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Slap on that sunscreen, even when you don’t see the sun

Why is sunscreen so important, and how do you choose the right one for you? Karlo Mitchell from ISDIN South Africa and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals shares some insight.

WE may be experiencing cooler weather, but that doesn’t mean you should pack your sunscreen away. Sun damage significantly affects our skin. It can harm cells and proteins, contribute to skin cancer, and accelerate the skin’s natural ageing process by up to 80%. So, whatever your age or skin type, there’s one thing that you should always include in your daily skincare routine: sunscreen.

When it comes to sunscreen, everyone has different views and preferences. With so many differing sun-protection habits and opinions, how do you know what the best sunscreen for your skin is?

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While some may not incorporate sunscreen into their daily life, one person made a song about it in 1999 which hit number 1 in the UK and Ireland.

Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen (The Sunscreen Song) by Baz Lurhmann recited columnist Mary Schmich’s essay which was published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.

In the essay, she offered advice on how to live a happier life, and guess what? Wearing sunscreen was part of that advice.

“There are a number of reasons why dermatologists recommend the use of sunscreen, but in a nutshell, it’s to help protect your skin from sun damage and photo-ageing,” says Karlo Mitchell, brand manager for ISDIN South Africa and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

“A dermatologist-recommended sunscreen is a great place to start with protecting your skin. Remember, the sun doesn’t take a day off, so whichever type of sunscreen you choose, apply it daily, and apply it well,” said Mitchell.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a sunscreen:

Skin-boosting ingredients. Get the maximum benefit from your sunscreen by looking for one with additional ingredients that boost overall skin health.

The texture makes you want to wear it. The best kind of sunscreen is one you will want to apply every single day. Dermatologists are always on top of the latest innovations in product texture — such as 100% mineral sunscreens that don’t leave behind a greasy, white residue and don’t burn your eyes.

The higher the SPF, the better. One of the biggest misconceptions about sunscreen is that if you have dark skin or more melanin, you don’t need to be using a high SPF. Everyone needs to be using sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30+. When making your choice, it’s best to look for a higher SPF, such as an SPF 50 or SPF 50+ sunscreen, as this increases the time it would take for your skin to burn when in direct sunlight.

Make sure it’s broad spectrum.
Meaning, it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are largely responsible for premature skin ageing, so they provoke changes in the skin, such as the appearance of wrinkles and sunspots. UVB rays are sometimes called burning rays, as they’re the culprit behind sunburn and tanning in your skin. Both types of rays can contribute to the risk of developing skin cancer.

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