Understanding Your Sunscreen

It’s that time of the year once again when you either let your skin get burnt to a crisp or actually head out and buy a new bottle of (gasp!) sunscreen. UV protection is the number-one summer health and beauty helper, yet 75% people don’t bother to use any.

It’s a well proven fact that 80% signs of ageing (like fine lines, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging) are accelerated by the sun’s rays, which penetrate deep into the skin to attack collagen – the spongy protein that keeps skin supple and firm.

New studies also indicate that regular SPF use allows skin cells to focus on tasks that actually improve skin – such as shedding dead cells and building collagen – rather than on fighting environmental effects. So you not only prevent further damage, but actually get repairing benefits as well.

And no, the bottle from last year won’t do, because sunscreens usually degenerate and lose their effectivity within six months of opening the bottle. Still confused about what all those numbers and rating signify? Here is a quick brush-up 101 to help you choose:

  • SPF: Higher SPFs don’t give better protection; they just allow you to be out in the sun longer without burning. SPF 15 works for approximately two hours, so it’s fine for everyday use, but on outdoor days go for SPF 30 or above to cut down on reapplications.
  • UVA/UVB: Earlier, SPF regulations only measured the product’s efficacy against UVB rays; however, studies have proved that UVA rays are equally damaging to the skin. So, the revised labeling system for sunscreens includes a four-star rating system for sunscreen protection against UVA light – one star represents low UVA protection, while four stars represent the highest protection available in an over-the-counter product.

Beauty launch: Gisele Bündchen’s eco skincare line

Celebrity, eco-friendly and skincare… three words that don’t normally come together in one sentence are getting a dramatic fillip from Gisele Bündchen, who launched her own range of environment-friendly beauty products last week. Called Sejaa Pure Skincare, the line “promises to use all-natural ingredients, “thoughtful” packaging and recycled paper.”  Interesting!

Beauty launch: MAC Give Me Liberty of London

With so many makeup collections floating around nowadays, its a rare one that gets me excited enough to want to run out of the house that very minute….but I simply cant wait to get my hands on MAC’s new Give Me Liberty of London goodies. For the uninitiated, Liberty is a charming Brit store, housed in a gorgeous Tudor building on London’s Regent Street, and is best known for its exquisite prints.

The two iconic brands have collaborated on a full makeup collection – complete with romantic sounding names like Petals & Peacocks, Prim & Proper, Dame’s Desire and Blue India. And the packaging is just as delectable as the products themselves – I see myself being hard pressed to throw out the empty tubes and cases. Blooming lovely, as one would say!

Beauty launch: Lola by Marc Jacob

I am in love – completely and irrevocably – with Lola, Marc Jacobs’ sexy new fragrance. And while the contents might be exquisite – a warm floral bouquet replete with pink peppercorn, pear, red grapefruit, rose, peony, geranium, vanilla, tonka beans and musk – in this case, for me at least, its whats on the outside that counts 🙂

I mean, just take a look at the bottle… inspired by the designer’s fashion silhouettes, it’s an enchantment of faceted glass, vivid colours and gold coil. This one deserves its own spotlight on the dressing table!