Skincare experts argue over all kinds of issues, but there’s one point that they can all come to some agreement on – the importance of SPF – the biggest culprit of aging and a factor we’re exposed to every single day.
As summer has graced us with its beautiful presence, and we’re enjoying the sun a lot more often, we have decided to make life easier for you. Below is your go-to guide to all things sunscreen and SPF related. Here’s how you can enjoy the sun whilst keeping your skin protected and safe.
Do I have to wear SPF?
Yes. If you are exposed to the sun (even if it’s cloudy) for more than 15 minutes then you must wear SPF. If you work outdoors, are on holiday, at the beach or even sitting on a long lunch break outside a cafe, you should make sure you are protecting your skin. That being said, you’ll be happy to hear that SPF creams have come a long way in recent years and are no longer the gloopy messes that they used to be. There are lots of sunscreens now on the market that are extremely lightweight and fuss free.
What kind of SPF do I need?
Always look for a ‘broad spectrum’ SPF – one that protects from both UVA (they cause aging) and UVB (they burn your skin) rays. This way, you are reducing your skin cancer risk, preventing discoloration of your skin, and also preventing aging sun damage.
Is a higher SPF better?
No, not always. The SPF rating is only a measure of UVB rays, not UVA. SPF 15 blocks roughly 93% of all UVB, while SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98% – not as big a difference as you thought, right? It’s more important to look for a broad spectrum SPF and apply it every 2 hours liberally than worrying about the SPF number.
What about Vitamin D?
Yes, vitamin D is synthesized in the sun and it’s one of the most important nutrients for our body, but you only need about 15 minutes of direct sunlight 3 times per week to synthesize adequate levels of vitamin D. Enjoy the sun on your bare skin for 15 minutes then apply SPF for the rest of your duration in the sun.
Now we could go on all day about SPF, but if you are going to remember anything, remember these things:
- Apply daily even if it is not sunny out.
- The more the better!
- Use broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection.
- And enjoy and love the sun everyday!