Skincare Editor /
Sunscreen should be an integral part of your daily skincare routine. Whilst you can opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen, there’s also a large number of moisturisers that feature SPF within the product. Whilst it’s pretty obvious that sunscreen protects your skin against the sun, we like to know how it works.
Many people only wear sunscreen when they’re going to be in direct sunlight, however how would you feel if we told you that you should wear it all the time? That’s right – you should have SPF on your skin every day. We know this might seem like a confusing concept, so we thought we’d break down the benefits of wearing an SPF, what it actually means and how it works. This way you’ll be sure to protect your skin daily.
SPF is a system used to decide the effectiveness of your sunscreen. It stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures how much radiation from the sun can get to your skin. It’s basically an indication of how long you can stay in the sun before the UVB rays start to affect your skin.
There’s another term you should be aware of when looking at SPF, and that is ‘broad spectrum’. This means that the SPF not only protects against UVB rays, but UVA too.
We can break this down really simply for you:
UVB Rays are the cause of sunburn. UVB rays can’t penetrate any deeper than the top layer of your skin, so you see the damage on the surface.
UVA Rays are the cause of premature ageing. They sink into the deeper layers of the skin, affecting the biological structure that prevents wrinkles.
You’re probably thinking ‘why should I wear SPF every day if I’m not in the sun?’ Well, the sun doesn’t just produce UVB rays that cause burning; it also produces UVA rays that cause pre-mature ageing. If you want to protect your skin against both, you’ll need a broad spectrum SPF that you can use daily. It’s even been proven that around 40% of the suns radiation reaches Earth on a cloudy day, so it’s important you always wear sunscreen.
With a vast array of SPF products available, you might be wondering which one you actually need. Should you use an SPF15, SPF30 or SPF50?
The number on an SPF product determines how long you can withstand the rays of the sun before the product is broken down. There’s actually very little difference in the strength of the product, so it’s purely based on longevity.
It’s recommended that you wear SPF30 daily, and then upgrade to SPF50 before any outdoor activities. If you do want to wear an SPF15 as you find others to be too heavy, just make sure you follow the instructions and apply to recommended amount.
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