The burning issue: How you should be using sunscreen

Lifestyle

The burning issue: How you should be using sunscreen

Confused by what the numbers mean on your cream?

Sanet Oberholzer

We all know we should be using sunscreen: if it’s not something your mother drilled into you, you’re sure to have read or heard this sage advice from somewhere else. But why is it so important, what do those SPF numbers mean, and could you be using sunscreen all wrong?

Repeated exposure to ultraviolet light, even for short intervals, breaks down collagen in the skin. While decreased collagen production is a normal part of the ageing process, this type of sun damage can be detrimental and lead to premature ageing.

According to Dr Maureen Allem, founder and medical director of the Renewal Institute, you can show visible signs of ageing due to sun damage as early as your 20s but the real damage only comes to the surface between 35 and 49...

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