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UV Sun Protection


UV sun protection products have been hot discussion item over the past few years as consumer protection bodies have introduced measures to ensure that information regarding sun screens and sun blocks are clarified.

The difference is in the way they work and the type of UV protection they provide.

  • Sunblocks - stop UV rays penetrating the skin by adding a layer on the skin surface.
  • Sunscreens - penetrate to deep layers of the skin and reflect harmful rays.

The key to selecting an effective sun protection product is to understand the ingredients in the products, and how they work based on the activities you engage in.

There are two types of UV that harm your skin:

  1. UVA - damages the inner layers of the skin and causes wrinkles and lines, and skin cancer.
  2. UVB - the most damaging radiation, burns the skin and damages the skin cell DNA, resulting in long term skin disease .

Most sunscreens protect from UVA damage, but only broad spectrum sunscreens protect both from UVA and UVB. These are the ones to look for.

Previously, those products that protected from both UVA and UVB were referred to as 'Sunblocks'; and those that protected the skin from UVA, referred to as 'Sunscreens'.

Many consumer bodies around the world are now banning manufacturers from referring to their broad spectrum sun protection products as sun blocks, unless they work in the manner as outlined above.

This has just added confusion to the market for consumers - hence the need to fully understand the ingredients in the products.

 

UV Sunscreen Ingredients

Overall you are aiming to use a sun protection product that:

  • Blocks both UVA and UVB for at least 2 hours
  • Is waterproof - if required
  • Does not irritate the skin - especially if you have sensitive skin
  • Maintains its effectiveness for the duration
  • Is easy to apply and does not stain clothing.

Key ingredients include:

So next time you slip, slop, slap, take a minute to read the label and ensure you are getting all the sun protection you thought you were.

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