If you’ve ever lived in Australia, you know the relationship with sun care is as much apart of our culture as the beach is. But in countries where the sun is not quite as polarising or for people of colour, SPF has been found later in life where the ageing effects UVA and UVB rays are more apparent. Speaking to The Cut, tennis star Venus Williams says her relationship with sunscreen “didn’t exist”.
“I never had sunscreen growing up; I didn’t even think it was necessary,” Williams told the publication. “And that’s definitely a myth for African Americans, but we have to protect our skin just as much as anyone else of any different kind of skin tone and background.”
In fact, it wasn’t until she was well into her thirties that she understood the importance of protection against the sun.
“I didn’t learn that lesson until I was about 35, so I wasted the first 35 years of my years in full sun exposure, you know, six or seven days a week,” she continued. “And I regret that. Hopefully people will read these words and realise it doesn’t matter what your skin tone is, you have to protect your skin. I got wise, and it took too long.”
But even with quality products, SPF can still be used really wrong. Last month, Gwyneth Paltrow found herself as the topic of criticism after she promoted a misguided and dangerous tutorial to applying sunscreen products. In short, the clean green queen used a minimal technique to using sunscreen and suggested just a coating on her nose and cheeks.
Contributing editor, Kate Lancaster, spoke with an expert on how best to apply SPF product.
“Unfortunately Gwyneth, we can’t actually control where the sun hits – it hits everywhere that the skin is exposed,” Ava Matthews, co-founder of next-gen sunscreen brand Ultra Violette told GRAZIA. “At Ultra Violette, we believe that more is more, in line with the Cancer Council’s recommendation of 5ml of sunscreen – approximately a teaspoon – for the face, neck and ears, which according to the video, Gwyneth is absolutely not getting.”
With all of this in mind, if you’re not using SPF, start immediately. And try our favourites below.
Skin Shield SPF30 Daily Face Antioxidant + SPF 30, $84. SHOP NOW
ULTRA VIOLETTE QUEEN SCREEN SPF 50+ LUMINISING SUN SERUM, $45. SHOP NOW