Summer Skin Checklist | The Importance of SPF
Summer is on the way and whether you’re opting for a staycation close to home or dreaming of sun-soaked holidays to far flung locations, it’s time to consider your summer skincare regime. You’re probably thinking of switching up your moisturisers for the season, but have you thought about your daily SPF? Doctors, dermatologists, and aesthetic practitioners are always talking about how crucial sunscreen is, but do you know what to look out for?
Why should we wear any sunscreen/SPF?
We all take pride in our skin, spending money on products to keep us looking radiant and healthy, however we can often fall foul of overlooking the importance of daily SPF, a key pillar in our skincare regime. Often anti-ageing is our number one concern, but your priority should always be to prevent sunburn, which can increase the risk of skin cancer. Another very important reason should be to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays that cause premature ageing and wrinkles. I ask clients to see it as an insurance to protect their investment in their skin. If you are investing in anti-wrinkle/dermal fillers or micro needling treatments, it is imperative that you protect your investment from being undone by the harmful effects caused by UV rays.
What you should be looking for in an SPF:
The label on your facial sunscreen should read “Broad Spectrum”. This guards you against both UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning) rays.
• UVA (95% of Sun’s UV rays) causes immediate tanning and sunburn. In the long-term this can result in premature ageing, wrinkles, and an increase in the risk of some skin cancers.
• UVB (5% of Sun’s UV rays) causes delayed tanning sunburn and blistering. Long-term results can include an increase in the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing. Many sunscreens only protect against UVB leaving your skin unprotected against 95% of the sun’s rays, so always look out for Broad Spectrum SPF.
Expectation VS Reality
Traditionally the word sunscreen would conjure up images of thick, gloopy, sticky creams that sit on the skin, resulting in blocked pores, spots and preventing you from wearing makeup. Not to mention ruining your holiday wardrobe staples. Luckily this is no longer the case with experts developing modern sunscreen solutions suitable for all skin types. Options now include moisturisers for the skin complete with UVA & UVB protection, with some even containing antioxidants or skin brightening botanicals for a double boost to your skin. Check the labels on your favourite makeup products as many now include SPF in their formulation, including mineral powders.
Choosing the perfect SPF for you
As with all skincare, products are personal to you and your skin type and SPF is no different. With many options available depending on budget and formulation, it’s important to know what is available and if it ticks all of your boxes. Consider the following when selecting your SPF:
• Consider quality sunscreen: Always ensure your sunscreen label says “broad Spectrum” or covers UVA (ageing) & UVB (burning). Look for SPF 30 or higher. Also look for ones that are water-resistant, meaning it will stay on wet skin for up to 40 minutes.
• Consider skin type: If you have oily or spot prone skin use a sunscreen which is oil free or (noncomedogenic) non-spot forming and will have a matte finish. If you have dry skin, choose a hydrating sunscreen with hyaluronic acid or ceramides.
• Consider skin tone: If you have a medium to dark complexion chemical sunscreens (which are absorbed into the skin) may appear more clear, while mineral or physical sunscreens (which sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays) may leave some white cast.
• Apply it last: Generally speaking sunscreen should be applied to freshly cleansed skin. This should be the last step of your morning skincare so after skin serums and before applying makeup.
What are my some of my favourite examples out there for various skin types and various budgets?
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical Fusion UV defence SPF 50:
This tinted formula gets rave reviews as an ultra-lightweight , water resistant up to 40 minutes, fragrance free, non-comedogenic, 100% mineral SPF that looks (and feels) invisible on the face. It packs translucent colour spheres to give your natural skin tone a hint of colour and no white cast in sight.
SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defence SPF 50:
This dual action residue-free lightweight sunscreen with SPF 50, helps protect the skin from UV induced discolouration and helps even skin tone. This lightweight formula is enriched with potent ingredients including 1% Tranexamic Acid, and 2% Niacinamide making it truly advanced formula for protection and reversal of sun damage.
IMAGE Skincare Daily Matte Moisturiser SPF32+:
This oil-free, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen delivers high sun protection in a mattifying, antioxidant-rich base that’s perfect for oily and acne-prone skin types. Micro-sponge technology absorbs surface oils and gives skin a flawless, shine-free finish. It doubles as a protective primer to create a healthy glow before makeup application
As we approach the Summer months, now is the time to do your research and invest in a daily SPF. If ever you are in doubt, get your skin checked by a medical professional. Having undergone specific training in skin cancer detection and with three years’ experience in skin cancer surgery, I’m delighted to offer full body skin cancer checks at The Skin Clinic.
For more information or to arrange a consultation with Dr. Mottram, please visit The Skin Clinic