Sun Block Or Moisturiser?

Whether its hot and humid or cold and cloudy, the sun is always out. Which brings us to the confusing question - What exactly should I be putting on my skin?

You may or may not have heard of a thing called the ozone hole, which is quite literally a hole in the ozone layer above the earth. The Ozone layer is responsible for protecting us from harmful radiation from the sun but this ozone hole means that the layer of protection is super thin here in New Zealand. Because of all this information out there, it can be really confusing to know what your skin needs to be protected and stay healthy throughout the year.

When Ultra Violet Index levels (UVI) are higher than 3 it’s really important to wear sun protection - according to the CancerSociety NZ, this is usually during the months of September to April between 10am and 4pm. Because our UVI is almost 50 percent more than other countries (due to the ozone hole) we really need to look after our skin to avoid things early aging and skin cancers.

So what is SPF? And is it necessary for this ingredient to be in my daily face moisturiser? The answer is YES!

SPF stands for sun protection factor and it comes in varying numbers that measure the protection of your sunscreen from UVB sun rays which cause physical sunburn. If you have pale skin that might fall victim to sunburn after 10 minutes of being outside, then applying a sunblock with SPF 15 means that you can stay outside 15 times longer (so you should be ok for 150 minutes).

To have both sun protected skin and moisturised skin you will need a face moisturiser that has UV deflectors. One with botanicals will help to calm your skin in the sun too. If you're going to spend a long time outside then It’s important to have sun block that says broad spectrum because this offers you protection from both UVA and UVB  rays. If you have dry, sensitive, or oily skin it’s really important to moisturise. There are so many different types of face creams and lotions it’s hard to choose the right one. So here is a little guide to help you understand what your skin needs.

For Sensitive Skin:

A mineral lotion/sunscreen that is lightweight will moisturise and won't block your pores. Olay Complete UV Protect Spf15 Sensitive Lotion is perfect because it contains zinc and vitamin E and is super affordable at $17 from countdown supermarkets. 

Oily skin or acne prone skin:

If you don’t like the feeling of something thick on your skin or something that might clog your pores then a face lotion that is non-comedogenic and formulated for use on acne prone skin is perfect for you. The Cetaphil Derma control SPF30 lotion nourishes skin and also increases the ability to retain moisture. It’s also really good for oily skin.

For under makeup:

An annoying thing about applying sunblock to your face is that it messes with your makeup! A face lotion with a higher SPF will mean you won’t have to reapply as often. Something like the Oasis Apple A Day SPF25 moisturiser contains organic rose-hip oil and chamomile and is a great primer for wearing underneath foundation. 

For red or uneven skin tone:

A moisturiser such as a bb cream with SPF is perfect as a multifunctional face cream. A BB cream will feel light and even out blotchy patches on your face. The Swisse Natural Defence BB Cream SPF 30 will give you UVA/UVB protection and also has botanical extracts as well for that calming effect.

Dry Skin:

You’ll need something that is ultra moisturising. Sometimes its hard to find something that will hydrate and protect. The Trilogy vital moisturising cream is SPF15 and has been described as the Rolls Royce of natural moisturisers with lots of botanical extracts to feed dry skin. A little more expensive than other face lotions but it’s also perfect all year round and can be suitable for lots of skin types too.

Since darker skin has more melatonin this gives a little more protection against the sun’s harmful rays than those with pale skin. However, SPF is still important because everyone is at risk of sun damage from sun exposure. But don't let the negative effects of the sun keep you inside all day, the sun has lots of positive effects on your body too. It provides you with lots of vitamin D which is really good for keeping a strong immune system so you won't get sick in winter. And according to mindbodygreen vitamin D also helps with losing excess fat. So when you do go outside just make sure you're wearing sunblock or a moisturiser with SPF.

Photographer: Ellen Taylor // @ellenmarytaylor

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