Everyday Suncare vs Holiday Suncare
While you probably never hit the beach without a big bottle of sunblock, some tanning oil, a pair of sunglasses and a sunhat, we’re pretty sure you don’t do the same when you head out for a day of errands in the city. Don’t worry we’re all guilty of it, but it's not too late to fix it.
The hard truth is we need to protect our skin from the sun every single day, whether it's a day by the pool or a day at the mall. The priority must always be to cleanse, moisturise and most importantly protect. Because the only secret to young, healthy looking, plump skin is sunscreen.
As mentioned in our previous blog post ‘The 5 Ways The Sun Is Damaging Your Skin Everyday’ We are exposed to different types of radiation everyday and each type of radiation affects our skin differently. For example, the intensity of UVB radiation depends on what time of the day it is, the overall temperature / weather at that moment and the latitude of the place, while UVA rays don’t depend on weather or latitude.
UVB rays are strongest at the equator and therefore the closer you are to the equator, the stronger the UVB rays will be. While UVA rays don’t only penetrate deeper into the skin but the intensity also doesn’t depend on the latitude of the place. And guess what? UVA rays can even penetrate through clothing, plastic and glass. Which means that we are exposed to UVA rays every single day even when it’s cloudy or rainy or when you’re hiding under an umbrella on the beach. So after a long day at work and after even the slightest exposure to UVA rays, your skin becomes dry, uneven and in need of a whole lotta love AKA after-sun care everyday. But since we are mostly only exposed to UVB rays on a very hot summer day, the after care required to treat UVB rays is more intense, but it can be less frequent.
When you understand which UV rays your skin is most exposed to and when, it becomes easier to understand how and when you should protect your skin from the sun.
But before we get into which sunblock you should use and when, it would be useful to first understand what SPF actually means and how to read the label before buying a sunscreen.
While there is a misconception that SPF relates to time of sun exposure, ie: if the SPF is 50 then you can spend 50 hours in the sun, SPF actually stands for sun protection factor and indicates the level of protection from the sun before your skin gets severely damaged or ‘sunburnt’.
This number can range from 5 to 50 with 5 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. So for instance, if you are using a sunblock of 20 SPF that means you are providing your skin with a filter of 20 - meaning that you can stay out in the sun until you expose your skin to 20 times more radiation than needed to cause sunburn or in clinical terms erythema. As a rule of thumb, you should never use a sunblock with an SPF of 20 or lower.
So how do you choose a holiday sunscreen vs an everyday sunscreen?
While there’s no formula to which sunscreen should be applied and when, the best sunscreen is the one you feel works best on your skin. So generally, if you’re hitting the beach, you should choose sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 35 or more.
Since everyone’s skin is different, choosing the right sunscreen for your holiday is a bit like choosing what to drink while you lie on a sun-bed. It really boils down to what your skin type is and what you think it needs. If your skin is usually dry, flakey and rough, then post-beach your skin will be even more parched, so you should choose a formula that is hydrating and perhaps has some hyaluronic acid so that you skin can bounce back to looking plump, refreshed and moisturised. On the other hand if your skin is more on the oily side, then you should choose a light-weight non greasy formula, as the heat and sweat could lead to breakouts. If you’re wearing a very heavy formula, it could clog the pores and give you pimples.
So it’s really important to first understand your skin type before buying your next sunscreen for your holiday, but the one thing to remember is that whatever you choose, make sure that it has enough SPF. And with everyday sun-care the only difference is that the SPF can be lower.
Pro Tip: The same logic applies to after sun-care. Depending on your skin type, you should choose after sun-care products that perfectly address your particular skin concerns. And if you don’t really know what that would look like, a good place to start would be with one of our holy grail products like Seals Like Magic Face Moisturiser and our Wash Me Glow Shower Gel which work brilliantly on all skin types and give your sun-damaged skin all the attention it deserves.
On holiday, you really don’t mind if we look like you’ve slathered a whole bottle of sunscreen, but when you’re heading to work that’s obviously not a good look. So even if you work in a completely air conditioned office, and go from an air conditioned taxi to an airconditioned office, you do still need to be wearing sunscreen (and still need to make sure you’re using effective after sun-care products). But having a full screen of white cast is definitely not ideal.
So when you’re choosing an everyday sunscreen, there are few important things to consider. The first of course is to understand your skin type, but the second is to evaluate whether or not you will be wearing makeup over it. If the answer is yes, then you should choose a light-weight, non-greasy, non-whitecast formula that can protect your skin from the sun but won’t look like it. If you have dry skin that usually could always do with an extra moisture boost, try opting for an oil-based formula like sunscreen drops or a facial oil with an SPF of 30 or more so that it seamlessly blends into your skin and won’t take away from how you want your makeup to look.
So there you have it, a few quick and easy ways to incorporate suncare into your daily life. Because whether you’re on holiday or not, unfortunately sun-damage never really goes on vacay, so you have to remain protected at all times.