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LET'S TALK SPF

Posted by Beth Coldrick on
LET'S TALK SPF

WHICH SUNSCREEN IS BEST?

There are so many sunscreens out there it can be a bit overwhelming knowing which one to buy.

Some of the key points I want you to remember is to look out for ‘board spectrum’ sunscreen that

protects you against UVA (protects against ageing rays) and UVB (protects against burning rays),

always wear at least SPF 30 sun protection every day.

WHAT DOES SPF STAND FOR?

SPF is an abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor. When you look at a bottle of sunscreen you’ll see a

number on it which tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays take to redden your skin if you apply the

sunscreen having followed the directions, compared with the amount of time without sunscreen.

So, if you apply an SPF 50 product properly, it will take you 50 times longer to burn than if you used

no sunscreen.

HOW SUNSCREEN WORKS

UV radiation damages your skin and can lead to sunburn and skin cancer and sunscreen plays an

important role in blocking ultraviolet (UV) radiation from being absorbed by your skin. Although

wearing sunscreen means you can stay outdoors for a longer time before your skin starts to redden,

it’s really important to remember that no sunscreen blocks UV radiation 100%.

Although sunscreen alone isn’t enough to keep you safe in the sun, it’s something we should all stay

on top of. If you’re ever caught in heatwave you can also wear a fantastic statement sun hat, take

time out in the shade and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Some experts even say it’s still important to wear sunscreen indoors because harmful rays can

penetrate windows, so if you sit in front of a big window while you work you should still top up on

your sun protection.

WHY IS SUNSCREEN IMPORTANT?

Of course, sunscreen reduces the risk of sunburn but there’s a lot more to it! If you follow the

application directions properly, sunscreen is proven to:

Reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40% and lower your

melanoma risk by 50% with regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen.

Help prevent wrinkles, sagging and age spots caused by the sun.

Decrease your risk of precancers and skin cancers.*

The difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens

MINERAL SUNSCREENS

Mineral sunscreens deflect the sun’s rays, hitting them away before they can enter your skin.

Mineral filter sunscreens, also known as ‘physical filters’, are better for sensitive skin types and

those with heat sensitivities as the ingredients aren’t absorbed by your skin.

Physical sunscreens can be used on babies 6 months or older because the mineral formulation sits

on top of their skin to physically block UVA and UVB rays.

CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS

Chemical formulations sink into your skin and absorbs the sun’s rays which can cause irritation in

more sensitive skin types. These sunscreens can be made with ingredients like avobenzone and

octisalate which absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin.

Some people may think physical sunscreens are more ‘natural’ than chemical formulations, but

really all active ingredients in sunscreen are chemically-derived.

WHAT ARE UVA AND UVB?

You must always make sure the sunscreen you buy contains UVA and UVB, something that’s

commonly known as ‘broad spectrum’.

UVA

Protects against ageing rays. Think fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation.

UVB

Protects against burning rays which are responsible for sunburn and melanoma.

SUN PROTECTION TIPS

Sun cream isn’t just for a sunny day. Even when it’s cloudy, up to 80% of the sun’s UV radiation can

break through the clouds. And that means even a cloudy day can lead to skin damage. So here’s

some tip for protecting your skin:

1) Make sunscreen application part of your daily skincare routine; apply it to all your exposed

skin at the start of your day.

2) Don’t forget those easy-to-miss spots including your ears, back of your neck and your scalp

where your hair parts.

3) You’ll need around a tablespoon of sunscreen applied to your body to get the full broad-

spectrum protection out of your sunscreen.

BEST SUNSCREEN FOR FACE

Does the SPF 15 in your daily moisturiser count as sun protection? Does foundation block the sun’s

UV rays? Can you apply a super light layer of sun cream on your face before sunbathing all day? I’m

afraid the answer to all of the above is no! But that doesn’t mean sunscreen for your face needs to

get complicated.

Protecting your skin from damaging UV rays is arguably the most important way to prevent all those

signs for premature ageing. You need to wear SPF 30 every day, whatever the weather. In the

summer months, ramp it up to SPF 50 and be sure to reapply every few hours if you’re outside

enjoying the sun.

Sunscreens that are specially formulated for your face are normally formulated to the same high

standards as skincare products. They’re made to feel comfortable on your face, with a lighter texture

that’s easily absorbed.

BEST SUNSCREEN FOR OILY SKIN

If you don’t want your skin to feel greasy or congested then an oil-free solution is the way to go.

Many sunscreens that offer a high SPF factor can be a lot thicker on oily skin which just feels

uncomfortable on your face when it’s worn all day, especially when you’re on holiday and it’s super

hot.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REAPPLY SUNSCREEN?

You should wear sun screen every day and apply it 30 minutes prior to going outdoors. Then reapply

it every to hours on exposed skin – even if you’re wearing foundation.

Whether you look at the sun and tan instantly or feel your skin flush as soon as the sun hits it,

absolutely everyone should wear sunscreen every day.

CAN SPF IRRITATE SKIN?

Have you ever applied a sunscreen that’s wreaked havoc on your skin? It burnt, stung and left you

with red itchy bumps. Many common sunscreens contain UV blockers that don’t agree with sensitive

skin and if you have this skin type you’re already aware of this catch-22; your skin’s irritated by UV

rays but sunscreens also irritate your skin.

Mineral sunscreens like zinc or titanium oxide are the best options for sensitive skin as they may be

less likely to cause a skin irritation, however both types have been tested as safe and effective.

There’s also something known as ‘photosensitivity’ which means that no matter what your skin type,

your skin is really sensitive to the sun due to certain medications and disorders so you need extra

protection.

CAN SPF CAUSE ACNE?

Cream-based sunscreens can sometimes clog pores and cause acne breakouts. When you’re

searching for sun protection for your face make sure you look out for ‘non-comedogenic’ which

basically means it’s formulated so as not to block pores.

*https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen

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