Did you know, if it is light enough for you to read a book, you need SPF on your face? Whether that’s sunlight or artificial light!
We’ve all fallen into the trap of thinking ‘it’s cloudy today so I won’t bother’ or ‘I won’t be out for that long anyway’. But the truth is, SPF is needed every single day. Yes, every day! Trust us, your skin will thank you.
In this blog, we break down what SPF is and why its use is so important.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s the amount of time it would take for you to burn or damage your skin compared to using no protection. For example, wearing a product with an SPF 30 means you could stay in the sun 30 times longer before burning, provided that you use the product as directed.
Why do we need it on cloudy days?
This is a common question asked and to understand the answer, we need to delve into the world of UVA and UVB.
The sun’s rays contain 2 different types of harmful UV radiation, UVA and UVB. An easy way to remember what damage each type does is A = aging and B = burning.
UVB radiation acts on the skin’s surface and is responsible for tanning and sunburn. Most people love to get a tan but it is actually our skin’s way of defending ourselves from this harmful UVB radiation. UVB rays are strongest in spring and summer, between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Not only do they cause nasty, painful sunburn but they can also cause skin cancer.
UVA rays however make up 90-95% of the solar radiation that reaches us. They are equally strong during all daylight hours at any time of the year (including winter). They can penetrate through thick cloud cover and even through glass. This is why it is really important to wear sunscreen daily, even when indoors.
The damage of not using SPF
UVA rays can penetrate more deeply into the skin and are responsible for long-term damage to the skin, including causing some skin cancers and premature aging of the skin. They degrade collagen and elastin fibers, which are what give the skin a plumped, youthful appearance. Without them, fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging become more pronounced.
It also breaks down hyaluronic acid which helps to hydrate our skin, if you haven’t read our blog on the importance of HA yet, go check it out here.
A daily SPF will also help maintain an even skin tone by preventing the development of dark spots caused by sun damage.
But my skin is too acne-prone to use suncream
The truth is, you can use all the skincare in the world. But all of it is irrelevant if you’re not using SPF. It’s true that some SPFs can be comedogenic, causing blackheads by blocking pores. But there are many great options on the market that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. If you suffer from acne, look out for one of these!
It’s also important to note that without SPF, the sun can increase the redness of spots and marks left behind.
- Always apply SPF last in your skincare routine and 20 minutes before going in the sun
- NO SPF is waterproof! Always reapply after being in the water
- Although darker skin can stay longer in the sun than lighter skin, it still needs protecting
- It is still safe to use acids on your skin in the sun. Just protect yourself with SPF
We at +Skinfluential are passionate about SPF and have spent lots of time finding the best products to cover all face and body needs. We’ve highlighted some of the best options here.
SPF for Body
This easy-to-apply spray from Heliocare gives maximum sun protection with SPF 50+. It can be sprayed from any angle so is easy to apply yourself and doesn’t leave any white residue.
This is perfect for keeping your little ones protected. It can be used on babies and children from 6 months old and is suitable for sensitive and atopic skin. The handy trigger spray makes applying to your wriggly minis a breeze.
SPF for Face
This non-comedogenic, lightweight formula is oil-free. This makes it particularly suitable for oily, blemish or acne-prone skin. The gel texture leaves skin soft, smooth, and shine-free after each application. It also protects against infrared rays and high-energy visible light.
This broad-spectrum SPF from Obagi provides comprehensive protection against UVA/UVB rays. It also protects against infrared and high-energy visible light including blue light (solar or digital), which can also cause premature skin aging.
Lip care is often overlooked when it comes to skincare and SPF. This range of tinted lip balms from Albus and Flora gives a subtle hint of colour and is formulated to protect against sun damage, fine lines and loss of lip fullness. They are also designed to prolong the effects of lip filler treatments, by protecting them from the UV breakdown of hyaluronic acid.
This brush-on sunscreen from Colorescience is available in 4 shades. The natural, mineral sunscreen is a powerful shield providing total protection in one convenient, on-the-go application. Apply alone for a hint of colour or over makeup.
A perfect solution for topping up your foundation coverage and sun protection whilst on the go. With light, buildable coverage and a beautiful dewy finish this product is perfect for all skin types. Available in 2 shades.