When I was a young girl growing up the only sunscreen we used was a bit of zinc across the nose. Then in my teenage years, we used tanning oils to promote a tan ….. or burn. Baby oil and coconut oil were some of the favourites and then someone gave me a recipe of olive oil and vinegar, which was supposed to promote a beautiful tan. Unbeknown to us then all we were doing was promoting skin damage. Along with sun cancer and ageing and I smelt like a salad dressing! I remember not being able to sleep at night from the sunburn, but knew I was going to have a great tan for a week……. before it all peeled off!
If you’re from my era you’ll remember the billboard that showed a dog on the beach – and that dog was using its teeth to pull down the pants of a toddler to show a white bottom, emphasising the toddler’s tan. The billboard was advertising a sunscreen/tanning product but it was not promoting a sun-safe message. Far from it.
Sunscreens have come a long way since my childhood, they are more effective and there are many options available to suit your skin and your lifestyle and believe me prevention is better than cure. You cannot reverse the damage done to your skin, though there are many treatments and certain products that can help delay sun damage related ageing.
How to choose a sunscreen
I despise greasy, sticky sunscreens, it’s uncomfortable on your skin and gets all over your jewellery, gel sunscreens contain a lot of alcohol, ruins your freshly painted nails and is drying on your skin.
Neutrogena 50+Sunsense 50+
This is Lightweight and oil free, perfect under your makeup and inexpensive.
Tends to be on the sticky side but if your are going to the beach or out all day it’s better to have something that will stay on.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
Your Vitamin C will also limit the damage from UV rays so apply under your moisturiser in the morning, BUT it is not a sunscreen. Though can certainly help fight free radicals and improve the colour and texture of the skin.
It’s also a good time to go through your sunscreen supply at home. Throwing out any bottles or tubes that have not been stored in a cool place or out of date as they may no longer be effective.
Do I need sunscreen if I wear SPF cosmetics?
Will I have a Vitamin D deficiency if I use sunscreen all the time?