Puppies are not just for Christmas, and SPF skincare is not just for summer! We’re going to talk about why you should start protecting your skin daily with carefully formulated sun-blocking products, whatever your skin type.
What is SPF?
Before we go any further, let’s define exactly what we’re talking about. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor which is the measure of how well a product protects your skin against the sun’s harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. In the past, SPF ratings were only found on suntan lotion bottles. We all thought as long as we were protecting our skin while sunbathing on holiday that we were doing enough.
Why SPF skincare is a must
But why should you care about using SPF? Well for starters, skin damage isn’t exclusive to summer and sunny days. Harmful UV rays can damage your skin 365 days a year, even on cloudy days. They’re the main culprit for prematurely ageing skin and can cause brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and a dull complexion. For some, UV rays can be the cause of skin cancer which is the most serious side effect of too much sun.
You don’t have to take our word for it though, science is making even bolder claims. One study that was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson found that daily application of moisturiser with an SPF of 30 reversed signs of ageing! 52% of participants saw a reduction in sunspots, while 40% saw improvements in skin texture after a year of daily use. Research suggests that daily application of skincare with an SPF of 15 is the minimum required to combat ageing, while daily application of an SPF of 30 will get the best results. This is because an SPF of 15 blocks about 93% of UV-B rays, while an SPF of 30 blocks around 97%. Filtering out the harmful rays is what allows your skin to repair itself from previous damage. So, daily application is the only way to reverse signs of ageing!
How to layer SPF skincare products
How you adopt SPF skincare products into your routine will make all the difference in how effective it will be in protecting your skin against the sun. In any skincare routine, you should start with the thinnest and fastest absorbing product first like cleansers, and work your way through to the heavier products like eye creams, moisturisers, and oils. SPF products should always go last to create the most effective barrier against UV rays. Ideally, it should be applied 15 minutes before going outside and the only things that should be applied over your SPF are powder, concealer, or foundation.
If you’re going to be indoors for most of the day, applying SPF during your morning routine should have you covered. However, if you spend lots of time outdoors or sweat a lot throughout the day, you should consider reapplying your SPF every two hours throughout the day.
Is SPF skincare suitable for sensitive skin and other skin types?
The simple answer is yes. However, it’s important to find SPF products that are best for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use a mineral-based SPF product that includes zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because it sits on the skin’s surface and is less likely to cause negative reactions. It acts like a mirror that reflects the harmful UV rays away from your skin. According to Healthline, people with sensitive skin should avoid ingredients such as alcohol, fragrances, oxybenzone, PABA, salicylates, and cinnamates.
It’s a little different for those of you with oily skin as you will want to control the production of oil from your sebaceous glands. Water-based formulas with a matte-finish work best on oily skin. If you can find this type of SPF protection with added oil inhibiting ingredients like green tea, tea tree oil and niacinamide, then you’re on to a winner.
Finally, if you have acne or your skin is prone to breakouts, you will want to find an SPF product that doesn’t aggravate your skin. Most people with acne-prone skin find that products used for sensitive or oily skin work well for them too because mineral and water-based products are lighter and are therefore less likely to cause irritation.