SPF Benefits: Everything You Need To Know About Suncare
8 minutes read
The sun is out and we are officially launching ourselves into the peak sunscreen season!
We have listed five benefits of sunscreen wearing, plus a guide on how to pick the right SPF for you this summer, and the importance of wearing it regardless of the season or destination.
So before you sojourn in the sun-kissed Mediterranean, far-flung tropical destinations, or go skiing in the French Alps, wherever your summer holiday destination is, let’s make sure your suncare is sorted, sealed in a Ziploc bag and packed in the suitcase.
What is SPF and how does sunscreen work?
SPF means Sun Protection Factor is a number indicated on the label of sunscreen, cosmetics, and skincare products. It helps block your skin against the sun’s UV radiation.
The number refers to how long the UVB rays would take to redden your skin if you apply the sunscreen exactly as instructed (as opposed to not wearing one). For example, using an SPF 30 would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you did not.
Keep in mind that as the SPF value increases, so does its sunburning protection.
Who needs to wear sunscreen?
Everyone. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender, or race.
Experts strongly advise never to let your skin burn in the sun, whatever your skin colour is, as melanin-rich skin might not turn the shade of a shrimp – but it does feel the burn and peel if over-exposed.
Plus, the sun is the skin’s biggest environmental aggressor and will accelerate the ageing process – resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, sunspots and uneven, rough skin.
If a lovely golden tan is what you’re after, laying out in the sun is never the answer. Instead, reach for self-tanner. It can give you a radiant, even tan (minus the burn and sun damage), if you do it right – just follow these expert tips on how to apply fake tan. And if you’re worried about patchy knees and elbows, remember that there are also ways to fix self-tanner mistakes.
Should you wear sunscreen every day?
Yes! It streaks through the windows of your home and car and will still wreak the same amount of damage. All exposed areas should get a blob or spritz of SPF – even in winter.
The damage from UV radiation is cumulative and therefore, sun protection is non-negotiable.
Experts strongly advise using sunscreen daily, no matter your geographical location or season. So don’t let your guard down and aim to slather on the sunscreen whether you are indoors, at high altitudes, or even on cloudy days in the UK.
The importance of wearing sunscreen daily – the stats on your city
New findings from the Beauty Daily team confirm how important it is to wear SPF daily even when you’re not on holiday. According to the research, Chichester residents are most at risk of skin ageing from UV rays. According to Met Office data, based on the number of sunshine hours per UK city, this area in West Sussex was the sunniest, with 1,919 hours (80 days) on average a year.
When looking at all cities around the country, we found the following:
(Annual Average Sunshine Hours)
- Chichester – 1,919 hours
- Brighton & Hove – 1,892 hours
- Southend-on-Sea – 1,884 hours
- Portsmouth – 1,772 hours
- Canterbury – 1,737 hours
- Plymouth – 1,732 hours
- Southampton – 1,706 hours
- Salisbury – 1,699 hours
- Cardiff – 1,692 hours
- Bristol – 1,658 hours
Whilst SPF is essential every day as there is still risk irrespective of the weather – residents in Derry, Northern Ireland, were the least at risk of sun damage, with the lowest hours of sunlight per year amongst all UK cities at 1,222 hours (51 days). Along with Derry, Glasgow was also one of the cities with the lowest risk, coming just ahead with 1,234 hours on average a year.
When looking at regions in the UK, the South East had the highest average hours of sunshine per year out of all areas with 1,670 hours (70 days a year). This means that residents in this region are at the highest risk of UV exposure over the year and hence more at risk of skin damage. Northern Scotland was the lowest, with 1,104 hours per year or 46 days.
How to choose the right sun protection?
Picking the right SPF and formulation that works for you is the first step.
Is SPF 30 or 50 better?
The British Association of Dermatologists advises using a minimum of SPF 30 for daily protection. It is clinically proven to be enough protection to reduce or minimise the adverse effects of sunlight. However, if you are on holiday mode, spending more time outdoors, swimming and sweating, then a heavy-duty SPF 50 would be ideal.
