Sunscreen: Let's face the facts

We are frequently told that sunscreen is non-negotiable - that we should be applying it every morning as part of our daily skin care routine. After all, regular sunscreen use is a key factor in keeping our skin healthy, as it fights off damaging UV radiation that causes dryness, wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancer.

Sunscreen faceBut are we being vigilant enough with daily sunscreen application on the face? Many of us believe that the SPF in our moisturiser or makeup is enough to protect us for the day (it's not), or that being indoors all day will protect us from the sun's rays (it won't), or that sunscreen simply doesn't feel nice on our skin (there are non-greasy products available that work excellently under makeup).

Facial sunscreen application should be part of our morning routine every day, every season - regardless of the weather, temperature, or where you are. Put a bottle of sunscreen on your bathroom counter so you don't forget, and keep some handy in your car or bag so you can re-apply while out and about. Within a couple of weeks, facial sunscreen will become part of your daily skin care regime.

While you develop this new healthy habit, here are some things you should know:

You should use a different sunscreen on our face and body
It may be tempting to use the same product for your entire skin surface, but the skin on your face and body are different, so they may require two different products. Facial and body skin differ in thickness, sensitivity and oil content, and how the product feels on your skin may be something to consider when selecting a face vs body sunscreen. You may need to try a few products before you find the right texture; for example, creams are usually used on drier skin, while light fluids are typically good for oilier skin.

Aim for an SPF30+ product
Even if you're staying indoors, you should always use a product that has a high SPF (which stands for sun protection factor) - at least above 30. If you want to minimise sun damage, early signs of ageing, and skin cancer, the higher SPF the better!

Make sure you apply enough
Many of us are guilty of under-applying our sunscreen. We need more than we may think! It's recommended that we use one teaspoon for the face, each arm and leg, and front and back of the torso. This amounts to a full body application of at least 35ml or seven teaspoons for proper protection. You don't need to apply sunscreen on areas of the body that are well-covered by protective clothing. Learn more about sunscreen use here.