Sunscreen is incredibly important in the quest for skin health and the prevention of premature ageing. In practice I constantly hear ‘oh I have an SPF in my foundation’ or ‘I have an SPF 30 in my moisturiser’…sorry guys it’s really not enough. In this post, I’m going to try to convince you that wearing a broad-spectrum Sunscreen every day is definitely in your best interest! Wish me luck…
What is SPF?
Apologies if this is a simple question but there are a lot of people who don’t actually know what SPF is or what it stands for. All sunscreens have an SPF which stands for Sun Protection Factor. It measures how well and how long a sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays (the rays that cause burning).
The higher the SPF level, the more protection you will have from these rays. Studies have shown that a factor 15 will protect the skin from 93% of UVB rays where as a factor 30 will protect our skin from 97%.
There is much discussion about whether there is need to go higher than an SPF of 30. However I believe that you can never be too careful, so I would always opt for an SPF 50 reapplied every couple of hours when in constant direct sunlight (on your holidays basically).
What’s a broad-spectrum SPF?
Broad-spectrum SPF’s protect the skin from the UVB (burning) rays and UVA (ageing) rays. The most important thing to remember is both of these types of UV (ultra violet) rays have a risk of causing cancer cells to form! Therefore, a broad-spectrum SPF is always going to be the best option for the optimum sun damage protection.
Do I really need to use an SPF everyday even in UK?!?
Hell yeah! Even in the cloudy old UK, 80% of these harmful rays penetrate through the cloud so a daily sunscreen is essential for skin health.
Will not using a sunscreen really effect my skin?
If you care even a little bit about skin health and wanting to prevent premature ageing, this is by far the best beauty tip I can bestow upon you. Sunscreens prevent the risk of ‘photo ageing’ (premature ageing caused by excessive UV exposure).
Sun exposure is also heavily linked to pigmentation issues, which can be very hard to correct.
The most important thing to remember is that excessive sun exposure can lead to melanomas (skin cancer). According to Cancer Research UK:
‘Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), melanoma skin cancer rates for males and females combined increased by 50%. In males, rates increased by 64%, and in females, rates increased by 39%.’
But what about my tan?
Self-tan technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Whether you want a wash on/off, a spray or gradual there are so many brands out there now that wanting a sun tan is really no excuse to put your skin at risk. Remember that a tan is formed as a defence mechanism by your body to protect itself so it’s not a good thing to aim to get one!
Just in case you are interested, my fav tans are…
Sienna X – Spray on tan done by a professional if I have a big event and want to go quite dark
St Moriz wash off tan – If I just want a quick glow for the night (be careful at night clubs however, I once had a girl spill a drink on me and I had 1 untanned & 1 tanned arm…very embarrassing)
Garnier gradual tan – So lovely, it gives a healthy glow without that orange look and is very natural, good if want a glow before a holiday or just for daily use.
Can’t using too much sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiencies?
I’ve come up against this question a few times. The world health organisation has given guidance that every person in the UK should be taking a vitamin D supplement daily, this is regardless of their sunscreen usage.
From September to May in the UK we do not get enough sun exposure which has lead to 60% of the population being deficient. Vitamin D is incredibly important for making sure we feel more awake and for strong bones and general health and wellbeing. Wearing a sunscreen isn’t going to change this as the average person (especially in the winter months) sees very little day light at all. We wake up in the dark, sit in an office all day and go home in the dark. The best advice would always be to use a vitamin D3 supplement (containing 10mcg) alongside a daily sunscreen.
I have SPF in my make-up, surely that’s enough?
Sun protection within make-up and other creams is simply not enough. It should always be partnered with a sunscreen to ensure you’re getting the optimum protection. Most SPF found in make up is very low level and isn’t broad-spectrum or long lasting. It’s also going to have been mixed with many other elements which could reduce its strength. If you want something that does everything aim for a tinted sunscreen that has all of the key things you want in a sunscreen just with a bit of a tint so that you can use it as a foundation/primer.
Well that’s my case…I’m hoping that this has convinced you or at least made you think twice about not just using a sunscreen on holiday!
If you’re still not convinced, I would suggest researching ‘trucker that gets his skin ruined by sun damage’ & ‘twin sisters that have had different amounts of sun exposure’.
That should be enough to put you off….
If you have any questions or would like any suggestions on my favourite sunscreens please get in touch via our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Thank you for reading