Time and time again we hear on the news and in the press that SPF is important and we should be applying it when outside all year round even on cloudy days, but do we know why?
The main reason we need to apply creams containing SPF is to protect against skin cancer and premature ageing. There are two different types of UV rays that can affect the skin.
1. UV Light causes sunburn and sun damage by damaging cellular DNA.
2. UVA (long-wave) causes the ageing and UVB (short-wave) causes the burning.
Here are our top tips on SPF and what you should look out for.
When buying your sunscreen, look for one that has UVA and UVB protection so it can protect against burning as well as long-term damage. To make sure you’re getting this look for ‘broad spectrum’. If you’re in the UK, you should be applying a facial sunscreen every time you go outside of spf30 above. Any other, hotter countries, look for spf50+.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Sunscreens may claim to be waterproof but really they can only be water RESISTANT. You need to reapply every time you get the area wet, even if it claims to be an ‘all day’ sun cream. You should always apply the products 20 minutes before you go outside.
NATURAL ALL THE WAY
Look out for natural mineral sunscreens they typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, non-nano is better as it has bigger particles and means that it doesn’t get ingested as easily by the skin but stays on the surface where it’s needed creating a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun. Natural sunscreens typically have a whitish hue but in a BB cream that is balanced with a tint making this a great option. Chemical sunscreens contain hormone-disrupting and potentially carcinogenic ingredients. Some of those we would choose to avoid are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
Some days you can be using a day cream, an SPF, a primer and a foundation which all contain an amount of SPF. The important thing to remember is that the protection you’re getting is that you’re only getting the protection of the HIGHEST NUMBER. For example, if your SPF is 20 and your foundation is 10, you’re getting the protection of the SPF and they do not add up.
SAVE YOUR SKIN
As well as protecting you against skin cancer, wearing a facial SPF is very important for the overall appearance of your skin. The sun can cause age spots and dark areas of pigmentation so SPF is crucial to stop this. Wearing sun cream also slows down the development of wrinkles and premature aging in the skin. Another thing to be aware of is to keep an eye on the expiry date of your sunscreens. Expired sunscreen is no longer fit for purpose and has stopped working. You don’t get any sun protection. You may also notice changes in the colour and consistency of the product which will give you an indication that it’s not as it should be and you may experience irritation also so best to dispose of any sunscreen once the date has passed.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about why we should all be using SPF every day, especially if you want to stay younger looking for longer!