With summer fast approaching, what better time for a quick refresh on SPF fundamentals? We all have experienced the first summer day sunburn, from over-exposing our pasty white skins after a long winter. No harm should come to you this summer if you follow these must-know & do’s .
Australians are particularly aware of the role UV-rays have in fast-tracking skin-aging and increasing chances of skin cancer. Ensuring your SPF protects you with a maximum UVA filter is extremely important, particularly from an ageing point of view as these rays penetrate deeper into the skin and through glass and are as strong in the winter as they are on sunny days. They’re the main cause of patchiness, spider veins, enlargement of blood vessels, increased darkening and collagen and elastin damage while UVB rays are those that cause burning. Think of it like that UVA – Aging, UVB – Burning. Your SPF should protect you from both, so look out for the symbols UVA/UVB or the words ‘Broad Spectrum’ when choosing a brand.
Physical vs chemical
Physical filters (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sits on the surface of the skin deflecting rays like a mirror, while chemical filters (everything else), absorb the UV energy to prevent it from penetrating the skin. Chemical formulations are generally lighter and invisible, however most experts still recommend physical SPF as it offers both UVA and UVB protection and doesn't irritate sensitive skin.
It is recommended to wear sunscreen between SPF15 and SFF30 to give the correct level of protection. Anything below an SPF15 gives very little protection. As SPF30 blocks 97% of UVs and SPF50 98%, it is often asked whether anything higher than SPF30 is worth the greater level of sunscreen chemicals. Generally, it’s not essential unless you have a specific condition where SPF50/60 is recommended (e.g. hyper-pigmentation) but most skin cancer charities state SPF30 applied correctly and regularly is sufficient and limits the concentration of sunscreen chemicals the skin is exposed to, particularly sensitive skins and children.
Our commitment to 100% natural
Did you know that there are currently no 100% natural sunscreens with SPF50 protection sold in Australia (even though it can be labelled as such)? That is because SPF50 requires adding chemicals. As a matter of fact, formulating SPF50 requires 3x the amount of chemical ingredients than SPF30 for only 1% more protection. At P4O, we committed a long time ago to 100% natural…that means zero compromise and full transparency on our formulas. Until research allows fully natural SPF50 formulas, we simply won’t make one.
Our hero product, the SPF30 sunblock, is broad spectrum, 3-hour water resistant and of course, a 100% natural. Icing on the cake, it is lightly scented with our signature blend created with Spa specialist LaGaia Unedited. This product combines the high protection of a sunblock, the feel of a moisturiser and the finish and look of a spa treatment.
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