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What you should know when buying sunscreen

Buying sunscreen can be confusing, but we’re here to make it easier. New Zealand has some of the highest melanoma rates in the world, so here are a few practical tips to help you look after your skin this summer.

First, check the SPF – Sun Protection Factor. SPF 50+ is ideal, and that’s what Standards New Zealand recommends. You’ll have to keep reapplying it after two hours to stay safe. It only takes 15 minutes to burn in our sun, so better safe than sorry.

If you’re swimming or sweating, consider a water-resistant sunscreen. You’ll still need to keep up your regular two-hourly applications, but you’ll be protected while you splash about.

To get proper coverage, you need about a teaspoon of sunscreen for each arm and leg, as well as your front, back face and neck. Sound like more than what you’re used to? It’s one of the reasons why cream, gel or lotion style sunscreen is recommended over a spray – seven teaspoons worth means a LOT of spraying to get the right coverage.

Go for a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen. UVA and UVB are two types of rays that contribute to UV-related damage. Either type can lead to skin cancer and melanoma, but ‘Broad Spectrum’ blocks them both.

Enjoy yourself! It’s worth taking time to find a sunscreen you like because you’ll be more likely to wear it, which is the most important thing. Once you’re sorted, you can focus on enjoying your summer. You’ll be pleased to know that you can still top up your Vitamin D when you use sunscreen. The warmth of a clear sky and sun sparkled shores are two of the best things about this time of year in New Zealand.  The team at Imak wishes you a safe and sunny summer of relaxation and enjoyment.