Sun protection is so important, and we only realise it once we get burnt! If you don’t wear at very least, a face sun cream all round, now is definitely the time to start thinking about adding one into your daily regime. All these creams and serums which rave about youth claiming benefits, mean absolutely nothing if you’re not protecting your skin from the no.1 most potent skin ruiner. UV rays. So let’s get down to sun business! Get it? *dad joke*
SPF = Sun Protecting Factor. It measures how long a sunscreen will protect you from UVB rays. The chief cause of skin reddening and sun burn is via UVB rays, as these rays tend to damage the skins outer layer (epidermis). This is the cause for most common forms of skin cancer (least dangerous). Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is thought to be related to brief intense sun exposures, such as blistering sunburn. The British Association of Dermatologists recommend always using a minimum of SPF 30, which blocks 97% of UVB. To put that into context, SPF 15 blocks 93% and SPF 50 blocks 98%.
Difference between UVA and UVB: The sun emits two different types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates deep into the skin, whereas UVB rays are shorter, burning the surface.
Damage UV can cause: The golden tan we all love and want, it may look great today. But in a few years time our skin will be as wrinkly as a hairless cat! Do we really want to resemble that? No! Sun damage shows itself in the form of uneven pigmentation, dulness, loss of firmness and flaky skin. UV rays from the sun cause 90% of the visible signs of ageing.
Best Way To Apply Sunscreen: Sunscreen should be applied, after moisturiser, but before foundation/makeup. The bummer is that, it also needs to be reapplied every 2 hours to keep the protecting ingredients active. Even on freezing winter days! Sunscreen is the one thing we shouldn’t be stingy about as the more we apply, the more effective it is. I wish the same applied to anti ageing products!
Normal sunscreens are perfect as long as they have many of the important qualities mentioned above. But if you’re looking for more specialised skincare products…
Sunscreen for Oily Skin: The solution is to go for an oil-free product. The irritating factor about many sunscreens is that when they offer a higher SPF it tends a be quite a thick consistency. Leaving skin feeling sticky and oily, usually leads to more skin issues like blackheads and clogged pores. Lightweight formulas are the way to go. Whether its lotion, gels, fluids, mineral powder, even creams. As long as they’re lightweight, they’ll become your go-to. Examples of these are ‘Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch’ ‘Aveeno Protect+Hydrate Lotion’ Also, some of the ones I mention below are also oil-free!
Sunscreen for Dry Skin: We’re in luck! SPF serums are now all over the market and have many hydrating moisturisers with SPF built in! Dry skin sufferers can also opt for a lightweight SPF formula that also works as a moisturising face cream/serum. This way we can protect our skin and get many other skincare benefits. It’s a win win! 2 in 1 and especially for lazy days this is for you! There are also sunscreen oils but these aren’t as protective. ‘La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Comfort Cream’ is for very dry skin. ‘Kiel’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense’ is for ALL skin types. Oil free.
Sunscreen For Sensitive/Blemished Skin: The most important thing to look out for is the ingredient list. Avoid unnecessary ingredients like fragrances and preservatives. Also there are two types of agents used in sunscreen, physical and chemical. Some of the chemical agents found in sunscreen can cause irritation. One of the most common culprits are ‘Benzophenones’ but there are some other ingredients which may even cross react with sunlight causing an irritation/reaction. So be ultra careful when finding a new sunscreen. Alcohol also dries out the skin and cause irritation, so try non-comedogenic and alcohol-free creams. Some great examples are ‘Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Lotion’ ‘Aveeno Protect+Hydrate Lotion’ ‘Ultrasun Family Ultra Sensitive Sun Cream’ ‘Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid’.
Hair Protection: We always think about our skin for protection, but never our hair! And that’s crazy to think of since our head and hair are the closest to the sun. So our hair definitely needs some sort of shield or protection, since we’re basically asking for brittle sun damaged hair and scalp! Also if you have coloured hair the sun is one of the main reasons why you may find your colour is fading faster than usual. The ‘Philip Kingsley Weatherproof Hair Spray’ and ‘Nuxe Hair Sun Protection’ are perfect for this.
Products and Prices: Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch Sun Cream SPF30. 50ml. £12.37. Aveeno Protect+Hydrate Lotion SPF 50. 85g. £5-10. Ultrasun Family Ultra Sensitive Sun Cream SPF 30, 150ml £19. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Comfort Cream SPF 50+. 50ml. £16.50. Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50. 60ml. £39. Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Sun Cream SPF50+. 200ml. £7. Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid For Face SPF30. 30ml. £22. Philip Kingsley Weatherproof Hair Spray. 125ml. £14. Nuxe Hair Sun Protection. 100ml. £12.50. Most of these products come in different SPF factors so you can choose.
Do you use sunscreen? What kind of skin type do you have? Has this been helpful? Comment below!