Skin Protection Made Easy

Posted on: January 14th, 2013 by Joy Niemack

If you’ve tried every reason under the sun to get out of wearing sunscreen, your risk-taking time is up: a new generation of protectors makes it easier than ever to battle harmful rays.

This past year, Jennifer Aniston’s life took some positive turns. One you may have missed: the former sun worshipper now reportedly uses SPF 60 during her frequent jaunts to Mexico, choosing to get her famous golden glow from spray tans instead. Unfortunately, too few women are being vigilant about spreading on sunscreen.

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in South Africa with about 20 000 cases and 700 deaths reported annually, says the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that between two- and three-million non-melanoma skin cancers and approximately 132 000 malignant melanomas occur globally every year.

Let’s guess why: “It’s too greasy.” Or maybe: “It stings.” Or perhaps: “It gives me breakouts”? Sorry, but we’ve heard it all before – and we’re here to tell you that new textures, advanced ingredients and genius technology solve the faults of old-school sunscreens. Allow us to introduce your new sun-blocking BFFs.

  1. “It Burns My Skin”
  2. “My Make-up Has SPF In It.”
  3. “It runs into my eyes when I work out.”
  4. “It makes my acne or rosacea worse.”
  5. “It feels soggy and greasy.”
  6. “The chemicals in sunscreen are worse for me than sun damage.”
  7. What’s Your Skin Cancer Risk?

“It Burns My Skin”

A drink after work may take the sting out of an awful meeting with the boss, but alcohol does the opposite for your skin. Too bad many inferior sunscreens are loaded with the stuff. They may also contain octinoxate (a cinnamonbased ingredient), PABA and oxybenzone, which can cause allergic reactions like rashes. Not pretty.

No-excuses fix: To take the pain out of your protection and keep your skin irritationfree, avoid those main culprits and choose a formula with a less irritating chemical stabiliser (like octocrylene) or one that’s considered a physical block and zincbased.

“Zinc sits on top of the skin rather than being absorbed into the skin (it works as a ‘shield’, while chemical sunscreens are absorbed and ‘convert’ the damaging energy), and it’s so mild that it’s the major component in nappy-rash creams, which are gentle enough to put on a baby’s most sensitive areas,” explains dermatologist Dr Dagmar Whitaker, Women’s Health’s skin specialist.



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