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Everyone always harks on about the importance of SPF (it actually gets a bit annoying) but here are the facts: It turns out sunrays are responsible for 90% of ageing – even on cloudy days. If you just spat out your tea, here’s everything you need to know about SPF…
What is it?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which as you know, prevents damaging sunrays from burning your skin. The number on the bottle (eg. SPF 30) is your guide to how long the sunscreen can protect you. For example, unprotected skin can withstand rays for about 15 minutes before it starts to resemble a lobster. By applying SPF 30, you’ll have 30 times as long before you burn than if you were to go without, and so on. However, it’s important to reapply this often to get the maximum protection, especially if you’re coming in to contact with water.
Who needs it?
Everyone! Especially if you’re fighting the signs of ageing. Sunrays consist of UVA/B rays (Ultra Violet, to you and I), with the former being the most damaging to your skin. These rays not only cause wrinkles, age spots and pigmentation, they’re also the culprits behind skin cancer too, which is pretty scary stuff. This is why it’s so important to wear SPF not just during the summer months in Corfu, but even on cloudy days during the winter.
And you’re not safe inside either, as UV rays can sneak through office windows and car windshields too. In fact, if you’re using exfoliating toners, retinol or scrubs in your current skin routine, SPF will help to protect the newer skin that’s coming through and prevent damage. See why you need to wear it now?
Where do we find it?
Suncreams and moisturisers are your best bet. Look for ones with a minimum of SPF15 and labeled ‘broad spectrum’, which is sciencey lingo for ‘protects against both UVA rays and UVB rays’. If you’re relying on your foundation’s SPF, you might as well not bother. In order to get the required amount, you’d have to apply several thick layers like you would with sun cream in order to get the adequate protection. So make sure to apply an SPF before applying make-up, or go for a moisturiser with a built-in SPF (we’ll help you find one here).
Studies have shown that eating tomatoes can slightly increase your skin’s natural SPF – but panic-buying tomatoes at the supermarket is no replacement for wearing an SPF on exposed areas.
When should it go on our face?
All year round. SPF is for life, not just at the beach. Rays are able to penetrate thick cloud and are still strong during the winter months. Ideally, this should be applied about half an hour before you head out the door. To prevent premature ageing, make sure to apply SPF to exposed areas (such as your face, neck and hands) that are exposed to the sun every day. Oh and for obvious reasons there’s no need to wear it at nighttime, so save your SPF moisturiser for daytime use.