MIKA magazine

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SPF & your skin

Over here in Australia, as well as other parts of the Southern Hemisphere, it’s summer. No “white Christmas” for us! (However you wouldn’t think it today, as in Adelaide it is cloudy, gusty, and looks like we’re in for a storm. 😦 ) It can get up to (and sometimes beyond!) 40 degrees Celsius and the sun is very strong compared to other countries – we have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world! This led me to think about the sunscreen that I use on my body throughout the summer, as well as the facial and body moisturisers containing sunscreen that I use throughout the year. I started to do some research, and this article was born… I hope that you enjoy it! It will also be appearing in the December issue of MIKA Magazine.


Sunscreen, suncream, sunblock. Whatever you want to call it, it has been a great invention. It helps protect our skin from the sun’s rays and helps prevent premature ageing. In recent years cosmetics companies have released foundations and other products which contain sunscreen.

However, sunscreens and cosmetics containing sunscreen do not always have accurate labelling nor do they necessarily have all the information we need to make a decision about whether or not the product will do what it claims to do.

What is “SPF”? It stands for Sunburn Protection Factor and refers to how much ultraviolet radiation from the sun is needed to burn skin protected by a particular sunscreen compared to unprotected skin. SPF does not refer to how much time you will be safe in the sun without protective clothing (such as a hat, long sleeved shirt, etc).

One’s skin tone, the time of day and weather conditions one is exposed to, and the amount of sunscreen one applies is also very important. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, it is best to seek shade at all times, but particularly between the hours of 10am and 2pm, and between the hours of 11am and 3pm during daylight saving time (which in Australia applies to most States and Territories over the summer months). One should also apply at least 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to each limb and to the front and back of the body. At least ½ a teaspoon should be applied to the face, neck and ears.

What SPF level is enough? When you look at the different products out there, sometimes they can run from as low as 10 through to 30+ or even higher. The Skin Cancer Foundation (United States) advises that only products with an SPF value of 15 or higher provide adequate protection against skin cancer.

One of the most important things to consider when wearing sunscreen is timing. You need to apply it at least 20 minutes before going out into the sun. From the sources that I consulted (as per the footnotes!), you should reapply every 2 hours regardless of what the packaging says on your products.

As many of you may know, the sun produces 3 types of rays – UVA and B, which reach the Earth, and UVC which the ozone layer protects us from. Both UVA and B can cause sunburn, premature ageing,

and place one at risk of developing skin cancer, and all sunscreen based products will typically protect you from UVB. However, just because a product tells you it has an SPF of 15 or more does not guarantee that it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. How can you tell? Check the ingredients. To also protect you from UVA, zinc or one of its derivatives is usually used. Additionally, there needs to be at least 5% of the zinc or zinc derivative product to give you adequate protection. Some products will list the percentage and others will not, so use your judgement to decide if the particular product is right for you.

Last, it is important to remember that use of sunscreen alone will not protect you completely from the sun. Wear a hat and sunglasses, consider wearing some light long sleeved clothing or a kaftan when at the beach, and try and avoid being out in the full sun for long periods of time.

Enjoy the sun but remember to be sun smart! 🙂

US Food & Drug Administration – Sunburn Protection Factor –
Cancer Council Australia – Preventing Skin Cancer –
Cancer Council Australia – Position Statement: Use of SPF 30+ Sunscreens –
Skin Cancer Foundation – Sunscreen –

beauty apps on the ‘droid

How has everyone’s weekend been going so far? Good I hope!

We’ve been lucky to have some nice weather lately in Adelaide but unfortunately the yucky (rainy) weather has returned just in time for the weekend… d’oh! It’s also too bad for many in Australia wanting to fly anywhere as one of our biggest airlines, Qantas, is shutting down for an indefinite period due to union related issues!!!!!! You can read more and watch news clips on this via this link –>

😦 😦 😦

On a happier note, you may have noticed the new tab near the top of the blog’s page – Articles. As you can read there I have been writing some articles for MIKA Music & Lifestyle Magazine, which is available for *FREE* online (visit The contributors to the magazine are from all over the world and articles are on a wide variety of topics.

mika magazine imageIn the latest issue (3 – October – to be released soon) I’ve reviewed five free beauty apps available for Android (I have an HTC Desire and ❤ it!). In this blog entry I’ll only talk about two – one that I thought was the best, and one that I thought was the funniest! 🙂

(Sorry to iPhone users! If you are miffed about me not including iPhone apps, take comfort in the fact that currently O.P.I.’s app is only available for iPhone! ;-))


The best app that I found when writing my article was My Beauty Adviser.

This app has been designed by Procter and Gamble, a US based cosmetics brand that owns Cover Girl, Pantene and more. It is a very professional looking app with a sleek design, and has 4 different sections you can explore – Mag, Beauty Bag, Explore and Profile. Of these my favourite was Mag, which is a magazine within the app updated approximately monthly. I liked this a lot as this part contained interesting beauty articles as well as video tutorials.

Beauty Bag is a section in which you can drag and drop different Procter and Gamble owned products that you have to make note of things such as their expiry date (it calculates this for you) – so you can later be reminded to buy more when needed! The Explore section gives you the opportunity to browse and gain more information on products by name, by scanning the barcode of a product you already have (or are looking at if shopping), or by voice. The Profile section appears to allow you to write reviews on products and undertake “consultations” which are basically quizzes about different aspects of beauty – at the end of the quiz particular products are recommended to you based on your needs.

This app is user friendly, packed with features, and well designed. However, the downside is that it only features Procter and Gamble owned brands, which is a bit limiting. I wouldn’t mind using the product expiry reminder feature for all of my makeup (of many different brands)!

mybeautyadviser appAnother beauty app that I found very fun to use (and could while away quite a bit of time with – hahahaha!)  was Hair Change.

This Korean app – which has the main menu items in English so non Korean speakers won’t get stuck – is a lot of fun. It is designed to help you find the right hairstyle for you, in a similar way to popular hair websites such as, and has a section for both women and men. You first take your picture on your phone via the app and then can choose from many different hair styles (short, medium and long), change the colours, and even play around with your outfit! Once you are done you can save the picture (e.g. to show your hairdresser) or share it online with friends.

All of the help information is in Korean, but you shouldn’t need it. This app is well designed and user friendly.


What are some of your favourite beauty apps, for Android or iPhone? More broadly, what is your favourite app of all????

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thanks to all of those reading my blog and Raia from MIKA Magazine – I appreciate your support! xxx


June 2023




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