Sunscreens and sunblocks are important for protecting the skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. The SPF score on a bottle of sunscreen tells you how protective the ingredients are against UV rays: an SPF 50+ is more protective than an SPF 30+. While there are physical barriers (sunblocks) and chemical barriers (sunscreens), there is a new category of sunscreen available and the latest technology for protecting your skin against the Australian sun is called
Sunblocks are always a thick, opaque cream containing ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The physical protection blocks forms of UV rays from outside the skin. Sunblocks are often cosmetically unappealing as they are visible (usually white and shiny), difficult to wash off and messy. They are recommended for people with a sensitivity to UV rays and little people from 12 months.
Sunscreen is a cream, which forms a thin, colourless film on the skin that acts as a filter against UV rays. Ingredients in a sunscreen filter reduce and absorb harmful UVA and UVB rays and work from under the skin. Liposomal formulations are a new category altogether. A liposomal sunscreen is a sunscreen, which is formulated to contain small particles called liposomes. Liposomes are used as a vehicle to carry UVA and UVB protective filters, the properties of which may enable penetration of the sunscreen into the outer layer of the skin. There is no
absorption into the blood stream, so lessening the chemical risk factor, but as it’s still absorbed, there’s no greasy finish.
Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to ensure protection and reapplied every two to four hours.