When you live in a sunburnt land, you'd better be familiar with the Slip, Slop, Slap mantra. It's the lush stuff that'll save you from a run-in with a particularly tough UV gang resulting in a red face & body no amount of cover-up can conceal. It's called sunscreen, folks, and we're here to sort the poseurs from the real deal.
It can be a little overwhelming heading to your local supermarket or pharmacy to pick up a bottle of sunscreen, and there are a few things you should know before buying just any old thing. We'll keep it to five major things to look out for, because there are only so many things you can remember with a shopping list in one hand, and a screaming child/increasingly heavy basket/ringing phone in the other.
- As a general rule, you're looking for the words SPF 30+. We'll let you get away with SPF 15+ if it's an everyday lotion you're using under your makeup and if you're not going to be out in the sun much that day. The Aussie sun is unrelenting, and that searing heat you can feel beating down is probably, you guessed it, burning you. So a high sun protection factor is a must.
- If you're heading out to the beach, your sunscreen of choice NEEDS to be at least 2-4 hours water-resistant, because it's damn hard to find someone who'll reapply it for you every hour, on the hour.
- To encourage yourself to include sunscreen in your daily face routine, look for something light-weight and non-greasy. You'll feel protected and you won't even know it's there.
- Choose the product that's right for your specific needs. A mist will help you get to hard-to-reach places, you'll want an oil-free lotion or gel if you've got problem skin, and try a tinted sunscreen if you simply can't stand rubbing in thick, white goop.
- Check the expiration date - it's there for a reason. If your sunscreen is out of date, it's doing nothing, and if we know one thing, it's that sun damage is irreversible.
Sunscreens we love and recommend? They're right here for you in all their pretty pictured glory: