Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

advice products May 18, 2020

One of the most important things you can do for your skin is wear SUNSCREEN every day.

What? I hear you say. Every day? But what if it’s raining, I’m not going to get sunburnt on a cloudy day!

And you’d be almost right, yes, you wouldn’t get sunburnt, but you would still be exposed to harmful UV damage.

No doubt, Australia has an abundance of sunshine, but with that we also have a significantly higher UV index and a thinner ozone layer.  Add to the mix a predominantly fair skinned, coastal dwelling population that grows up enjoying an outdoor lifestyle, it’s no wonder we have most of our underlying UV damage by age 13. The consequences of all that UVA and UVB exposure results in accelerated, premature ageing.

If you’re not clear on the difference between UVA and UVB, here are the basic facts:

Firstly, let’s look at UVB rays.


UVB are the shorter rays.  They are strongest over the summer months and in the middle of the day. You can feel UVB rays, feel yourself starting to burn if you stay in the sun for too long. UVB rays do not penetrate glass.


UVA are the longer rays.  They are just as strong in winter as they are in summer and just as strong on a cloudy day as a blue sky, sunshine day. You can’t feel UVA rays, so you can just keep taking the damage they cause all day long. Oh, and UVA can also penetrate glass, meaning you are constantly exposed even when in your car or near a window.

UVA rays are responsible for the lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and age spots, fragile capillaries and redness and overly oily skin.

Obviously, UVA rays can be dangerous. So, how can you protect yourself? 


Whilst all sunscreens in Australia are broad spectrum (giving you protection from both UVA and UVB) standard sunscreens are heavily weighted towards UVB protection to protect you from burning.  The difference in a cosmeceutical grade sunscreen is, whilst still protecting you from burning, it also has a much higher protection from UVA than a standard sunscreen.

It is applied after your skincare routine and before your make up. Apply to any exposed areas, so don’t forget to apply to your neck, décolletage and the back of your hands (think driving your car with those UVA rays coming through the windscreen!)

There isn’t a more graphic example of UVA damage through glass penetration than this image of a truck driver from Chicago, who drove his milk delivery van every day for 28 years without sun protection. This picture was published by the New England Journal of Medicine and they estimate the sun damage has added 20 years of ageing to the left side of his face.

An interesting update to the latest formulas include protection from BLUE LIGHT. If you sit in front of a computer, use a tablet, laptop or even your mobile phone, then you are exposed to blue light that can damage your skin just as much as UVA and UVB. Since most of us are exposed to these technologies every day we recommend applying sunscreen every single day, even when you are indoors.

One of the cosmeceutical grade sunscreens we use and recommend was developed by the CSIRO in Australia for Australian conditions. We recommend it in conjunction with all our skincare ranges. It is a smooth touch lotion with a matt finish. It is a broad spectrum, high protection sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ Containing soothing Aloe Vera extract for skin moisturising and Vitamin E as a protective antioxidant, it is pleasant to use, will not cause breakouts or congestion and won’t leave you with that thick, sticky sunscreen feeling (it doesn’t even have that ‘sunscreen smell’). Loved by both men and women and it’s great to know that is also safe to use on your kids! At just $29 for a 100ml tube it is very competitive with other standard sunscreen brands.

Another fabulous option for protecting your skin from the harsh Australian sun is to choose from our Ultraceuticals range, which have cleverly incorporated a cosmeceutical grade sunscreen into the formula of their daily moisturisers. There are 30+ and 50+ options, and a choice of mattifying, hydrating, sheer tint or a mineral base. The price range is $79 - $92 for a two-in-one option. (it's actually a three-in-one option if you go with the sheer tint!)

Sunscreen is THE MOST important product you will ever use. We have so many options to choose from so there is a perfect fit for everyone.

Just remember, it is much easier to prevent damage than to treat it. It’s never too late to start protecting your skin.


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