Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SPF 50 - what you need to know

Sun sun sun

SPF 50 has made it to Australia thanks to recent legislation. It is hard to choose the best protection but experts say anything 30+ and above is the best. You must also remember to not become complacent and you still need to wear a hat and re-apply every two hours.

To put this into context for you, SPF 30+ sunscreens help guard against 96.7 per cent of UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburn) and SPF 50 guards against 98 per cent.

SPF 50 has a higher protection against UVA rays, which can destroy the collagen and elastin which in turn results in sagging and wrinkling of the skin.

The key ingredients to look out for are:

avobenzone [trademarked name - parsol] , which offers the full broad range protection from the spectrum of the UVA rays. 

zinc oxide which reflects the damaging rays odd your skin.

The latest generation of sunscreens

A few tips from Vogue Australia.

Australian women are very conscious of the risks of premature ageing, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other health issues that come from unprotected sun exposure, but conflicting information is also generating brand new issues. Our bodies are still designed to need a healthy amount of sunshine to synthesise vitamin D, which helps boost calcium absorption and bone health, as well as the immune system.

Sunscreens do far more good than harm. Chemical agents (such as Helioplex, Mexoryl and octyl methoxycinnamate) actually absorbed UV light into the skin then dissipated it as heat energy. The new ‘physical’ sunscreen agents, like zinc and titanium dioxides, are also chemicals, but they work as surface-layer protection by scattering, reflecting and blocking UV light.

Silica-coated micronised zinc is the safest sunblock ingredient available because it doesn’t break down like the old uncoated zinc, which was absorbed into our systems. Instead, it reflects the UV light away.

Methodology is not the only change in sun protection’s brave new world. Now nearly all manufacturers are adding topically applied antioxidants to their sunscreens to fight the other downside of UV light exposure: the generation of free radicals that cause damage to important cellular components.

Potent antioxidants like vitamins C and E in sunscreen formulations ‘quench’ the free radicals. They form as a result of the UV light that leaks through the SPF barrier shield, because no sunscreen can be 100 per cent efficient. Sunscreen ingredients absorb or block UV light, but they are not free-radical scavengers like these antioxidants.

Australian women can keep up healthy levels of vitamin D simply by obtaining a few minutes of exposure to sunlight on either side of the UV peak, meaning before 10am and after 3pm on most days of the week. Vitamin D can also be obtained through diet from dairy products, tuna, salmon, cod-liver oil and, of course, daily supplements.

more tips can be found at VOGUE Australia

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