Protecting your skin from the sun

Posted on: 2nd July, 2018

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: Sherna Malone

Skincare and beauty expert Sherna Malone shares her knowledge and expertise of all things beauty – from skin care do’s and don’ts to the latest products out there.

This month we’re talking facial sunscreen, the different types of UV rays, physical and chemical sunscreens and the facial SPF’s I recommend and love to use. Firstly though, I can’t emphasise enough how important sun protection is. Research has made it clear that repeated, unprotected sun exposure not only puts our skin on the fast track to aging but it also triggers skin cells to mutate and this in turn can lead to skin cancers. One of the most effective ways to prevent this is using a daily SPF.

So, what are the types of UV rays that cause the damage? There are two, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin and are far more damaging because they’re present all day long, year-round, they even come through windows. While you won’t feel the damage, it’s happening nonetheless. UVB rays are present with visible sunlight and are responsible for causing sunburn on the upper layers of the skin. Adding a broad spectrum facial sunscreen to your daily skincare routine, as well as being mindful of sun exposure, will help defend skin against both types of UV rays.

As to which type of SPF you choose? Physical Sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They protect against both UVA and UVB rays and once applied there is no wait needed. They are less likely to cause irritation on the skin, making it better for sensitive skin and they are also better for those with heat-activated skin (like those with rosacea and redness) since it deflects the heat and energy given off by the sun away from the skin. They are also less likely to be pore-clogging, making them ideal for blemish-prone skin types.

Chemical Sunscreens use a combination of active ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate all of which absorb into the top layers of skin, where they work in two ways: by scattering and deflecting the sun’s harmful rays, and by converting UV rays into heat and then releasing that heat from the skin. These sunscreens usually have to be applied 20 minutes before going out in the sun. With chemical sunscreen there can sometimes be an increased chance of irritation due to the multiple ingredients combined to achieve broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

Thankfully, the latest formulas are as smart and sophisticated as your favourite face cream and deliver great skin benefits. Whichever type you choose, and it does come down to personal preference, it’s crucial to use it all year round, rain or shine. Also worth noting, SPF15 filters out approximately 93 per cent of all incoming UVB rays, SPF30 keeps out 97 per cent and SPF50 98 per cent. They may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a difference. And as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.

Here are some of my favourites!

NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50 – All skin types: This lightweight, translucent fluid offers physical broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. The ultra-sheer texture effectively protects and also provides a sheer mattifying tint that adapts to suit all skin tones to even out discolouration and redness while providing a smooth base for make-up.

Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream for Face SPF 30 – All skin types: This is a lovely lightweight cream, doesn’t clog pores and absorbs quickly into the skin. With both UVA/UVB filters, it provides a good level of sun protection too and contains anti-ageing properties to help fight fine lines and wrinkles.

Murad City Skin Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – All skin types: A physical sunscreen which protects skin from UVA/UVB rays, infrared radiation, pollution and blue light from devices. It has a soft peach tint, suitable for all skin tones and the multi-tasking formula offers instant colour correction, whilst a dose of Vitamin C visibly brightens skin.

Green People Facial Sun Cream Scent Free SPF 30 – All skin types: Organic skincare expert Green People have created a scent-free facial sun cream that can be applied on its own or under make-up. It protects against UVA/UVB rays and contains ingredients such as avocado and green tea to help combat anti-ageing and keep your skin looking firm. A great choice for those with sensitive skin.

Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Moisturiser + Serum Duo SPF 20 – Dry skin: It combines the Total Effects moisturiser plus the intensity of a serum to give you 7 skin benefits in 1 for youthful, healthy looking skin. It’s oil free so it won’t clog your pores. Fast-absorbing, non-greasy and has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection SPF 20.

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30 – Dry Skin: This is their bestselling anti-wrinkle cream that has been formulated with a revolutionary blend of sunscreen to offer superior broad-spectrum protection.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo SPF 30 – Oily Skin: A dual action daily gel moisturiser that reduces the appearance of spots and blackheads, controls shine and helps to reduce inflammation. It also provides immediate protection from UVA/UVB rays.

As always, if you have any skincare concerns you would like to ask me about, please email You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook

If you would like to begin your journey to healthy beautiful skin, I am available by appointment in Solace Holistic Centre Clonakilty where I offer bespoke Murad Facial Treatments – all details of this and my next Tween and Teen Workshops are on the website


Latest News Articles:

Clonakilty goes up the hill for Jack and Jill
Ireland’s first LGBT+ modern Irish history course launched
Dúchas lecture on The Burning of Cork
Why we need to revive the co-operative movement
Government’s proposed Bill will make it much harder to protect our environment, health and heritage
Bandon Students new findings on Emotional Intelligence
National Marine Planning Framework meeting in Bantry
Cork Art Therapy Summer School celebrates 30th Anniversary
Wonderful community spirit in Bantry
A new chapter for the Foley family with opening of funeral home in Clonakilty

Join us on Facebook

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: Error validating access token: Session has expired on Sunday, 09-Jun-19 02:15:37 PDT. The current time is Wednesday, 29-Jan-20 01:26:22 PST.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 190
Subcode: 463
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Jump to: