oily, or acne-prone skin, there will be one to suit you.
If you have dry skin, try a sunscreen with a moisturising cream or ointment base. For oily and acne-prone skin, try a gel or spray formula as these have a lighter base and are absorbed into the skin quickly.
For sensitive skin, look for sunscreens marked ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘low irritant’. Many of these will be physical sunscreens, which use mineral formulations with zinc oxide or titanium, and are less likely to irritate your skin.
Wash your skin regularly
Some sunscreens have ingredients that can clog pores and cause breakouts. To prevent breakouts, wash your skin thoroughly 2-3 times a day. Start by washing your skin with EPIOLOGY’s Pre-Wash Cleanser to remove oil and bacteria. Follow it up with the nourishing and hydrating EPIOLOGY cream, and use the Extra Strength Spot Gel to tackle any pimples. You can do these steps before you apply sunscreen, and at the end of the day before you go to bed.
How much and how often?
Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen generously to all areas of exposed skin so that it forms a thin film. Make sure you apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside, as it takes that long for the sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin.
If you’re outside all day, re-apply at least every 2 hours; more if you’re swimming or running around and getting sweaty (do this even if your sunscreen says it is ‘water resistant’!)