Michelle Doherty here, from Alpha-H… As some of you may know I’m from New Zealand originally, but I moved to Australia’s sun-baked Gold Coast over 20 years ago so I’ve always been aware of the importance of sun protection. One of the most successful health campaigns in Australian history was the ‘Slip Slop Slap’campaign in the 1980’s:
‘Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. Slip, Slop, Slap!’
What I didn’t know until much more recently was the relationship between incremental everyday sun exposure and ageing. In 2013 the University Of Queensland released the findings of a four and a half year study designed to determine whether the daily application of a sun protection product could inhibit the ageing process. 903 adults aged 18-55 participated, half of them committing to wearing sunscreen every single day, whilst the other half continued to apply SPF – as most people do – on a discretionary basis; usually whilst on holiday or during the summer.
The study’s findings were really interesting; those who used sunscreen daily were less likely to have increased skin ageing after four and a half years than were those in the discretionary-use group. The University’s conclusion was unequivocal: daily use of SPF not only helps to prevent sun damage, but is also a powerful and cost effective anti-ageing product. It really should be a non-negotiable part of everyone’s beauty routine.
I believed so passionately that our customers should have access to this information and the team’s ongoing research that, as the owner of Alpha-H, I contacted the University to find out how we could work alongside them to educate and create greater awareness around the whole issue of sun-induced ageing. To that end, we developed our #allaboutSPF campaign, which will support the University’s ongoing research projects.
But this isn’t just about Australia… In 2015, Mintel, the world’s largest market research group, reported that just 13% of UK consumers wear sunscreen on a daily basis and 23% only wear sunscreen when they’re on holiday.
Clearly there remains a huge amount of work to be done in building awareness around the issue of sun protection and skin health. I know many people have been reticent to use sunscreens, because many of them previously were thick, greasy and ghostly white in texture.
At Alpha-H we have invested heavily in our suncare formulations, to ensure they are aesthetically pleasing to wear. Both our Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ (for normal/oily skin) and Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+ (for dehydrated/mature skin) are non-greasy, non-whitening and function as a convenient 3-in-1 moisturiser, SPF and make-up primer. They offer broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and are water and sweat-resistant.
We are also launching a new kit during our anniversary shows on 4th and 5th March – which will only be available at QVC UK – featuring a supersize of the Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+, a deluxe travel size of our new Protection Plus Hand Cream SPF 50+ and a limited edition canvas tote bag depicting the #allaboutSPF campaign – so make sure you look out for it!
Adding a little sunshine to your life can relieve anxiety, lift the spirits and stimulate the production of Vitamin D, but because excess sun exposure has been linked with increased skin cancer risk and premature ageing it’s also essential that we are mindful of the importance of sun protection. That way, we can enjoy all of the benefits with fewer of the risks.
My top tips to protect your skin when sun bathing:
- Check the expiry on your sunscreen
- Keep your sunscreen out of the sun; hide it under a towel or near a water bottle when at the beach
- NICE (the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recently recommended that the amount of sunscreen needed for the body of an average adult to achieve the stated SPF is around 35ml or 6 to 8 teaspoons of lotion
- Reapply, reapply, reapply – set a timer to remind yourself
Take a look at the full range from Alpha-H.