Your Safety Questions About Sunscreen, Now Answered. Part 2 of 3
Your Safety Questions About Sunscreen, Now Answered.
Part 3 of 3
Take it as a pill? Is spray or lotion better?
Which kind is best for baby?
Everyone has heard about the link between sun exposure and skin cancer, and the need to cover up and use sunscreen. Since most consumers are just baffled by all the options available, we thought we would give you some insight to help you make an informed decision!
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, found that less than half of nearly 300 dermatology patients knew when to apply sunscreen, before going outside (15 to 30 minutes); how often to reapply it (every 2 hours, or after sweating or swimming); and how much is needed to cover the entire body (about an 30ml).
This lack of knowledge is especially worrisome since sunscreen is one of the best defences against sunburn, a major risk factor for skin cancer, the most common type of cancer worldwide and especially here in sunny SA. Considering how often people get sunburnt each year, knowing how to properly apply sunscreen is more important than ever.
1. What’s the Best Sunscreen for Babies?
A baby’s skin is particularly sensitive to sunburn in the first 6 months of their lives, so they should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Experts recommend keeping young infants in the shade or under an umbrella. Use hats and cover them up with clothing, rash guards, and sunglasses, and always include sunscreen.
For babies and kids, you might think that a sunscreen specifically labelled for them has stronger sun-shielding properties than those marketed to adults. While their packaging and scent might be a little different, their effectiveness is exactly the same, and a child can use an adult sunscreen and vice versa.
Dermatologists often recommend physical (i.e., mineral) sunscreens such as titanium and zinc oxide formulas for children and people with sensitive skin. Our range of baby sun care products has 50% zinc oxide content in both the Baby Face Block and the Baby Sun Crayon. It also contains no chemicals which could potentially irritate the baby’s delicate skin.
2. Is Sunblock Different From Sunscreen?
A sun block and sun screen are in essence the same product, just worded differently. Make sure that you read the label on whichever product you choose. Our Sunscreen, Sun Cream, Sun Stick and Crayon, and Face Block products use Zinc Oxide to block out the sun, while the Anti-Ageing Face Balm uses carrot seed oil as a natural SPF.
It is important to understand how these products work, and to always follow the application instructions correctly to get the best results. Please always remember, no product can completely “block” the sun!
3. Can You Use Moisturiser with SPF Instead of Sunscreen?
You can, although its not the best way to go. The amount of protection you get depends on a couple of factors. Many daily moisturisers with sunscreen contain only an SPF 15, and may not be broad-spectrum. (always check the label).
How you apply your moisturiser also influences the efficacy of the product. The general rule of thumb is that you need about 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to cover your entire face. A dab of moisturiser probably won’t cut it. Our recommendation is to apply up to 3 times a day, and then wait 30 minutes before exposure to the sun to get the product’s full effect.
The same goes for make-up. A dusting here and there with a powder containing an SPF, isn’t going to cover and protect your face evenly. Applying enough to be effective would mean you’d have to cake it on, likely the opposite effect you’re going for. Additionally, as with all sunscreen, you need to reapply it at least every 2 hours. For many people, applying moisturiser or make-up is a once-a-day affair.
The bottom line here is to not rely solely on a moisturiser or make-up (like foundation) as your only sun defence system, but rather use it in conjunction with a hat or umbrella for some protection. It helps, and is definitely better than nothing, but shouldn’t be your only strategy when dealing with the sun!