Ever Wonder Why You Still End Up Burnt — Even After Applying SPF?


Zinhlezonke Zikalala |

You slap on some sunscreen and walk away from the pool lobster red. What gives?

You thought you were covered right? Wrong! SPFs can lull you into a false sense of security when it comes to sun burn. Here’s why…

The Problem?

Part of the problem is that many people are convinced that if you slather on sunscreen you can stay in the sun all day. You already know the deal… When your skin is exposed to the sun for a period of time, eventually it burns, turning red and irritated.

Say What?

While sunscreens protect your skin by absorbing and/or reflecting UVA and UVB rays, not many people know they are only 53 percent effective. While not suggesting that it should be scrapped, conventional sunscreen only offers partial protection.

READ MORE: 6 Things We Bet You Never Knew About Your SPF

The issue with your normal SPFs is that they don’t have full range “photo protection”, which is protection of the full sun radiation spectrum, including UV types, visible light and infrared. That means they only cover you for some of the sun’s UV rays, says Dr Bradley Wagemaker, who is heading up Lamelle’s research and development, a specialised medical practitioner registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

So, What Now?

Don’t worry, we got your back. We come bearing solutions too. Lamelle research Laboratories has launched Helase 50 – a new photo repair skin cream that not only protects your skin from the full spectrum of the sun’s harmful UV rays, it also repairs the DNA of skin cells that have already been damaged through overexposure. It is R485 for 50ml tube and it’s available from selected salons nationwide. And, wait for it. Rooibos – yes rooibos protects against adverse effects of UVB exposure. Like we’re all aware, rooibos is a versatile brew. Now researchers have discovered that it can also undo some of the damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays.

READ MORE: Are You Wearing The Right Sunscreen For Your Skin Type?

Prof Wentzel Gelderblom, based at CPUT’s Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology has been one of the lead researchers involved in the Rooibos study. He says once the skin has been exposed to the sun’s ultra-violet (UV) rays, Rooibos extracts have the ability to remove precancerous damaged cells and also block the onset of inflammation.

How To Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure This Summer

— Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest
— Put on a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or more, and remember to apply it regularly especially when swimming
— Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face, neck and ears
— Use available shade under trees, umbrellas, tents etc
— Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Heat Rash (And How To Prevent It)

Equally important during hot summer days is getting enough of the right kinds of liquids since dehydration can lead to tiredness, headaches and dizziness. Although many people tend to think of Rooibos as only a hot drink, it is an exceptional flavour enhancer and naturally sweet, which makes it a favourite ingredient for iced teas, fruit shakes, smoothies and iced lollies.

 Looking for more sun-safe tips? Here are three serious signs that you could have heat stroke, plus six ways to soothe painful sunburn.

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