Monday, 27 April 2020

5 Things to Think About When Buying Sunscreen

One of the questions we are asked a lot is - which sunscreens are best for preventing skin cancer?


To help answer, we have brought together some expert advice and developed a checklist of 5 things you should think about when buying sunscreen:




1. Check the how long your sunscreen in your cupboard will last for

 
Yes! Sunscreens expire too. According to the NHS, sunscreens (that have not been exposed to
heat and sunlight) should last 2-3 years.1


Most sunscreens sold in the UK and EU will have an open jar label on them, showing how long
they will last after opening. Check this against when you remember buying and beginning to
use your sunscreen.2


'Our advice is, if you’re not sure, buy more - burning isn’t worth the risk.


2. Be wary of once a day sunscreens

 
When consumer organisation, Which?, put Boots Soltan Once 8hr Sun Protection SPF30
(200ml), Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion SPF30 (150ml), Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protection
SPF30 Spray (200ml) and UltraSun Family SPF30 (100ml) through their usual sunscreen test
they discovered that after 8 hours there was,“An average 74% decrease in SPF protection.”3

 
Once a day doesn’t really mean once a day. Sun protection should be re-applied every two
hours.


3. Choose a broad spectrum SPF

 
Choose a product that is broad-spectrum which means that it protects against both UVA and
UVB rays. Look out for an SPF and the UVA logo - if it has a UVA star rating, go for a minimum of four stars.4

 
4. The magic SPF number is 30


According to the British Association of Dermatologists, you should, “ Use a ‘high protection’
sunscreen of at least SPF 30.”5
 
5. Choose a brand that feels good to you

 
The really important factor in skin cancer prevention is compliance with the advice - what do we
mean by that? The advice is to wear broad protection SPF30+ sunscreen and re-apply every
two hours when the UV level is 3 or above. The problem is, that if you don’t like your sunscreen,
you’re less likely to do this, so our top advice would be to choose sun protection that meets the
other four points, but is also one that you really like!


We asked our Facebook followers, many of whom are skin cancer patients, concerned parents
and beauty industry professionals, which sun protection brands are their favourites to use -
here’s their list:


Aldi Lacura SPF30/50
Heliocare
Alumier MD
Neostrata
Dermalogica Clear Start Clearing Defence SPF 30
Image Skincare
Environ Rad
Boots sensitive
Altruist


There are lots of other brands available that meet our checklist, but it’s always nice to have a
recommendation!


For more information check out our website: skcin.org


Enjoy the sun safely this summer.




1 https://metro.co.uk/2017/06/26/does-sun-cream-have-an-expiry-date-6734638/
2 https://www.thefactsabout.co.uk/whats-in-my-cosmetics?letter=s&anchor=sun-protection-factor-spf
3 https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/sun-creams/article/once-a-day-sun-creams
4 https://www.rpharms.com/resources/quick-reference-guides/sunscreens
5 https://www.skinhealthinfo.org.uk/sun-awareness/the-sunscreen-fact-sheet/

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