The invisible damage.
The golden rules of sunscreen for protecting yourself from UV damage.
Repeat after us: “I will wear sunscreen every day.” It sounds dramatic, but it’s a fact that UV damage, of which the main source is sunlight, is irreversible. Perhaps the scariest thing is that UV damage isn’t something we can see with the naked eye, and its effects aren’t immediate – but do you really want to wait until pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging skin start to appear when you can be preserving healthy skin for a longer time?
The idea of applying sunscreen shouldn’t be something that occurs to you just before going for a swim or to the beach. Even if you’re in the midst of your daily work commute or sitting indoors, the chances are that you’ll still get exposed to UV rays during the time you spend outdoors, no matter how short. What’s more, UV rays can penetrate though clouds and even windows, so there’s not much escape. Your best bet is making sunscreen part of your everyday routine.
Skin cancer and sunburns may be extreme cases, but used on a daily basis, sunscreen can help to preserve your skin’s overall tone, texture and youthful appearance. After all, UV damage is one of the major causes of skin ageing. Plus, prevention is always better than cure. By the time those first spots or lines appear, they will take more effort, time and even money to get rid of.
Breaking down the technicalities
SPF or Sun Protection Factor is the amount of time a sunscreen is able to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. This means that if it would normally take your skin 10 minutes to start burning, a sunscreen with SPF 15 will prevent this for 15 times longer. SPF30 blocks around 97% of UVB rays, while SPF50 blocks 98%. As a guide, choosing a sunscreen with SPF 30-50 is adequate. For protection from UVA rays, look for sunscreens that have a PA (Protection Grade of UVA rays) rating.
Less ≠ more
A majority of people don’t use enough sunscreen. Apart from your face, make sure you don’t forget your ears, neck, chest and arms - areas that also get exposed to UV rays. Sunscreen should be the last step in your skincare routine, applied after your skincare but before makeup so that it can be closest to the skin cells which it is supposed to protect. Your skin also needs to absorb sunscreen in order to be properly protected, so it’s advisable to wait least 15-30 minutes before stepping out.
When in doubt, reapply
Your sunscreen will degrade over the course of the day, and it get can wiped off or come off with sweat. You should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, but if you wear makeup, this might not be realistic. However, you can opt for a sunscreen powder to touch up your protection throughout the day. A sunscreen powder can prolong the first layer of sun protection without getting in the way of that contour you spent too much time perfecting.
Find the one
Sunscreen is a turn-off for many people because of its white cast or sticky feeling. ORBIS Sunscreen on Face Light offers lightweight protection that you can barely feel in a natural tint which can be used as a makeup primer. It also conceals dullness, so you don’t have to use foundation after if you’re in a hurry. For outdoor activities, Sunscreen Super provides a high level of protection without the typical discomfort of most high SPF sunscreens. Its gel-like texture spreads smoothly on the skin and leaves no white cast, and even moisturises the skin with rosemary extract and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid.