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Slip, slop and slap on that SPF all year round

Posted by Shilpa Bhim on
Slip, slop and slap on that SPF all year round

The importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer was drilled in to me from a very young age (anyone else remember the old slip, slop, slap and wrap saying?!) 

Most of us are generally aware that while the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays give us that tanned look we so desire, they are also pretty harmful to our skin. So, we tend to make an effort to wear sunscreen during the summer months.

But, what about during winter. The sun isn’t actively shining down on us everyday, so there’s probably no need to wear sunscreen, right?

Not quite. 

While it may not be sunny all day everyday during winter, the sun’s rays are present all year round. 

Most of you will probably know that there are two main types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. I’m going to break these down further for you:

UVA rays 

  • UVA rays are known as long wave rays. About 95 per cent of rays that reach the earth’s surface are UVA rays, which are present all year round. 
  • UVA rays are pretty powerful and can penetrate your skin far deeper than UVB rays.
  • They make you more tan, but also cause signs of ageing like wrinkles and dark spots. They can also penetrate cloud and glass.

UVB rays

  • UVB rays are known as short wave rays and they don’t penetrate your skin as deeply as UVA rays do. 
  • They are usually more intense from Spring to early Autumn (during sunny hours) and cause your skin to burn. 
  • UVB rays are not as likely to reach the earth’s surface during winter, but that being said, some still make it and reflect off ice and snow, making them a bit of a threat if you’re skiing on a sunny winters day for example.

A simpler way to distinguish between the two UV rays is to remember that UVA ages (and is present all year round) and UVB burns (and can still get you on sunny winter days).

Turns out, we should be wearing sunscreen everyday, rain or shine (or cloudy). While there are different levels of sun protection factor (SPF) across different sunscreen brands, most dermatologists recommend SPF 30 for everyday use, and SPF 50 before participating in outdoor activities.

Personally, I like to use SPF 50 all year long. My favourites include:

For face

Mecca Cosmetica’s To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50

This is my go to daily face mosituriser. It not only offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, it also contains hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and vitamin E (aka good stuff for your skin). The formula itself is non greasy and non whitening - so it doesn’t give your skin that ashy look (big problem, especially when you’re a brown skin girl or guy!) I love wearing it on it’s own, or under makeup.

For body

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Nutritive Oil

This also offers offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and nourishes/moisturises your skin while providing sun protection. because it’s an oil formula, it blends in quickly and seamlessly and doesn’t give your skin an ashy look (big tick in my book).

What are some of your favourite sunscreens to use and how else do you protect yourself from the sun's rays? Let us know, and remember to slip, slop, slap, wrap and stay wild.


Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

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