The holidays are here, and for most of us that means time spent outdoors in the sun, sea or pool. While we’re having the best of times, it’s important we remember to protect our skins with a good, broad spectrum sunscreen.
I believe there is a lot of education that needs to be regarding sunscreens. Many people I speak to don’t know how much sunscreen that should be applying, how often to reapply, or what certain terms like broad spectrum means.
With this post I’m hoping to shed some light on the most common sunscreen related questions I receive. To ensure I’m giving you guys only the most accurate info, I chatted with the Cetaphil team to get clarity on the questions below.
How does Cetaphil sunscreens protect against DNA damage?
UVB rays – those that burn the skin, cause redness or tanning and are the rays responsible for skin cancer because they damage DNA. Now, P53 is an enzyme in the body responsible for repairing damaged DNA caused by infrared radiation. Cetaphil sunscreen have clinical data to show that their formula protects this key enzyme through effectively blocking UV radiation so it’s able to repair / reverse any damage to the DNA. When DNA is damaged, the long-term result could be skin cancer.
UVA rays cause indirect damage directly through oxidative stress – meaning free radicals get formed. Free radicals are unstable molecules that disrupt DNA. These free radicals stimulate an enzyme that breaks down collagen, and this leads to fine lines and wrinkles. If you can block the UVA effectively, you will minimise the amount of free radicals that get formed. The organic filters used in Cetaphil gives optimal protection against both UVA, UVB and infrared ray (IR) rays.
If a sunscreen is ‘water-resistant, why do I need to re-apply after swimming?
No sunscreen is waterproof, and water-resistant formulas should keep you protected as you swim but you still need to reapply after getting out of the water, when perspiring and after towel drying.
Cetaphil explained that water resistant sunscreens must pass independent tests to PROVE they retain their SPF while swimming or sweating. Waterproof means a TOTAL BLOCKING of water getting into the formula, but the FDA no longer allows this term anymore since it’s misleading. This is why it’s SO important to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or towel drying.
Why do I have to apply my sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes BEFORE going into the sun?
Because the UV filters need 15 to 20 minutes to start working. Most are triggered as you rub the sunscreen onto your skin, but they need some time to start doing the job properly.
What the difference between an “Organic” and “Inorganic” sunscreen?
This refers to the filters the sunscreen contains. Physical filters are now called inorganic filters and they work by reflecting the rays of the sun. They don’t penetrate the skin. If a sunscreen only contains inorganic filters, it will be called an inorganic sunscreen.
Chemical filters are now called organic filters. These work by penetrating the top layers of the skin and they absorb the suns energy, turning them into heat. If a sunscreen contains organic filters, it will be referred to as an organic sunscreen.
Cetaphil contains organic sunscreen filters, except the Gel which contains both organic & inorganic to give you optimal protection.
What does the circle around the UVA labelling mean?
A circle around the UVA on sunscreens means that that sunscreen meets the European guidelines for optimal UVA protection. You should look for this on any sunscreens you intend purchasing.
Cetaphil sunscreens are Non-Photo toxic – what exactly does that means?
Photo-toxicity is a chemically induced skin irritation that requires light to be triggered – it is not a reaction caused by the immune system. In essence, it’s a type of photo sensitivity where the skin’s response resembles an exaggerated sunburn. Cetaphil sunscreens are suitable for even the most sensitive of skins.
Do sunscreen formulas perform differently in salt and or fresh water?
Cetaphil sunscreens are water-resistant in both salt, fresh and chlorinated water. We have done clinical research to support this.
How much sunscreen does one need to apply for optimal protection?
Use a shot glass as your guide for the amount you need to apply to your skin to be properly covered, and not the palm of your hand! To achieve the SPF (that protects against the sun’s UVB radiation) reflected on a bottle of sunscreen, you should use approximately two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. In practice, this means applying the equivalent of a shot glass per area (i.e. your face and your torso and your leg and so on). If you’re using a spray, apply until you see an even sheen.
Recently, I was sent the Cetaphil Sun SPF50+ Gel and SPF 30 High Protection Spray to try out. Now, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I really like the Cetaphil sunscreens and have blogged about them a few times previously HERE and HERE.
Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Gel approx. R250
This sunscreen is great for all skin types, but especially beneficial for sensitive or oily skin’s. It’s hypoallergenic, won’t block pores and is water resistant. The formula can be used of both face and body, and it’s so lightweight that it’s even suitable to wear under makeup (I’ve tried it out and can attest to this).
The formula is lightweight and oil free, and while I was initially expecting a gel to come out, I would describe the consistency as more of a gel/cream. However, it does absorb quickly just like a gel would and doesn’t leave a greasy film or sticky feeling. Have you noticed how sunscreens can dry the skin out? One of the best things about this formula is that it also nourishes the skin. This is thanks to the inclusion of Vitamin E in the formula.
Cetaphil Sun SPF30 Spray approx. R200
This particular SPF lives in my handbag because the 150ml size bottle is not too big or cumbersome. I find all too often I’m out and about at launches that happen outdoors. I arrive, only to remember I hadn’t applied any sunscreen on my arms or legs. Also, I’ve become very aware of protecting the back of my hands with sunscreen. I like how I’m able to spritz a little onto the back of my hands after every wash.
Again, this formula contains all the benefits of the one above but come in a handy spray (perfect for those hard-to-reach areas like the back and neck). It can be used on both face & body, is non-greasy and won’t block pores.
Cetaphil products are available to purchase at selected Clicks, Dischem stores and leading pharmacies.
To learn more about Cetaphil products, follow the brand on Facebook HERE
Win a R5000 Seafolly voucher and a Cetaphil Sun Hamper!
One lucky reader can win a R5000 Seafolly voucher and a Cetaphil Sun Hamper containing both the Cetaphil Sun SPF30 Spray and the Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Gel.
To enter, leave a comment below telling me about your favourite Cetaphil product (it doesn’t have to be the sunscreen) and why you love it.
Please ensure you include your email address when commenting (only I can see it) so I can reach you, should you be the winner.
I’ll announce the winner on In My Bag’s Facebook page (FOLLOW HERE) next week Wednesday 19 December 2018.
*This blog post is sponsored by Cetaphil*