Our definitive guide to sunscreen

While it might not feel like summer in Australia right now – it’s summer somewhere.

You need only to scroll through your Insta feed for a few minutes to be hit with countless pics of friends enjoying their European summer sojourns. Perhaps you’re even heading away in search of sunnier skies soon, too.

Either way – we all know how essential sunscreen is in terms of sun protection, all year round. But sunscreen can also be confusing and with so many hardworking formulas on the market these days, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by choice.

To help you discern the good from the bad, here’s what you need to know...

The difference between UVA and UVB

To protect your skin from damage, it’s essential to protect yourself from UV rays. While UVB rays are often considered to be the most damaging as they are the rays that lead to redness and skin burning, UVA rays are able to penetrate more deeply into the skin contributing to premature ageing by breaking down the elastin in your skin. Although many sunscreens focus primarily on UVB protection, look for a broad-spectrum formula that protects against both as both UVA and UVB rays have been linked to skin damage, skin ageing and skin cancer.

SPF. It’s important.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from sunburn and UVB rays. A common misconception, however, is that the higher the SPF, the better – when it’s estimated that SPF 30 protects the skin from about 97% of UVB rays while SPF 50 only protects the skin from about 98% of UVB rays. While the difference appears minimal, if you have pale or super sensitive skin – a higher SPF could make all the difference for you. Either way, the most important thing is to apply sunscreen liberally, and often.

All you need is sunscreen.

If you’re a loyal lover of sunscreen and never head to beach without it, then you’ve already taken the first step in terms of sun protection. Unfortunately, however, no sunscreen on the market is 100% protective so the best way to ensure you stay safe from the sun is to cover up. Whether you toss a white shirt into your beach bag or invest in a chic cover-up – we’re huge advocates for enjoying the sun in style!

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