It was World Cancer Day on the 4th February – an important day and a global event which unites the world’s population in the fight about cancer by raising awareness and education about the disease - and it’s so important that we don’t let events like these pass us by without reflection. We need to do all that we can to protect ourselves from this awful disease in all aspects of our life; from making good lifestyle, food and health choices to making educated decisions about the products that we put on our face and body.
And for those of us that live in Australia, which has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world and are submitted to this brutal climate on a daily basis, sun protection is more than a sensible skincare step; it saves lives. Not meaning to sound dramatic by the way but that’s the harsh reality sadly.
But before we turn to SPF and its importance, you can start protecting your skin from the sun by simply incorporating anti-oxidants into your skincare routine. We’ve talked about this before as it’s an impactful and easy step in your skincare routine, which many overlook frustratingly, yet has such a positive impact.
Antioxidants are essentially the barrier between you and the outside world; they prevent your skin from being oxidised by the oxygen in the air, protecting it from stressors such as pollution and the sun. Some are so powerful that they have a sort of SPF inbuilt in them; not that they prevent the UV rays getting to your skin but they allow your skin to cope with more exposure to the sun. There are a whole host of antioxidants out there on the market – think Vitamin E, Vitamin C and resveratrol which all have antioxidant properties - but the one that you might not have heard of, and so need to have on your ‘to watch out for’ list is lycopene; the exciting new superhero in the fight against anti-aging and sun damage.
Lycopene - this powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory – is a carotenoid found in red fruits and vegetables and is in fact responsible for their red colour. A great source of lycopene is tomatoes and in addition to it being a great dietary choice, it’s great for improving skin texture because it promotes collagen production and reduces the DNA damage that leads to wrinkles.
To get the most benefit apply it topically as it’s easily absorbed by the skin, and look no further here than our Lycopene Face Range – the innovative skincare range that was launched in October last year. We’ve worked in collaboration with the best scientists at two of Australia’s leading Universities, using cutting edge extraction techniques to preserve the maximum bioactivity and purity of the lycopene, to produce highly active skincare ingredients which we’ve incorporated into our products. The potency of our moisturiser, eye cream and lip balm, is unlike anything that you’ll see on the Australian market today.
The inclusion of antioxidants is obviously not enough on its own in the fight against skin damage and skin cancers and with the natural aging process representing just 10% of visible aging, whilst close to 90% is due to environmental factors such as the sun, it’s imperative that we wear a broad-spectrum product with UVA and UVB on a daily basis.
UVA has a longer wavelength, damages collagen and speeds up the ageing process whereas UVB is shorter, penetrates only through to the epidermis, and causes sunburn and cancerous changes; we need to protect against both and it’s also important to realise that UVA is relatively constant throughout the year, even on cloudy days, and it’s critical to protect yourself from these longer waves as they penetrate deep into the skin, damaging collagen and elastin and resulting in
So, all in all we need to use a daily sunscreen and as with all things, there’s a vast array to choose from so which is the best sunscreen and where do you start?
Well yes, there are row after row of choices in your local supermarket and pharmacy, but we like to look a little closer to home. As an Australian grown, owned and made business, who is passionate about supporting local industry and communities, we love to support and showcase fellow Aussie brands who are making a difference and Sun Bear Sunscreen is definitely one of them.
They have an amazing story and an equally fabulous product. Created as a social enterprise, Sun Bear Sunscreen is Australia’s first palm oil free sunscreen that gives 80 percent of its profits to protecting endangered Sun Bears, who are at risk of extinction due to widespread deforestation and illegal hunting.
Two years in the making, Sun Bear Sunscreen came to life when Sydneysider husband and wife team, Luke Slobin and Joy Leaper, were scouting a trip in Myanmar for their adventure travel business. After a local tried to sell Luke crudely amputated Sun Bear paws, Luke and Joy decided to do something positive to help protect these lovely little bears. Already running three small businesses back in Sydney, they decided to create Sun Bear Sunscreen to give people an easy way to make a difference: an everyday product with purpose, that would donate 80 percent of its profits to Sun Bear rescue and conservation.
Just in the last 30 years, nearly half of the Malayan Sun Bear population in South East Asia has been wiped out and are on the verge of being forgotten forever. Protecting the Sun Bear however is about more than just preserving this one species; known as a ‘keystone’ species, other animals, plants and trees in the forest rely on the Sun Bear for survival so it’s an important story to tell!
Whilst the cause is a noble one, the product can stand on its own two feet and is getting great feedback in the community. Sun Bear worked with leading Australian scientists to produce a sunscreen that has a SPF50+ rating therefore giving you the best possible protection, while also being good for the planet. To achieve an SPF 50+ rating their sunscreen is made up of several organic chemical compounds designed to protect from harmful UV rays while still feeling enjoyable to apply, which is a bit of a rarity in the SPF market where gloopy formulations are the norm. It is moreover proudly rainforest derivative free, fragrance free, oxybenozonate-3 free, (the chemical found to damage coral reefs), not tested on animals and is 2 hours’ water resistant.
The formulation is suitable for whole body application, easy to apply, has fully recyclable packaging and is produced using solar power.
What else can we add to that; upping the ante in your antioxidant and SPF game will make all the difference, even a life altering one, so head on over to our shop and to Sun Bear’s website and pick up some goodies today?!