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The SPF Lowdown

All Australians know that we should be using SPF (Sun Protection Factor) any time we want to be out in the sun, right? Which, for many Australians, is pretty much all the time. It should be an important part of our daily routine so that we are protected from UV rays, which can have disastrous effects on our skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots and dehydration all cause us to look older than we are, but with a little help from SPF we can protect ourselves from these effects and keep our skin looking and feeling great.

So, what are UV rays? UV (ultraviolet radiation) is produced by sunlight and is the major cause of sunburns, premature ageing, eye and skin damage.

Now, we all know there are two types of UV rays, but I bet you don’t know the difference between them. UVA rays are the main cause of ageing as they penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and damage our collagen and elastin, which then leads to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. UVB rays damage the superficial layers of our skin by causing sunburns and skin cancer, which is a significant problem in Australia. Basically, they are both pretty awful. Sunscreens labelled broad-spectrum are able to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Funnily enough, most people don’t know that there are different types of sunscreens, let alone what they are and how they’re different. So, what are they? Well, we have both chemical and physical protectants. Chemical sunscreen sounds scarier than it actually is. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays and neutralise them. They are very common in the market and will take around 20 minutes to take effect once it’s been applied.

Physical sunscreens will protect you from the sun’s rays immediately as it deflects them from the skin’s surface. It is often more easily tolerated by individuals with sensitive skin but it does not always wear comfortably under makeup since it is thicker in consistency. It will also be the main culprit behind flash-back when you have your photo taken since it reflects the light from flash photography. Now you know who to blame when your face looks ghostly white in professional photos.

The difference between different levels of SPF can also cause some confused faces. Here comes an important lesson: SPF 30 does not mean that it will protect you twice as much as SPF 15. Now, reread the last sentence. Got it? Good. SPF 15 will protect your skin from around 93% of incoming UVB rays whereas SPF will protect it from 97% of UVB rays. Which SPF you choose will depend on what you plan on doing. If you plan on going to beach, reach for your higher SPF’s, otherwise SPF 15 is suitable for everyday use.

This includes our Dragon’s Blood Radiance Daily Moisturiser, which is a great solution for both your SPF and hydration concerns. It contains broad-spectrum SPF 15 protection and is light-weight, meaning its perfect for under makeup or if you just don’t like the feeling of product on your face.

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