What if I told you that your SPF 50 sunscreen is doing you more harm than good?

Be honest, you probably wouldn’t believe me, would you?

I can understand why that would be.

From a consumer’s point of view, without the correct information it is quite simple to pick up the SPF 50, water-resistant sunscreen that only requires application every 3 hours. It’s much more appealing than the more expensive, SPF 15 that requires application every 90 – 120 minutes.

Allow me to change your mind…

For sunscreen to protect the skin it must remain on the skin’s surface, acting as a barrier – makes sense, right?

The problem is, research in Riverside, California has shown that three of the most popularly used sunscreens in the USA, and the world (octylmethoxycinnamate, octocrylene and axybenzone), do not remain on the surface of the skin, rather they are absorbed into it.

What you need to understand is that absorption is a no-no. Sunscreen molecules, including the popular Methoxycinnamate, become a free radical once they come in contact with a single UV ray. Once a free radical enters the skin, they cause serious damage to the cells.

Anti-oxidants are our saving grace when it comes to cleaning up the mess free radicals make. So, next time you’re buying a sunscreen, remember this: “The higher the sunscreen rating, the less likely that there is enough space remaining in the formulation to add good doses of antioxidants,” says Dr Des Fernandes, the Pioneer of Environ Skincare.

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t spend hours in the sun so we wouldn’t have to worry so much, but with the summer fast approaching and the ever growing hole in our ozone layer, the more concerned we should be. Particularly living in Australia where two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.(Sun Smart, Aus)

Environ Skincare’s sun protection range varies from SPF 15 – 18, and includes additional good UVA protection and a full brigade of anti-oxidants, giving better, broader protection from sunlight. It also includes the strongest natural infra-red protecting agent – beta-carotene, which reduces the damage caused by infra-red rays.

“There is a great deal of misunderstanding about sunscreens. So many people believe that their sunscreen has to be a minimum of 50,” says Dr Fernandes.

Seeing as you have reached this point in this post, I would hope that by now you realise that higher SPF products tend to give people a sense of false security.

Low SPF is best.