What’s the difference between sunblock and sunscreen?
There are two types of UV filters: mineral and chemical filters. They are commonly labelled as sunblock and sunscreen respectively on suncare products. Here’s the difference.
Mineral filters or Sunblock: also called ‘non-organic’ filters are solid particles that settle on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays like mirrors blocking the rays from penetrating the skin.
A sunscreen with mineral filters contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Zinc oxide gives broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, while titanium dioxide ensures the formula is lightweight. Mineral filters are used in Clarins Mineral Sun Care Fluid SPF 30 and Mineral Sun Care Compact SPF 30.
Chemical filter or Sunscreen: also called ‘organic’ filter is the most used type in sun protection products. It filters or screens the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays before they can damage your skin. It usually contains avobenzone and octisalate.
The American Academy of Dermatology doesn’t advise using one over the other as both are considered to provide excellent sun protection. Make sure to opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant. Also, skin type should be considered when shopping for SPF as people with sensitive skin might have allergic reactions to some ingredients.
All Clarins skincare products, including the sun care range, are pregnancy-approved and suitable for all skin types even with the most sensitive skins.
Beauty Daily Eco Tip: When shopping for sunscreen, make sure it is ‘reef-friendly.’ This means it does not contain chemicals that could be harmful to corals. When checking labels, look for oxide and titanium dioxide. The Clarins sun care range is certified coral and eco-friendly.
SPF for face
If you think your daily make-up foundation with SPF would suffice, you are completely mistaken.
According to experts, although it gives you extra protection, you should have a dedicated sunscreen for your face.
1. Daily SPF: For dry skin, it is recommended to go for a sunscreen with a creamy texture for added moisture. A gel formula would suit people with oily skin best. If you have normal skin, you can get away with a gel or cream.
Apart from the UV rays, a threat we also see today is ‘blue light.’ Research shows blue light from electronic devices can speed up the ageing process.
Thanks to Clarins’ UV and pollution screen, this product can tackle all these issues in one easy step. The SPF is enriched with organic mango leaf extract and Anti-Pollution Complex, which can combat oxidative damages caused by indoor and outdoor pollution.
2. Holiday SPF: Longer exposure to the sun on a holiday is inevitable. Nothing is more perfect than a barefaced finish but offers maximum sun protection like Invisible sun care stick SPF 50.
Slow down the signs of skin ageing with the right SPF: According to Clarins skincare experts, the sun care range is formulated with two new complexes: SunFilterComplex and Sunplantcomplex. SunFilterComplex is mainly responsible to ensure skin’s optimal protection against sun’s rays: UVB and UVA, while the SunPlantComplex is a synergy of six plant extracts that prevent the skin from sun-related ageing and make sure the skin is hydrated.
Eye Cream with SPF: Let’s not forget our eyes with an SPF formulated to not irritate or run into our eyes when we sweat in the the heat. By choosing an eye cream with SPF you are saving your eyes form torture this summer!
How often should you reapply sunscreen?
Regardless of the SPF, it is vital to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming, skiing or sweating.
It might be a pain for women who wear make-up to reapply SPF every few hours on top of layers of skincare and cosmetic products. We hear you.
So to combat removing make-up and starting again the Clarins beauty advisors suggest using a non-greasy spray like Sun Care Water Mist SPF50+. You can also spritz this top-to-toe – the lightweight mist has an invisible finish and won’t affect your make-up.
Make sure to double cleanse before bedtime to remove accumulated dirt and SPF from the day.
How much sunscreen should you apply?
The NHS recommends applying two teaspoons of sunscreen for the face, arms and neck and an additional two tablespoons if you are covering your entire body while wearing swimwear.
The amount of coverage for an effective SPF spritz should be at least six seconds of spraying in each spot. To put it into context – a 180 ml of sunscreen spray should last six applications.
We know the thrill that comes with summer full of new adventures, trips, and experiences but make sure your sun care essentials are ready before you, and your loved ones go on big days under the sun.