Sunscreen - It's not Optional, but we have Options

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It's been said that the best skincare in your 40s is sunscreen in your 20s. It's true! Whatever your age or stage of life, wearing sunscreen every day – not just on our beautiful country's "perfect" beach days – is the "secret sauce" when it comes to ensuring your skin lives its best life. 

We get it; many South Africans avoid applying sunscreen daily because they remember (not fondly) the thick, sticky, chalky sunscreens of their childhood or think it'll send their complexion back to their teen years by amping up oil production and clogging up their pores. But… the thing is… sunscreen in 2024 is not the same as sunscreen was back in 1994. 

The options available today for all sorts of skin types and skin concerns (and the innovative formulations that protect your skin while repairing it) mean that you truly have no excuse for not wearing sunscreen and treating it as an important – if not the most important – step of your morning skincare routine. 

Given our sunny South African climate, sunscreen isn't a nice-to-have; it's a must-have. 

When it comes to sunscreen for the SA sun, less isn't more…

Experts agree that, given South Africa's climate, using anything less than an SPF50 puts you at more risk for sun-related skin damage – from the less serious kind (for example, hyper-pigmentation) to the more serious kind (yes, skin cancer). If you happen to have a tanning oil or an SPF with a single digit in your bathroom cabinet or toiletry bag, do your future self a big favour and toss it out. No tan now is worth the effects on your skin just now. 

Never met a skin one of our sunscreens couldn't protect…

While wearing sunscreen as a South African shouldn't be seen as "optional", when choosing one for yourself – and your personal skincare goals – you've got options. Lots of them. Here are our current five favourites in the sunscreen department and a little explanation of why they've earned their time to shine… 

1. "Sun protection that physically repairs skin cells on an atomic level."

Lamelle Helase Photo-Repair Cream SPF 50 is a first-of-its-kind sun protection that can physically repair skin cells on an atomic level. Its formulation includes Photolyase, a powerful DNA-repairing enzyme that reverses existing damage to your skin. And the addition of Pycnogenol®, a super-antioxidant, fights the harmful effects of free radicals that cause thinning and sagging of skin. What is the added benefit of this sunscreen, which is that it is suitable for all skin types, even acne-prone skin? It also decreases inflammation responsible for accelerated ageing. 

2. "A combination of potent anti-ageing and anti-pigmentation technologies."

NeoRetin GelCream SPF 50 is an innovative daytime gel cream with a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen. It supports epidermal exfoliation and renewal, combining potent anti-ageing and anti-pigmentation technologies. With its Whitening Booster System – combining Kojic Acid and Retinol Glycospheres – it intervenes in all melanin production and synthesis phases to ensure the highest quality of pigment control. Add to this the fact that its exfoliating properties help to diminish surface pigmentation. At the same time, its Retinsphere technology lessens the irritation of Retinol, and you have the ideal sunscreen for non-sensitive skin struggling with brown marks or pigmentation and premature ageing. 

3. "A mattifying formulation with a dry-touch finish that reduces oiliness."

SkinCeuticals Oil Shield UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 is a mattifying formulation that reduces oiliness while delivering high UV protection with a fresh, dry-touch finish. Its lightweight, residue-free formula features broad-spectrum UV protection properties, protecting against UVA and UVB rays for optimal safety. At the same time, Silica Silicate Silicate absorbs sebum and minimises the appearance of pores.

4. "Fast-absorbing, broad-spectrum protection that's water and sand resistant, too."

Heliocare 360 Invisible Spray SPF 50 is an easy-to-apply, transparent photoprotection spray that provides comfortable protection on wet and dry skin. Containing Fernblock®, along with specific filters and antioxidant ingredients, this truly convenient and effective sunscreen protects against the four types of radiation (UVB, UVA, Visible and Infrared) while neutralising and repairing sun damage. The WET SKIN formula – water- and sand-resistant – makes it ideal for any outdoor activity, protecting your skin in any condition, thanks to the invisible broad-spectrum protection that's refreshing, hypoallergenic and fast-absorbing. 

5. "One of the most comprehensive, cutting-edge sunscreens available."

Heliocare 360 Airgel SPF 50 is a highly innovative, ultra‐light gel for superior protection and defence. A gentle foaming mousse that rapidly absorbs into the skin, this product contains 

advanced filters and a Bioshield System that provides the skin with wide-spectrum coverage against all radiation: UVA, UVB, Visible Light and Infrared-A. One of the most comprehensive, cutting-edge sunscreens available, its Smart Galenic formulation offers uniform cover, leaving no gaps when applied, and it's suitable for all skin types. 

At high risk of pigmentation, ageing, and skin cancer? Add these to cart!

Heliocare 360 Capsules are specifically for those at high risk of pigmentation, ageing, and skin cancer – ideal for summer months when the sun is at its highest intensity (most dangerous). 

Each capsule protects your skin from UVB, UVA, high energy visible light as well as Infrared radiation and, because this product contains Fernblock®FC – a highly active and potent antioxidant, rich in Ferulic acid – it repairs DNA and neutralises free radicals, too. Vitamins C and E combination provide extra protection, strengthening your skin's photoprotective action, while Niacinamide protects your skin against environmental threats. 

In short? These capsules offer truly effective support for your current sun protection routine. Note that we said support. It's essential to recognise that this product isn't a replacement for your sunscreen but an effective wingman for your sun protection efforts. 

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