Sun Care 101: Physical vs. Chemical, Application Tips, and more

According to the Skin Health Institute, 90% of the visible signs of ageing in Australians is caused by chronic sun exposure.

Shocking but not surprising! The Aussie sun can be a bit harsh, and not just in the warmer months. Even on days that aren’t so sunny, there might be some sneaky damage happening —especially since UV rays are invisible and can’t be felt.

Read on as we weigh in on the best sunscreen application tips, ideal approach to sun damage, and more.

Physical or Chemical Sunscreen: Does it matter which one?

Now, onto the big question: Do sunscreens cause harm or skin cancer?

The answer actually depends on the type of sunscreen you use and its ingredients. Below is a helpful guide to navigate the pros and cons of physical and chemical sunscreens.

Physical Sunscreen (a.k.a. Mineral Sunscreen)Creates a protective barrier on the skin, shielding it from the sun’s rays
Usually formulated with zinc oxide & titanium dioxide
Reflects UV rays away from your skin 
Good for sensitive skin (specifically those formulated with zinc oxide)
Leaves a white cast  Can be a bit chalky and leaves a thin film on the skin
Chemical SunscreenAbsorbs UV rays before they penetrate your skin
Usually formulated with oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, & octinoxate
Doesn’t leave a white cast
Easier to apply and wear
Not suitable for sensitive skin
Safety of ingredients used in chemical sunscreens is an ongoing debate among experts
Note: The FDA has banned 2 sunscreen ingredients namely aminobenzoic acid & trolamine salicylate
May not be coral reef-friendly 
Note: Chemicals like oxybenzone can get into the water and harm coral reefs, making them unhealthy and disrupting their growth

How much sunscreen should I apply?

According to the Cancer Council, an adult should apply 5mL (approximately one teaspoon) for each arm, leg, body front, body back and face (including neck and ears). In total, we should apply 35mL (approximately seven teaspoons) for a full body application. Please take note that sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours.

The 13 dot technique by Dr. Sam Bunting is also a great way to make sure your face is fully protected from the UV rays. It ensures you cover the skin evenly, without leaving a spot unprotected.

Here’s how you do the 13 dot technique:

Once you apply the dots, gently blend the sunscreen to your face, making sure you cover the entire area.

Shielding your face is great, but remember to cover your neck and ears as well!

Can sun damage be reversed?

Sunscreens are your absolute non-negotiables in any skincare routine. They act as your first line of defense against fine lines, wrinkles, premature aging, and skin cancer. In fact, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly has been proven to lower the risk of nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers, according to Nana Duffy, MD, FAAD.

But here’s the only catch: it can’t do much for the skin damage that’s already been done.

Sun damage can lead to DNA changes in your skin cells. Unfortunately, once UV rays mess up your skin’s DNA, that change is permanent.

But no worries! You can’t reverse this DNA damage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your skin’s appearance. There are treatments you can do to improve your skin quality and combat the visible signs of photoaging. And the most recommended of which are laser skin treatments.

The Fotona 5D and Fotona Luxe Rejuv laser skin treatments, for example, can target small, specific areas of the skin, stimulating collagen production and promoting skin renewal. It’s effective for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and improving overall skin texture.

TreatmentPhotoaging Concerns AddressedBenefits
Fotona 5DDeep folds and wrinklesSagging skinHeavy jowlingLifeless, dull skinLifts cheeks and defines jawline via collagen remodelling.
Improves laxity of the skin
Softens and targets deep wrinkles on the face including smile lines, marionette lines, and accordion lines.
Fotona Luxe RejuvUnder-eye crepiness, creasing & wrinkles
Lifeless, dull skin
Loss of lip volume, lip lines/ smokers’ lines
Note: For non-photoaging concerns, LipLase is an excellent alternative if you’re not yet due for another layer of lip fillers due to concerns of migration. 
This treatment also helps strengthen your vermillion (lip) border by building your collagen, which can further reduce the risk of filler migration and boost your lips without the need for additional fillers.
Upper face tightening and lifting
Addresses hooded eyes, lifts eyebrows & gives under-eye rejuvenation, via collagen remodelling
Lip plumping
Promotes healthy, glowing skin by supercharging collagen production 

A laser treatment plan can be made just for you by a professional, depending on how much sun damage or ageing you’re worried about. This treatment plan will be designed to fit exactly what your skin needs.

Following your treatment, it’s also crucial to maintain protection. Consider incorporating skin-defending products into your routine like Melan 130 Pigment Control (SPF) and Aspect Mineral SPF – both of which are available at Luxe Lips.

If you’re still  unsure about what steps to take or desire a thorough skin consultation, feel free to reach out to our resident skin expert, Lauren.

Taking you to your best look and beyond | Fotona 5D and Fotona Luxe Rejuv

With over 20,000+ treatments performed and over 15 years of experience, Luxe Lips is equipped to provide you with a treatment that takes you to your best look and beyond.

We understand your struggle in finding a cosmetic injectables clinic that you can trust. Let us help you experience a safe, individualised, and holistic treatment approach to achieve your desired look that empowers you through every win in life.

Got questions or urgent concerns? Send us a message via our 24/7 chat support on Instagram. Our team will be happy to assist you!

What to expect from your Luxe Journey:

1. Undergo a full facial assessment.

2. Get an individualised treatment plan.

3. Welcome the best version of yourself!

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