So many men and women in Australia are looking for ways to reverse sun damage and ultimately reduce their skin cancer risk. The best way to start? Using SPF everyday.
We are all indoctrinated from birth, especially in Australia, to use SPF sun protection religiously yet so many of us still slack on application.
Many after-shave lotions and moisturisers have a sunscreen (usually SPF 15 or greater) already in them, and this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun. However, if you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant, beachwear-type sunscreen that holds together on your skin. The "water resistant" and "very water resistant" types are also good for hot days or while playing sports, because they're less likely to drip into your eyes when you sweat. However, these sunscreens may not be as good for everyday wear. They are stickier, don't go as well with makeup, and need to be reapplied every two hours.
To ensure that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 2 tablespoons or about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.
A study conducted by the University of Queensland proves that daily use of SPF does prevent skin cancer as we all know, but it also is an incredibly powerful skin care product to help with keeping skin youthful. UV rays break down collagen in the skin, the product of the skin which keeps it plump and firm. Pigmentation is most commonly caused by sun exposure, and a study out of University of Vienna has proven that pigmentation can add up to 10 years to your perceived age.
According to the Australian Medical Association in 2013, over 80% of skin ageing and damage is caused by everyday sun exposure. Another finding from the AMA, 66% of Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. “Australia still has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, and melanoma is the most common cause of death in people under 34.” –Josie Hackworth, director of development at the Faculty of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland.
Tips for using your SPF:
Check the use by date on SPF
Be aware that the effectiveness deteriorates if left at over 30 degrees
UV exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen formation
80% of UV rays can pass through clouds, so sun protection should be used even in winter and on rainy days