Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunscreen & The Best Shield For Nigerian Sun "SmartShield"

Oh, this definitely isn't the full size product. This is a sample to give out to the first Lagos (Nigeria) based person who gets the question at the end of this post correctly. This is a lengthy, factual and extremely knowledge packed post, I wrote it but I must admit that it is a tad boring so the first one through deserves to get this sample.

We all love to play in the sun and over here everyone can't wait to travel abroad in the summer (even though the flights are usually over booked and the fares are off the roof *rolling my eyes*). Why is this? it is because no one wants to go on holiday and contend with puddles or damp or slush or freezing cold or any discomfort. Apparently there are not too many people like me who prefer cold weather to hot weather.

The warm weather and chance to play on the beach and wear pretty, bright sundresses is something I can't hold against them. However, one needs to keep in mind something which could hamper the ease of mind one is expecting. This is something we who live in the tropics contend with all the time and we are loathe to think of it as harmful to us. 
What am I referring to? The Sun and Ultra-violet rays of course.

It is not uncommon for whites and those who are not blessed with dark skin to slather on a boatload of sunscreen when they want to so much as step on the porch. We, however, are the ones who should be cautious. It is true that the amount of melanin in our skin prevents us from getting fried by the sun but we are still in danger of skin cancer with continuous unprotected exposure to the sun. Thus, just like our lighter skinned world neighbours, we need protection.

Welcome SMARTSHIELD!
This is a light weight, moisturising sunscreen. Specifically formulated for weather in the tropics. I particularly like the fact that it is Broad Spectrum which ensures protection from not just the regular UVB rays which would normally cause sunburns but also from UVA rays which have no visible effect on the skin but are infact more dangerous as they pass through the ozone layer to make up most of our sun exposure causing skin cancer, early wrinkles as well as skin aging. This product also contains Avobenzone
which is actually one of stronger ingredients recommended for protection against both UVA & UVB rays. It is also worthy of note that they are stronger than the more popular Titanium Dioxide.

On to my experience with it.
I generally am loathe to rub creams, lotions and pomades on my body except during trial periods (I can't believe I said that for the whole world to read but it is true), however, I never ever fail to moisturise my face and neck area (I do know the importance of moisturiser in the general scheme of perfect makeup application), arms and feet (because they are the exposed parts of my body).
For the test phase using this product (which was one month), I used nothing else apart from it on my face and neck area only. I did this mainly because this is the area where I would notice the effects of the product as against other parts of my body. This is what I noticed:

- it is quickly absorbed into the skin
- it moisturises the skin (thus eliminating the need to first use a moisturise and then a sunscreen)
- (don't know if this is particular to me) it lessens the heat of the sun when one is outside.
- it actually made my face greasier than normal but my facial skin being what it is, I am wont to think this is particular to just me.

Thus this product is definitely ticked for recommendation on my list and the best part is, it is strong enough for weather in the tropics but also mild enough for weather in other parts of the world. So wherever you are headed this year, make sure you have this is in your luggage. 
Did I forget to mention that sun protection should be year round and not just in summer? I'm sure I did. Do take note of this though - sun protection is a year round routine, come rain or shine.

Now to the question, what are the rays emitted by the sun and name one effect they each have on the skin.

*this product has been provided for review. I have not being compensated for this post and this review reflects my honest opinions.