Give your skin the right care

The facts

All skin is vulnerable for solar radiation


We need sunlight

First of all, we all need sunlight in our lives. Sunlight is used by our skin to manufacture vitamin D, which we need for several processes. These include improving our immune system, bones, teeth, and cardiovascular health. Our skin’s outer layer contains melanin, critical for protecting our skin against harsh ultraviolet rays.

But we don’t need too much

Excess exposure to sunlight can cause an overproduction of melanin, which causes our skin to darken which gives us  a suntan. Sunburn happens when way too much UV rays penetrate the outer layer of our skin and damage the skin cells. 


Sunburn happens most to people with a lighter skin, because they have less melanin. So, for those people it should be obvious they need to use sunscreen consistently to prevent sunburn and chronic sun damage to the skin.

There is however, the misconception that those with a coloured skin do not need to worry about excess sun exposure. But because you are not burning easily, doesn’t necessarily mean your skin is not damaged by the solar radiation! The reality is that your skin is slowly damaged by the sun. Also a person with a coloured skin has a negative effect from being exposed to solar radiation without protection against it. 

What can happen to your skin?

So, all skin kan burn through an excess influx of UVB, also the coloured skin. And skin cancer does happen to people with a coloured skin too. Both UVB and UVA causes hyperpigmentation or sunspots. And although this is not automatically dangerous, most people consider them unwelcome. And finaly UVA causes the skin to age early. And that is what we all want to prevent by using all kind of cremes and lotions. But a simple sunscreen is more effective than many other options.

In the Spotlight

Altruist’s spf 30 and 50 face fluid

Moisturiser and sunscreen in one product, specifically designed for the face.

Moisturising antioxidant facial sunscreen with 5 star ultra UVA rating (PPD 54). Delivers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB radiation, exceeding EU standards. Enriched with Vitamin E to prevent cellular damage from UV induced free radicals and reactive oxygen species. The formula is designed for sensitive skins and to help reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin ageing.






Fragrance and paraben free


Water resistant

the summary

Advantages of using sunscreen

prevents sunburns

Although a coloured skin has a natural protection against sunburn of up to spf15, sunburns do occur on a coloured skin. Especially nose, forehead and shoulders are vulnerable for sunburn.  Sunburn is caused by UVB radiation and sunscreen is an effective way to prevent this damaging effect.

prevents early ageing

We all want to stay young and beautiful. But the fact is that our skin wil be effected by UVA radiation and is vulnerable for early ageing. To prevent that, sunscreen is an effective filter for the damaging effect  of UVA radiation. This early ageing takes effect on all skin types and tones. Using sunscreen daily helps you to preserve your skin. 

prevents hyperpigmentation

Sunspots are flat areas of skin discoloration. They appear on the parts of your body that get the most sun exposure, such as your face, shoulders, back, and the backs of your hands. Sunspots are caused by both UVA and UVB radiation and a broad spectrum sunscreen can prevent you from developing those sunspots.

the questions about skincare

Frequently asked questions

These questions and answers are from the website of Altruist. The answers are from dr. Andrew Birnie co-founder of Altruist. If you have more questions about skincare, feel free to ask.

Does Altruist use chemical or physical filters?

Altruist uses both physical and chemical filters to achieve optimum protection. The chemicals in Altruist Sunscreen ensure it works well and feels great on the skin and have been very thoroughly assessed by SCCS (the European cosmetics safety organisation).

Is it still possible to burn when using sunscreen?

Yes, though if (SPF 30 and above) used correctly (applied in sufficient quantity and frequency) it is extremely unlikely.
No sunscreen actually blocks out all UV light, so it is theoretically possible if one had no natural protection from melanin (like those with albinism) and were outdoors from dawn to dusk in the hottest conditions by water (added reflected UV). What is more likely is that insufficient has been applied, not enough time has been given for it to soak in before going into the water and an extended time has been then spent in the water with out reapplication straight after toweling.

What else can I do to protect myself against the sun?

