Updated: Apr 30, 2022
With an unexpected turn of events, we have a special visitor in the UK, and that is the GLORIOUS sunshine. So now the sun is putting on a show for us, what do we need to change up and ensure we include in our skincare?
SPF. We’ve all heard of it, but what does it actually mean? Well firstly, it stands for Sun Protection Factor. The clue is in the name, which should highlight the importance of including SPF in your skincare routine. It protects your skin from the damaging effects the sun could have. You will often see ‘SPF 50’ or ‘SPF 30’. The number correlates to the minutes the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin in comparison to no sunscreen. Simple enough right?
Why wear SPF?
So why bother? We all love gorgeous, sun kissed skin, hey? Exposure to too much sun, unprotected, can increase the risk of skin cancer. Scary but true, it’s the number one reason why SPF is crucial in your skincare. Sunscreen reduces your UV exposure, thus lowering the risk of skin cancer.
Not only this, but it can take a toll on your beautiful, youthful skin too. The sun can cause premature aging in the form of discolouration of the skin and loss of collagen, resulting in saggy, leathery-looking skin with an increased prevalence of wrinkles – something we work so hard to prevent!
Okay, I’m convinced to wear SPF. How do I apply it?
You should wear SPF, in some form, every day. It sounds pedantic but the sun is always out (during the daytime, of course), even if it is just peeking through the clouds. In fact, even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the earth – it’s a force not to be reckoned with.
It’s best to apply your chosen SPF product 30 minutes before facing the outside world to allow the sunscreen to really latch onto your skin. After every two hours of exposure, it should be reapplied. Been swimming or sweating excessively? You’ll need to reapply it immediately after, too!
This part might be obvious – but don’t just slap it on and go. Really pay attention to all of the nooks and crannies, such as the décolletage, ears and back of the neck.
How do I choose a good quality SPF?
All sunscreens have an SPF rating (the number which follows ‘SPF’ which we previously discussed). However, this isn’t the only thing to look out for on the product labels. SPF refers to the protection from UVB rays.
There is also a star rating which indicates the level of protection from UVA rays; these are the rays which are linked to skincare damage such as wrinkles and discolouration. You may have seen ‘broad spectrum’ mentioned on sunscreen products which means that the UVA protection is at least one third of the UVB protection. The star system refers to various ratios of UVA to UVB protection; the higher the star rating, the higher the ratio, of course.
Hopefully, you’re a little more familiar with the sunscreen jargon by now. We’ve put together a simple comparison table for our top SPF picks to help you decide which product would suit you and your day-to-day routine.
Best suited for
Where to apply
Good to know
Everyday when popping in and out of the house.
2 in 1 moisturiser. Light formula and perfect if you want a boost of Vitamin C in your skincare routine.
30 and 5* UVA protection
Longer periods of time in the sun, but not a full day.
Medik8's most advanced day cream, super lightweight.
50+ and P++++
Days out in the sun.
Non-greasy, invisible protective shield. Great for hydration.
30 and 5* UVA protection
In and out of the sun, additional protection around the eye area.
Face - around the eyes
Great to pop in your bag. Silkier finish and prevents signs of aging.
Days out in the sun and water contact.
Face and body
Powerful protection with 80 minutes of water resistance. Hydrating formula appropriate for sensitive skin.
Need a little more help?
If you’re still a little stuck and would like to discuss which SPF is most appropriate for you, or you’d like to find out how to weave SPF into your skincare routine, please get in touch to book a free skincare schedule where we can recommend the best skincare products targeted to your requirements.