UVB is what causes skin to go red and burn as it damages the skin's epidermal layers and is a key cause of nasty skin cancers such as melanoma while UVA, although less intense than UVB, is more prevalent in our atmosphere and is associated with photo-aging, skin aging, freckling and pigmentation. UVA rays can penetrate deeper into the basal of the epidermis and causes much untold damage many years later on.
So, short of staying indoors and never seeing the light of day or completely covering up, sunscreen is one of the most important products out there that one can use to protect our skin when we find ourselves out and about during the day.
Not all sunscreens are created equal and when looking for one, make sure that it provides broad spectrum protection (which will block out both UVA and UVB rays) and ideally should be Skin Protection Factor aka SPF 30+). The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administrators or TGA (think US FDA counterparts) have restricted labelling to show no higher SPF than 30+ as it can mislead consumers and lull them into a false sense of security that SPF 50 is better than 30 when in fact after application on skin, there is no significant increase in skin protection provided by the higher SPF sunscreens. Also different country applies tests for SPF differently so ratings vary considerably according to country. As a guide, Australian SPF30+ allows transmission of 3.4% of UV radiation onto skin which is more than enough for the daily UV rays our skin needs for vitamin D synthesis and healthy bone development.
I like my facial sunscreens lightweight and non-greasy. When I came across Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily face sunscreen lotion, I was instantly interested and the new helioplex technology promising a more stable sunscreen was too hard to resist.
What I found
- is a chemical sunscreen so works but absorbing the harmful UVA&B rays before it penetrates skin. Helioplex helps to stablise the sunscreen chemicals so you get longer protection before the chemicals starts to break down by the suns ray. Re-application every 3-4 hours is recommended if staying outdoors for an extended period of time
- being a chemical blocker sunscreen does not give a white cast on makeup applications, especially in photographs
- lightweight and non-greasy - dry to touch with a matte finish
- milky white fluid in texture - rubs into skin very quickly
- very light, non-overbearing fresh scent the disappears quickly after application
- didn't quite work as a primer for makeup base. It accentuated any dry patches and needed a separate primer to fix those areas
- after 2 weeks use, I broke out from this and had 2 tiny whiteheads on my cheeks. I've not experience this with any sunscreens before, even with oilier sunscreens
I love the texture and how it was quickly absorbed into my skin. It is a shame I can't use this product long term as an ingredient caused my skin to react to it after a period of use. I now use this solely on my hands and neck as its a lovely product for those areas, just not on my face. I would love to see a re-formulated version that doesn't break me out as it gives a nice matte finish to the face.
RRP A$14.99 at all good chemists and Target, Big-W and Kmart stores.
stats source: Australian Cancer Foundation