Why is SPF Important in Skincare?

You may have heard it time and time again that come rain or shine you should always be applying SPF lotion, but why is SPF (Sun Protection Factor) so important in your skincare routine?

If you’re going to stick just one product on your face, then it should always provide some form of SPF. Sunscreen protects against harmful UV rays emitted by the sun, shielding us from issues such as skin damage and even life-threatening cell damage. It’s also important to point out that whilst we may be saying goodbye to summer sunshine that doesn’t mean we should be saying goodbye to sunscreen!

Why SPF is so important in your skincare routine?

Overexposure to the suns UV rays can cause serious damage to the skin’s epidermis and beyond. It’s important to properly protect the skin in order to keep damage at bay – this is when SPF steps in to save the day and allow us to continue to soak up the sun’s rays without fear.

It’s important to apply your sunscreen everyday as part of your skincare routine. Procced with your cleansing and moisturising before slathering on the sun block.

The effects of exposure to UV rays

Nobody wants to get old, let alone look old, and with the mythical fountain of youth being nothing more than just that – a myth, it’s time to turn to sunscreen to keep the physical signs of aging at bay by warding off the dreaded fine lines.

Yes, sunscreen is the key ingredient in your skincare routine to block out UV rays and protect against the photoaging of the skin they cause. This is why SPF is so important in skincare. If you want to keep looking as youthful as possible for as long as possible and dodge leathery looking skin, deep wrinkles and skin discolouration then get slathering on that SPF!

Skin damage often presents itself as a dull complexion with uneven pigmentation and a loss of firmness. This loss of firmness causes the skin to sag but there are worse effects than just the altered appearance of the skin. Excessive exposure to UV rays are notoriously linked to increasing the risk of skin cancers. Studies show that the chances of developing melanomas are reduced massively just by wearing sunscreen daily which is why SPF is so important in skincare. If looking older doesn’t faze you then maybe the thought of protecting against disease will.

How SPF protects

Sunscreen comes in two forms, mineral based or chemical based formulas. Mineral SPF formulas create a barrier of zinc oxide or titanium oxide over the skin to stop UV rays from penetrating. Whereas chemical SPF is absorbed into the skin that then converts UV rays in to heat that the skin releases away.

There are two types of UV rays that need to be protected against – UVA and UVB. UVB penetrates the top layer (epidermis) of the skin while UVA can penetrate much further down. When purchasing an SPF cream it’s VERY important to find a sunscreen that protects against both types of UV ray. SPF that protects against both will have UVA written on the bottle to make choosing the correct SPF easier to spot.

To get the full protection your skin needs it’s important to use at least a factor 30 SPF and reapply every two hours this even extends to when the weather is overcast with no visible sun. The factor refers to how much UV is filtered by the sunscreen. In simple terms, the higher the SPF number, the higher the protection. To reap the full benefits of SPF and properly protect yourself from the sun always apply an appropriate SPF to your face and of course, anywhere else that may be visible to the suns UV rays.

How to pick a sunscreen

Just like any cosmetic product, choosing the correct formula to match your skin type is crucial. First assess your skin type, if you have any skin concerns such as oily, dry or sensitive skin then you need to factor these in when choosing your SPF.

SPF for oily skin

The nature of SPF can sometimes mean it feels greasy on your face, this paired with oily skin means this slick mess is not the best combo. However, this doesn’t mean the oily faced babes among us are exempt from wearing SPF! Instead, you need to be mindful of the type of SPF you’re picking to not add even more oilyness to your complexion.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream

This sun cream offering from La Roche-Posay promises to be “waterproof, sweat-proof and sand-proof” while boasting a non-greasy formula to make it suitable for those with oily skin. It also comes in a range of SPF protection and works well on both the face and body and is a personal favourite of mine.

Eucerin Oil Control Sun Gel Cream SPF 50+

This sun cream formula is concocted specifically with oily and acne prone skin in mind. It’s gel based formula means it’s non-greasy on the skin that banishes away shine for up to eight hours.

Blemish prone skin

Those with blemish prone or sensitive skin will need to take extra care when searching for the perfect SPF. Take a close look at the ingredients list, anything that contains fragrance, or chemical agents like benzophenones, or heavy oils are a no-no as these can cause more irritation to the skin and bring on flare ups. Remember, once you find an SPF that works with your skin concerns the hassle of finding the correct SPF is over!

SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial UV Defence SPF50 Sunscreen

Now, this SPF is a little (or a lot) on the pricey side, retailing at a whopping £41, but if you’re looking to invest in any skincare SPF should be it. Promising to be non-irritating on sensitive skin, it’s mineral formula is lightweight in order prevent further breakouts or skin flare ups.

Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF50+

Protecting against both UVA and UVB rays the Cetaphil Daily Defence Moisturiser is an easily absorbable day cream with built in SPF protection. It’s fragrance free, doesn’t block pores and dermalogically tested making it a great option for those with sensitive or blemish prone skin.

SPF for dry skin

Dry skin sufferers claim victory when it comes to choosing an SPF as the process is a lot easier. SPF usually comes with the added bonus of built-in hydration to banish away flaky skin. The added oils that come in sunscreen can also be a much-welcomed ingredient to dry skin. You can pretty much opt for whichever product you please, just be weary of the dreaded white cast SPF can sometimes cause.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF50

The CeraVe facial moisturiser comes with built in SPF 50 to moisturise and protect all in one tube. The perfect option for those whose skin craves hydration.

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 30

If you have dry skin and are longing for a radiant complexion then it’s time to welcome Supergloop! Glow Screen to your beauty regime. Giving you factor 30 SPF protection and a glowy skin veil this sun scream is perfect for those with dry skin.

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