Summer is when we love to get outside, embrace the warmer weather and soak up the sunshine… but the harsh NZ rays can be damaging to our skin, especially the delicate skin on our faces—in fact, 80% of early skin ageing is caused by UV rays.
Thanks to our good ol' thinning ozone layer, skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand, affecting over 67,000 new people each year.
So it goes without saying that it is crucial for us to protect our skin year-round.
While we can slip on a shirt, slap on a hat and slide on some sunnies, we do need sunscreen to cover up everything in between. We know, first hand, how confusing it can be to know what to look for (and avoid) in sunscreen products. Here's what you need to know about sunscreen, how to protect your skin and some of our favourite NZ sunscreen brands.
Hidden Nasties in Sunscreen
Unfortunately, many of the sunscreens available to us are filled with chemicals, carcinogens and other harmful ingredients. When we encounter these things every now and again, our body can remove them quickly, however sunscreen is something that many of us apply every day, sometime multiple times.
Our skin is our largest organ and the barrier between us and the outside world. What goes onto our skin can be absorbed into our skin the get direct access to our bloodstream. Over time, if we continue to use sunscreen loaded with chemicals and other nasties, they can build up and cause other problems in our body.
The list for what to avoid in sunscreens can be long and often overwhelming—especially if you don't have a chemistry degree. We recommend checking your sunscreen on the Environmental Working Group website and if it's a local one, looking up the ingredients there instead. Here are some common things to avoid:
1. Opt for Paraben-Free
All water-based skincare needs a preservative. Many skincare products will use parabens as the preservative. These are toxic, synthetic chemicals that mimic natural oestrogen. Once they enter the body, they block our oestrogen receptor sites, over time this can cause hormonal imbalance.
2. Watch Out for Synthetic Preservatives
Many brands—including ones that make 'natural' claims—can also use synthetic preservatives, like phenoxyethanol, to make a paraben-free claim. If you see a name you don't recognise; it's worth looking it up to see what it is.
3. Opt for Fragrance-Free
While they may smell delicious, brands don't have to disclose what's in their fragrances. Unfortunately, this more often than not means they are hiding all sorts of nasties under this name. It is also good to be aware that while it's often listed as a single item in the ingredients, it's usually a blend of many ingredients.
While that may sound a little overwhelming, there are now many more great sunscreens, with natural ingredients, and made by forward-thinking kiwi brands.
NZ Sunscreen Brands We Recommend
Frankie Apothecary — Their moisturising, 100% natural sunscreen is SPF 35 suitable for the whole family. Ingredients such as Jojoba and Kawakawa oils help soothe skin while shea and kawakawa extracts help soothe dry, irritated and sensitive skin.
Emma Lewisham — 100% natural mineral sunscreen containing 19, nutrient rich organic botanicals.
earth's kitchen — This brand offers a range of SPF50+ certified natural sun protection.
Oasis Beauty — Another kiwi brand, these sunscreens are water and sweat-resistant reef safe and not tested on animals.
My Sunscreen — A new brand in the New Zealand sunscreen space, My Sunscreen also caters to sensitive skin and offers blue light protection from our computers & phones.
For a limited time, we are offering FREE Frankie Sunscreen 35+ SPF (valued at $31) when you purchase the Limited Edition Summer Collagen+ Pack. Next Level Summer Skin protected inside and out.
Next Level Skin Support (for your insides)
While we love long sunny days, we don't like the thought of what the harsh New Zealand sun could be doing to our skin long-term. In addition to a natural sunscreen, antioxidants are a great for support skin health from the inside, out.
Antioxidants act as one of our natural defences against sun damage, helping to repair the damage that UV rays can cause.
Nature is extremely clever, and as a natural form of defence against the increased sun exposure, many summer fruits and veggies are fantastic sources of these. As a general rule, rich purples or dark reds are signs of high antioxidant content. This is your berries, stone fruits, dark leafy greens, red cabbage and eggplants.
Food is always the best source of nutrients, but it can be tricky to get the full spectrum and quantity needed every day—especially when we're out at the beach all weekend long. We recommend adding a scoop of Collagen+ to your daily skincare routine.
Alongside our sustainably sourced marine collagen, we have added a powerful blend of antioxidants to support next level skin inflammation before it starts or help repair any UV damage that has already occurred.
- Vitamin C and bioflavonoids increase collagen absorption
- Polypodium Leucotomos supports skin inflammation: wrinkles, scarring, early signs of ageing, and so on.
- Zinc picolinate to soothe acne, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Vitamin E to support UV damage.
To give you a helping hand this summer, we've put together the Limited Edition Summer Collagen+ Pack. With a Collagen+ canister that you can leave at home (or work), Single Serves to pop in your beach bag and a FREE Frankie Apothecary sunscreen gift with purchase to keep you protected while you have fun in the sun.