People are more aware of the importance of using sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. However so many of us still do not use sunscreen properly nor understand what to opt for, and the other benefits that the right products can offer.
Thankfully SPF has come a long way since the greasy, pore-blocking creams of our childhoods, and I have several go-to products I am pleased to share with you.
My top reasons to wear sunscreen are:
1. The ozone layer is depleting and your body needs shielding from harmful rays.
2. Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.
3. It helps to prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations.
4. It also helps to reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness.
5. It slows down the development of wrinkled, premature aging skin.
With that in mind, here is my no-nonsense guide to SPF and all the benefits.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for sun protection factor and essentially refers to the amount of protection a product offers against the sun’s damaging rays.
The factor a product is given translates to a theoretical amount of extra time you can spend in the sun until your skin starts to become affected.
Know your UVA’s from your UVB’s
There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. UVA (Ultraviolet radiation) and UVB.
UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and their intensity varies from summer to winter.
UVA rays have the same intensity during summer or winter.
UVA rays are the ones that penetrate deeper in your skin and can cause skin ageing and skin cancer.
UVA damage is not reversible and we must protect ourselves at all times of the year from these rays.
What level of SPF?
To get the most protection, you want a broad spectrum sunscreen. These protect against UVB and UVA rays. But it's important to note that no sunscreen blocks 100 percent of UVB rays.
SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. The increase in protection is even more gradual after that, 98 percent for SPF 50 and 99 percent for SPF 100.
Regardless of your age, you need protection from the sun’s harmful rays EVERY DAY, come rain or shine.
It's true that UVB rays are weaker in the winter, so you don’t get sunburned as easily, BUT the UVA rays that cause wrinkles, premature ageing and damage are just as strong, year ‘round! Approximately 80 per cent of UV rays penetrate through clouds so it’s absolutely vital to apply an SPF all-year round. Did you know even our laptops and computers can give out UV rays, so it really is worth making applying your SPF part of your daily routine.
What else should I be doing to stay Sun Safe?
Sunscreen should be just one of the sun protection strategies you use to protect your skin. You also need to cover up with clothing and a hat, seek the shade, and try to stay out of the sun during peak hours 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Preventing brown spots, skin discoloration and premature ageing – that’s reason enough!
Once you damage your skin, it’s so difficult to recover from it and it can be a long and expensive process to try. Wearing sunscreen can slow the aging process by 24%
A 2013 study published found that test subjects who used sunscreen daily decreased the speed of the skin’s ageing process by 24% compared to the group that did not. I am hoping that being skin safe and these anti-aging properties are starting to persuade you to wear your SPF.
Remember that the sun’s damage is cumulative Even if you never wore sunscreen in the past, it’s never too late. Start that good habit today!
Use with your Retinol
SPF is so very important if using Retinol. Be sure you have stocked up on your choice of SPF before you start any Retinol use.
My favourite go to products:
A burst of vitamin C in your SPF, whats not to love Professional C Suncare
Have a good week and be sure to be sun safe as now you have no excuse not to be!