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Why SPF is Your BFF

May 05 2021 – Derma Babe Hannah

Why SPF is Your BFF

Why SPF is Your BFF

Summer is finally on its way! If you’re planning on spending the next few months soaking up the sunshine at your nearest beach or even in the back garden, then you’ll need to think about protecting your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. While we all love a golden glow, it’s so much safer to fake it rather than baking in the sun! Of course, that’s not to say you can’t get outside and make the most of it.

 

Why is SPF so important?

When it comes to choosing the right sun cream, everyone should use a cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. It’s also important to choose products with broad-spectrum protection - these types of creams keep your skin protected from both UVA and UVB rays. 


The difference between UVA and UVB rays are their wavelengths, aka, how far they can pass through your skin. UVB rays are the ones responsible for sunburn on the surface of your skin, whereas UVA rays reach much deeper within your cells. As such, UVA rays are responsible for premature skin ageing, which can result in fine lines and wrinkles appearing long before they should!


If you have very pale skin, you’ll probably know all too well about your susceptibility to sunburn. If you’re prone to burning, choose a broad-spectrum sun cream with a UVA rating of at least 30 (or even 50 to be on the safe side).

 

Not sure what to look for? 

We’d recommend taking a look at the sun cream range from ORGANii. Formulated with nourishing plant oils, their lightweight Sun Milk offers both UVA & UVB mineral protection, with an organic certified formula.


If you’d rather use a moisturiser infused with SPF, then you might want to check out the Rose Hydrate Radiance SPF 15 Day Cream from Superfacialist.


Worried about breakouts? The Clearing Defence Mattifying Moisturiser from Dermalogica helps to reduce shine and prevent breakouts while also protecting your skin from the suns rays!

 

Remember to reapply!

It’s all too easy to forget to reapply your sunscreen, especially when dozing off under the hot afternoon sun! UV rays break down the sunscreen, leaving you susceptible to sunburn. It’s best to reapply every 2 hours, or more regularly if you’re splashing around in the sea or by the pool.

 

Busting those SPF myths

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about sun cream, so we thought we’d try and dispel some of the most common myths about SPF:

 

SPF50 offers twice the amount of protection as SPF25

False! SPF relates to exposure time, rather than the amount of protection offered by a cream. For the record, SPF25 blocks around 96% of UVB rays, while SPF50 is around 98%.

 

Sun creams with high SPF are thick and greasy

Again, false! There’s plenty of lightweight sunscreen formulas out there, offering high sun protection. If you’re worried about breakouts, just be sure to use a good toner after cleansing to clear away any leftover product.

 

You only need to put sun cream on when it’s hot outside

Nope! UV rays are always around, even on cloudy days. While you’re at more of a risk on those boiling summer days, it’s best to use SPF throughout the year. Lots of daily moisturisers contain SPF protection, which makes it a little easier to remember in the cooler months!

 

You don’t need to apply sun cream if you have darker skin

Wrong! While people with darker skin produce more melanin, there’s still the risk of sunburn. Melanin has been shown to offer some protection against UV rays, but not as much as a broad-spectrum sun cream. 

 

Sun cream ingredients are dangerous

Not at all! While ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might sound scary and have been reported negatively in some press, they remain some of the most effective ingredients available in providing broad-spectrum protection.  They can be formulated to sit on the skin to protect, and not absorb, without causing concern.  Of course, everyone is different, so if you have had a reaction to a certain sun cream in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be irritated by others. 

 

5 quick tips for staying safe in the sun!

To finish off, we’re sharing our top five tips for staying safe while you make the most of the gorgeous weather.

 

Avoid chemical exfoliants in your morning routine

While chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid are great glow boosters, they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Limit their use to your nighttime routine to prevent the risk of sunburn and always use an SPF after using. 

 

Vitamin C can boost your sun protection

While it shouldn’t be used as an alternative to sun cream and always combined with, applying a vitamin C serum as part of your morning routine can help protect against sun damage. Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is rich in antioxidants that fight against free radicals produced by UV rays.

 

Use an SPF lip balm to protect your lips

Many people slather on the sun cream while forgetting an important part of the face - their lips! To avoid dry, chapped lips, be sure to use a lip balm with added SPF protection while out and about in the sun.

 

Apply at least 15 minutes before heading out 

It can take some time for the protective ingredients in sun creams to properly create a shield on your skin. To make sure your skin is fully protected, it’s best to apply your sun cream at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.

 

Remember to reapply!

It’s all too easy to forget to reapply your sunscreen, especially when dozing off under the hot afternoon sun! UV rays break down the sunscreen, leaving you susceptible to sunburn. It’s best to reapply every 2 hours, or more regularly if you’re splashing around in the sea or by the pool.


As they say, prevention is better than a cure, and it couldn’t be more true for sun protection. Do you have any helpful tips for enjoying the weather while also keeping your skin safe from UV rays? Let us know in the comments below!

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