Sunscreen and everything you need to know to protect your skin

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand, but it’s also one of the most preventable.  New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and this is not a statistic that us Kiwis should be proud of.

We all know that we should use sunscreen to protect us from skin cancers and pleasantly there are some added cosmetic benefits from their use.

Too many people focus on the SPF number. SPF stands for sun protection factor, but it only accounts for UVB rays. In New Zealand, the recommendation is using an SPF 30 or above.


So, what are UVA and UVB rays?

UVA radiation goes deep into the skin, causing long-term damage such as wrinkles, blotchiness, sagging and skin cancer. We call this UVA for aging.

UVB radiation gets into the top layer of skin and can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. We call this UVB for burning.


What can we do to prevent our skin from aging?

We believe that the active ingredient of the sunscreen is more important than the SPF. If the SPF is above 30, it is a good sunscreen, but ensuring it contains zinc oxide is most important, as zinc oxide is the only ingredient that offers extensive protection for UVA and UVB rays.

Commonly, many of us associate Zinc sunscreens as being sticky, greasy and white but pleasingly, they are not all the same. Here, we detail some of the sunscreens on offer at Skin Institute that not only contain Zinc oxide but also feel cosmetically elegant (non-sticky).

  1. Dermaquest Sheer Zinc– containing 18.6% zinc oxide and SPF 30 and one of our personal favourites, it comes in clear and tinted (nude and sun kissed). Not only a brilliant sunscreen for sensitive and acne-prone skin, it is also suitable for use during Appearance Medicine treatments.
  2. Synergie Uberzinc – Sitting top of the range and highly recommended by Skin Institute’s Appearance Medicine Nurses, Synergie contains Zinc for UVA and UVB protection, and is a also a nourishing moisturiser.
  3. Image Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser – Daily, oil-free and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB critical wavelength high sun protection, mattifying moisturizer. Incorporates micro-sponge technology to absorb surface oils and leaves skin with a matte, shine-free finish.

These sunscreens are available at most Skin Institute clinics and from our online store.

If you’re concerned about sun damage or want to find out more about looking after your skin, book an Appearance Medicine Consultation or a Skin Cancer Consultation today.