Try and avoid the sun between 11am – 3pm, when the sun is strongest.
Wear clothes, a broad rimmed hat and sun glasses.
Never use sun beds – they have been classified as carcinogenic by WHO (The World Health Organisation).

What about vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for bone health and increasingly is suspected to play a role in other health aspects, too. It is very efficiently made in the skin when exposed to UVB – just 15 minutes of exposure on the arms 3 times a week in the summer is sufficient to have enough. There is no benefit in trying to get more as the body does not store it. It is not usually in high enough concentrations in food, so the best bet is to take a supplement. The NHS recommend 10 mcg a day. This is far safer than trying to obtain it from sun exposure.

I've heard that sunscreens can causer skin cancer. Is that true?

It has been shown that the regular use of sunscreen can reduce the incidence of skin cancer – in particular melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Some population studies have shown that people who have used sunscreens seem to have a higher incidence of skin cancer. However, this tends to be the lower SPFs (below 15) and the likelihood is that the creams were used to aid tanning and thus people were deliberately seeking the sun. One Norwegian study showed that people who had used sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater on one occasion had a lower incidence of skin cancer.
The prevention of skin cancer (and skin ageing) trumps the unproven claims of harm from sunscreen.

Does octrocrylene cause cancer?

The concentration is always below 5 % in our formulations for sensory reasons. It is allowed up to 14,6 % (10 % of the acids equivalent). According to SCCS (the European cosmetics safety organisation) it is safe and highly studied (toxicologically) and should not be denigrated by rumour

What are the latest developments in the field of sunscreen?

Still the most important thing is to ensure that there is protection cross the UVA and UVB radiation spectrum. Thus a high level of UVA protection, in proportion with the SPF (UVB protection) is important.
The newest filter registered in the EU is Tinosorb A2B, which is in Altruist Sunscreen, this helps to ensure a more complete protection across the UV spectrum as there used to be a gap between the UVA and B peaks of absorption in sunscreens.
Nano technology is also a great innovation. Although it sounds small, in UV filters terms this actually means big! This means that they can sit on the surface of the skin and less sunscreen is actually absorbed into the skin.

How can it made easier for people to use a sunscreen every day?

By creating Altruist we have tried to solve this problem. Sunscreens need to be easy to apply, leave no residue and feel very much like a moisturising cream. Also, they need to be affordable, so they can be applied liberally. Personally, I use Altruist SPF30 as my post shave moisturiser and then extend the application to cover my ears and rest of face, too. this is what I advise my patients to do, too

What is your advise when someone has oily skin?

Many sunscreens, especially those that are extra water resistant, tend to be very oily; this is what gives the shine and increases the risk of spots. I advise people to use a sunscreen that is labelled “non-comedogenic” or “oil free,” this means that it tends not to cause spots. Again this was an important element in the development of Altruist – that it should be able to be used by those on treatments for acne, in particular isotretinoi

What is the best sunscreen for use around the eyes?

Tolerability around the eyes is important for many people. Of course, sunscreen is not designed to be put into the eyes, but some people don’t seem to be able to tolerate anything around the eyes and in this instance wearing sun glasses is the only option. However, these people are actually very few. Feedback from many sports people was that they didn’t like sunscreen because it ran into their eyes when they sweated. Again this was something that I’ve been delighted with Altruist Susncreen – the feedback from both golfers and cyclists has been fantastic. they say that it doesn’t run into the eyes and sting.

Can sunscreen be used in combination with make-up?

Yes this is possible. Apply the sunscreen first and wait until it has been absorbed before applying make up. However, don’t forget to re-apply the sunscreen during the day to ensure full protection of the skin.

Where to buy?

The Altruist suncreams are available at your Dermatologist, Pharmacy and Beauty Salon. If it is not (yet) available at your favourite spot, tip them.

Do you want to become a dealer of the Altruist product line? Let us know. Conec Care is official distributor of Altruist products for the African Continent. Our warehouses are in Nairobi Kenya and in The Netherlands.

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