Summer is coming and it’s time to buy sunscreen. Before doing so read our 7 tips.
1) What factor should I use?
In Denmark the ministry of Health and the cancer organization recommends that you use SPF15. This might sound as a low factor but used in the correct amount it will be sufficient during the Danish summer. There are few exceptions though: If you go on holiday in southern Europe, if your skin is fair or if you have a tattoo – then you need a sunscreen with SPF30.
Always remember: the higher SPF the more chemicals. Therefore: use the lowest possible SPF recommended by the authorities.
2) How much sunscreen should I use?
If you get a sunburn it is more likely to be because of not enough sunscreen instead of the wrong SPF. A Danish survey has shown that we use too little sunscreen. Actually not just a little too little – most people use a quarter of what is recommended. And be aware – you can not compensate too little sunscreen with a higher SPF.
When the sunscreens are made the chemists calculate the SPF value up against the recommended amount and time spent in the sun. Tests have shown that SPF 15 only protects as SPF 2 when you use a quarter of the recommended amount.
So to get SPF15 protection you need as an adult to use 40ml and a child 20ml .
3) How often should I apply sunscreen?
Surveys show that eight hours after applying sunscreen there will be a little less than 50 % left. The sun decreases after 2 PM and therefore it is sufficient to apply only once during the day. Unless you swim a lot or sweat a lot. Then you need to apply sunscreen a few more times.
4) When do I apply sunscreen?
SPF value is created so that it is on your skin and drying 20 minutes before you put on your clothes. A Danish survey has shown that if you put on your clothes after 8 minutes the SPF is still intact, but 4 minutes or less will halve the effect.
5) Do you choose sunscreen with UVA or UVB protection?
You will get the best protection if you choose a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB. Recently it was decided that all sunscreens sold in Europe most contain both.
6) Shelf life of sunscreen
Sunscreen has a shelf life of about 2 or 3 years. You can use it 1 year after opening it. It is always a good idea to notice whether you sunscreen changes color, smell or thickness. The more heat the sunscreen has been exposed to – for example on the beach – the sooner it will turn bad.
7) Choose the right sunscreen
Sunscreen is made to protect your skin. Unfortunately quite a few sunscreens contain chemicals that can cause skin allergy. Therefore we recommend always to choose sunscreens without perfume and without the preservatives: Methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde, formaldehyde donors (you can see the list here: https://allergycertified.com/about/criteria/
If you like your products to be organic please be aware that some plants – for example chamomile and calendula – are allergenic.