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Why Sunscreen is so important.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, it is the most common cancer to affect Kiwis and it is estimated over 90,000 Kiwis get non melanoma skin cancer each year.

It’s really important to understand that those beautiful warm sun rays you bask in at the beach with while sipping on that nice cold beer are actually radiation, coming down through our atmosphere that can potentially give you cancer (bummer, I know).

Now that we are in the peak of summer it is more important than ever to slap on that SPF. Here is some more information about sunscreens that you may not know!

So, who should use sunscreen?

Short answer: absolutely everyone! Men, women, and children over 6 months of age should use sunscreen every day.

What sunscreen should you use?

I believe that the best sunscreen for you is the one you will wear every day! A broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or more is a good place to start.

There are two different “types” of sunscreen you can choose from. Physical (mineral) sunscreen (including the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). These block and scatter the rays before they penetrate your skin. Or Chemical sunscreen ingredients (like avobenzone and octisalate) which absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin. (Now don’t confuse ‘chemical’ as being harmful, because remember everything on earth is technically a chemical. But that’s a chat for another day…)

All active ingredients in sunscreen are chemically derived. Some people may think of physical sunscreens as more “natural,” or even “organic,” but they’re actually inorganic mineral compounds. The sunscreens many people call “chemical” are actually “UV organic filters.”

How much sunscreen is enough and when should I apply it?

To get the full broad-spectrum protection out of your sunscreen, apply one ounce — about a shot glass full — to your entire body. You should apply sunscreen every day! Yes, even when it is cloudy. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can still reach the earth on a cloudy day. Going unprotected on an overcast day can lead to skin damage.

In New Zealand sunscreens are not regulated, (yet) which means they do not have be tested to make sure they are safe. Consumer NZ do sunscreen tests most years, so you know which sunscreens are (and which aren’t) providing you with the protection you need. Check out the latest results here:

The SunSmart NZ website has this great mythbusters section that you can read through in your own time to learn more what true and what isn’t when it comes to the sun:

So moral of the story wear ya damn sunscreen!

Information and facts taken from

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