Since moving to Greyton, we’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors. Whether it’s a quick stroll to drop Beanie off at school, a morning cycle around the village, a lunchtime picnic in our garden, or a braai with new friends, the need for sunscreen is more noticeable than ever!
I’ve been applying sunscreen to my face religiously every day ever since I first started battling with melasma and pigmentation during my pregnancy with Bean, but I’ll be honest: I haven’t been as good with applying sunscreen to the rest of my body. Sure, I’ll apply sunscreen to my back, neck, and shoulders when we’re spending the day at the beach or in the bush, but let’s face it: sunscreen can turn into a sticky, icky mess and often leaves a white residue along my arms and legs (or on my clothing!)
I’ve managed to find a handful of really incredible facial sunscreens that don’t clog my pores, leave my skin looking white, and aren’t in the slightest bit oily – but given that facial sunscreen usually costs a pretty penny (and comes in a smaller tube), I’m not about to start applying that onto the rest of my body as well!
This is where Cetaphil Sun Gel SPF50+ (R355, available at Clicks) comes in: this non-greasy, hypoallergenic formulation was designed specifically for those with an oily or sensitive skin type. It comes in a huge bottle (200ml) and is suitable for use on both your face and your body, so there’s no need to splurge on two separate sunscreens.
Better yet, it simply melts into my skin and feels like I’m wearing absolutely nothing on my skin – no greasiness, stickiness, or white residue to speak of!
I’ve been using it on both my face and my body, and let me tell you: it’s fab worn on your face! It leaves a comfortable matte finish (not dry or tight) and I’ve even found that my regular foundation goes on more smoothly and evenly over the top of this sunscreen. Plus, there are absolutely no spots or breakouts in sight!
Your Burning Beauty Questions: The Sunscreen Edition
I asked you to send through your most burning suncare-related questions (pun not intended!) via Instagram stories about a week ago. Here are a handful of your questions, and the answers!
Q: Should I be applying my sunscreen before or after my moisturiser?
This is a tricky one, and really depends on whether you’re using a mineral or a chemical sunscreen (see below to find out what the difference is). A chemical sunscreen contains ingredients that need to penetrate the skin in order to work optimally. Applying a thick moisturiser before your SPF might create a barrier and prevent it from working properly.
A mineral sunscreen (usually the kind that leaves your skin looking a bit chalky if you don’t rub it in really well) works by creating a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. These ingredients sit on the surface of your skin and reflect the sun’s UV rays away from your skin, so it’s best that these are applied after your moisturiser.
That said, most dermatologists will agree that, when in doubt, it’s best to apply your moisturiser before your SPF, then allow some time for it to absorb into your skin before applying your SPF. Better yet, use a moisturiser that contains SPF, then apply your usual SPF on top of that.
Q: What is the difference between a mineral and a chemical sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreens contain ingredients that create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s UV rays – these include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Also known as a physical sunscreen, these ingredients aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream, but sit on top of the skin and deflect harmful UV rays. Mineral sunscreens often leave a white residue on the skin, and may require quite a bit of rubbing in for this to disappear – if at all!
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain filters that penetrate the skin and protect the deeper layers of the skin by absorbing UV rays before they can do any damage.
Q: Is it ok to still be using last year’s sunscreen?
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have any sunscreen leftover from last year, since you should be applying sunscreen year-round – come rain or shine. If you’re using sunscreen properly, a bottle really shouldn’t last you that long. But if you happen to find a bottle of sunscreen lying around at the back of your bathroom cabinet, there are a few ways to tell whether it’s still ok to use:
- Check for an expiration date on the back of your sunscreen. (Most sunscreens are good to go for between two to three years).
- Check for changes in the texture of your sunscreen. If it’s started to separate, has become thick and gloopy, or contains clumps, it’s best to chuck it.
- Look out for changes to the scent of the product. You should be able to tell fairly quickly when your sunscreen is off based on the scent alone. If you notice any changes in smell or if your sunscreen starts to stink, it’s a pretty clear indicator that it’s been contaminated with bacteria. Definitely not something you want to be applying to your skin!
Q: Can I use the same sunscreen on both my face and my body?
As long as you’re using a non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and hypoallergenic formulation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to apply the same sunscreen to both your face and your body. Generally speaking, most sunscreens for your body are a little thicker or greasier than those formulated specifically for your face, so as long as you don’t mind that, it shouldn’t be a problem.
A great pick would be Cetaphil Sun Gel SFP50 (mentioned above), as this is non-greasy, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and designed for use on both your face and your body. Score!
WIN! WIN! WIN!
To help you stay both safe and stylish this summer, I’ve partnered with Cetaphil to give one reader the chance to WIN a Cetaphil Sun hamper PLUS a R5000 Seafolly voucher to spend on a gorgeous new swimsuit for the summer holidays!
To enter, leave a comment below telling me what you like most about summer.
(For additional entries, share this post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the social share buttons below – this is optional).
I’ll select a winner at random on the morning of Friday, 21 December 2018 and I’ll announce the winner in this post and on my Facebook page (here) at noon on Friday. Good luck!
**This blog post in sponsored by Cetaphil
Images: Chereen Strydom & Seafolly South Africa