The Importance of Wearing SPF Except from on Your Wedding Day
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The ONLY day you'll get away with not wearing an SPF is on your wedding day. However, after countless questions and emails from you all, it's time to talk about the real importance of wearing it daily, along with a few highly recommended protection products for different skin types and makeup wearers.
Is it true I need to wear SPF every day?
In a word YES. SPF, which you may also know as sun cream, sunscreen, sun block, sun lotion is basically a level of protection from the harmful rays (UVA & UVB) which can cause skin damage also known as sun burn and premature ageing. The higher the factor, the more protection and no doubt you already know this. So why is everyone only now jumping on the SPF craze? Skincare professionals and Dermatologists have always shouted this from the rooftops, however only in recent years, as the beauty industry continues to evolve and develop amazing technology and ingredients, have our favourite, most well-known brands decided to release skincare lines including skin protection.
The scientific bits
Your skin is made up of layers; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outer layer that is exposed to outside aggressors. External factors like UVA rays can penetrate the epidermis and damage the dermis. This is usually when premature ageing happens. Damage to the dermis impacts collagen which is essential for plump, youthful skin - the part we want to hold onto for as long as possible of course!
Exposure to the sun
SPF has long been associated with the summer and no doubt we're all guilty of only wearing suncream on a hot day or on holiday or walking along the beach? Yep! The sun can still penetrate through clouds on those cold, grey days that we unfortunately see far too often in the UK. In fact, 80% of the sun's rays can penetrate through clouds. Your skin is therefore constantly exposed to damaging sun rays, even when you are sat in an office! Offices (or your bedroom, kitchen, lounge, family room at the moment all thanks to COVID 19) often have windows and, another shocking fact, UV rays (mainly UVA) can still damage your skin if you are sat directly in front of a window. The window is unfortunately not an iron proof forcefield protecting you from those powerful UVA rays.
The risks of skin damage
When UV rays have damaged your skin, it alters the DNA in your skin cells. UVA rays that penetrate deeper into your skin can cause damage that's difficult to reverse. Alongside discolouration and ageing wrinkles, damage to the cells can also contribute to the development of skin cancers. Both UVA and UVB rays can increase the risk of serious skin disease.
How to protect your skin from sun damage
With all the shocking and informative details out in the open, I wanted to share tips to help you protect your skin every day. I'm a huge advocate for a daily SPF.
- Know your skin. Everyone's skin reacts differently to the sun and it's important to learn more about your own skin. This will help you understand how to best protect it every day and spot anything unusual. Choose an SPF level that works for your skin type. From my experience, if you have hypersensitive skin or rosacea protecting your skin is vital.
- You do not need SPF protection when tucked up in bed at night. Save your skin protecting, SPF enriched lotions and potions for the day.
- Have a favourite moisturiser that doesn't contain SPF? Not all day creams contain SPF. Sometimes switching from a tried and tested product that works for your skin is not always an option and your skin might react if you start changing it up. Pick a lightweight face SPF with a minimum spf30 to really keep your skin protected.
- Make it part of your routine. Everyone has a daily routine. Make sure your SPF product is part of it. That way whether you are outdoors, indoors, sat in the sun or sheltered from the rain, your skin is still protected!
- Aim to protect all your skin. It's a no-brainer to protect your skin with SPF lotion when wearing summery or skimpier clothing that exposes more of your skin to the sun. Take the SPF from the face to the tops of the ears, décolleté and behind the neck. Tops of the ears and behind the neck? Yes, as soon as you throw that hair up you're asking for the sun burn!
Good to know
- Chemical sunscreens are likely the type you're most familiar with already. They absorb harmful UV rays before they reach your skin. While these lotions and sprays are easier to apply with no white residue, you will need to reapply more often than you would with a physical option.
- Mineral sunscreens (also called physical sunscreens) form a barrier on your skin that reflects or filters UVA and UVB rays. The dispersed zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide formulas can be more difficult to spread on your skin and leave behind white cast, but usually last longer than chemical formulas.
So there you have it, possibly all the information you ever need to know on SPF's and the importance of wearing one. Even though wearing an SPF on your wedding day is an absolute no, I hope I've given you some life-long guidance on how to prevent sun damage and premature ageing! If you've found my SPF knowledge helpful and want to go on an SPF shopping spree, here's a few of my favourite products that are both great for wearing on their own, underneath makeup and for all skin types: