Sun Protection & Skin Care

Daily Sunscreen, The most important skincare

UV Damage / Sun damage causes;

  • Skin cancer
  • Thins the dermis, reduces elasticity and increases skin fragility
  • sunburn
  • Tanning
  • Lines wrinkles
  • Depigmentation (loss of pigment)
  • Telangiectasia (spider veins, visible red blood vessels on the surface of the skin)
  • Keratosis (age warts / sun spots)

Understanding ultra violet radiation;

Ultraviolet radiation is the part of sunlight that causes skin damage (premature aging and skin cancers), it is not hot so you can’t feel it and it can penetrate clouds, and be reflected by light and shiny surfaces, for example sand and water.

The three UV wavelengths are;

UV-A (Aging)

  • 320-400nm this is the longest wavelength
  • penetrates deep into the dermis (deepest layer of the skin)
  • causes premature aging of the skin and skin cancers.
  • Penetrates glass
  • Used in tanning salons

UV-B (Burning)

  • 290-320nm. Most UVB rays are absorbed into the epidermis or surface layer of the skin
  • cause sun burn, premature aging and skin cancers
  • SPF (Sun protection factor) refers to UVB protection


  • <290nm it is filtered and absorbed by the ozone layer


Protecting your Skin From the Sun

Slip-Slop-Slap (cancer council recommendations)

  • Slip on sun-protected clothing
  • Slop on broad spectrum sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on Shades


Sunscreens should be broad spectrum which means that they protect for UVA and UVB

Types of sunscreens

  • Chemical – These absorb UV radiation
  • Physical - reflect and scatter UV radiation.

2 types of physical sunscreens are; Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. These products are not absorbed into the skin and are recommended for babies, children and people who have sensitive skin.

Often sunscreens contain ingredients that are chemical and physical to provide broad spectrum protection. The Therapeutic Goods Administration monitors and regulates the ingredients used in sunscreens to ensure that they are safe.

Sun Protective Factor (SPF)

SPF refers to the amount of protection from UVB rays there is no measurement in Australia for the protection of UVA


What does the SPF mean?

SPF ( Sun protection factor) Indicates the ability to prevent sunburn, it is a measurement of UVB protection only.

For example;

If you burn in the sun in 10mins with no sunscreen applying the adequate amount (many of us do not apply enough) of SPF 30 will give you 30 x the time in the sun without burning. For full protection It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming.

SPF will not completely block UVB, staying in the shade and wearing protective clothing, hats and sunglasses are important in protecting your skin.

SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays

SPF 30 filters out 97%

SPF 50 filters out 98%

How to choose a sunscreen?

  • Always choose a broad spectrum sunscreen as it will filter both UVA and UVB
  • Choose one you like on your skin as you should wear it DAILY!
  • Look for a product that is non- comedogenic if you have acne or are prone to breakouts as these products will not block pores.
  • If you have sensitive skin or are choosing a product for small children choose a physical sunscreen as these products are not absorbed into the skin. (products that contain Zinc or Titanium Oxide.)


How much to apply?

Approx. 1 teaspoon should be applied to the head & neck

An adult should be applying around 35mls of sunscreen to cover their whole body.

Apply 15-20 minutes before going out

Skin care routine; what first?

  1. Cleanse
  2. Moisturise,
  3. Sunscreen last

The ABC’s of skin care

Vitamin A. For Acne and Anti-Aging

Retinoids are vitamin A derived medication that are prescription only creams and oral medication used for the treatment of acne and anti-aging, these are highly effective treatments, however can cause dryness and irritation.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A found in good quality serums, and over the counter moisturisers. Retinol it is absorbed into the skin before being converted into retinoic acid, these products can be less irritating.

Benefits of using Vitamin A for the skin are;

  • increase cell turn over,
  • reduce melanin - the skins pigment producing cells
  • stimulates collagen production,
  • repairs abnormal cells,
  • normalises epidermal cell organisation
  • and decreases oil production.
  • Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduction in pigmentation
  • Reduction in oiliness and pore size
  • Reduction in acne lesions and scarring

Who should use Vitamin A?

Anyone who is concerned with skin aging, pigmentation or acne should use a retinol or retinoid vitamin A.

It is not suitable for sensitive skins, pregnant or breast feeding women.

What is a retinoid response?

Because retinoids increase cell turn over and decrease oil production they can cause redness, dryness, irritation and sun sensitivity, these effects are a response, showing that the product is working and not a reaction.

How and when to use Vitamin A?

  • It is best to use at night time.
  • Ensure your skin is moisturised
  • Protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen.

Begin by using 3-4 times a week to allow your skin to adjust.

Vitamin B

Niacinamide B3 – For hydration and redness-reduction

Benefits of using Vitamin B

  • Increases ceramides – which are the skins natural moisturisers and increase barrier function which locks in moisture
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves pigmentation
  • Can decrease some solar dysplasia and skin cancers
  • 5-10% is good

Who should use vitamin B?

Vitamin B is suitable for all skin types

Vitamin B and skin cancer

Recent Australian studies have shown that patients who were at high risk of developing skin cancers and who took daily supplementation of nicotinamide could reduce their incidence of non-melonma skin cancers such as basal cell cancers and squamous cell cancers.

Check with your doctor to find out if taking this supplement is suitable for you.

Vitamin C – The brightener

L-Ascorbic Acid is the most effective form of vitamin C that is absorbed into the skin, magnesium ascorbyl acid is another form which is more stable less acidic but less effective.

What does it do?

  • Reduces UV damage as its an antioxidant
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Reduces pigmentation

When to use Vitamin C?

Use in the morning before your sunscreen.

Look for products that have 10-20% L-ascorbic acid for greater efficacy.

The active ingredients are degraded by light, and should be stored in a cool place.

For an appointment
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David has undertaken advanced surgical training in skin cancer surgery and welcomes referrals from other Doctors for the management of large skin cancers and lesions in difficult sites such as the nose, lips, face and lower leg. Surgical techniques may include skin grafting and various types of skin flap surgery.