We recently asked you, our Woman&Home readers to share one beauty secret/tip or trick you wish you’d started practising sooner, and the beauty tea is about to be spilt!
The most common answer is one you’ve heard of, sometimes forgotten, and kept close when you could. No exotic tea tree oils or a mystical mascara that could make eyelashes grow longer – the beauty tip most wish they’d started using sooner is sunscreen or SPF.
Is protection from the sun really as essential as people think?
Recently, a photograph of a 92-year-old woman has gone viral and reminded us just how important giving our skin the best chance against the sun actually is.
Shared by Dr Avi Bitterman, a New York-based dermatologist, a photograph of a woman who applied UV-protective moisturizers to her face for more than 40-years garnered a lot of attention. Despite the beautiful skin she had, the photo went viral because of one contrasting factor: she hadn’t applied the same religious scare to her neck.
— Avi Bitterman, MD (@AviBittMD) September 2, 2022
Originally published by the Journal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in late 2021, the picture fell part of a study that made its way to the mainstream.
Remember that weird time in most of our childhoods when the idea of lathering ourselves in sunblock was usually met with a frown? Well, those days sit in the same pile as doctors who once promoted smoking.
Beyond sunburn, sunscreen and sunblock are some of the best fighters against wrinkles, skin cancer and of course, sun-damaged skin. But something of a divide exists on which is actually better.
The 101 on sun-protection
What’s the difference between sunblock, sunscreen and SPF? You’d be forgiven for thinking these are just nicknames for the same thing, but they actually all work a little differently.
Sunscreens protect against UVA rays while sunblocks warrior against UVB rays, as dermatologist Cristina Psomadakis, shared as per Health. Sunscreen reactions are chemical, while sunblocks are more like barriers.
The sunscreen makeup usually includes zinc or titanium dioxides, while sunscreen recipes include octyl methoxycinnamate or octyl salicylate. The ingredients are different and so are the effects, but many sun-protecting products share elements from both sunscreen and sunblock make-ups.
Are SPF moisturizers, any good?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on the other hand stretches the skin’s natural resistance to the sun’s rays. Are SPF-tinted moisturizers any good?
SPF moisturizers work best when you use them with sunscreen and or sunblock but if you only have SPF on hand, you’ll need to make sure you apply them correctly – don’t forget your eyelids and your neck!
What about your specific skin type?
We’ve put together a list of sunscreens for every skin type to fill you in.
Feature Image: Pinterest