I talk about SPF a lot! If anyone ever asks me about skincare routine and what they should be using I always say SPF. A lot of the time people look at me and say ‘yeah but it’s Winter’ and my reply is always yes even in the Winter! That’s why I have purposely chosen to post this in winter rather than waiting for the Summer when everyone is talking about sun protection and SPF!
SPF stands for sun protection factor and it is all about how much protection a product will give you from UVB and UVA. The best way to remember the difference between UVA and UVB is that UVAge and UVBurn. UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin, destroying collagen which in turn causes wrinkles as the skin loses its elasticity. If there is daylight UVA rays are present and able to penetrate into your skin, even through glass so if you sit near windows this is something to be mindful of. You cannot feel UVA rays penetrating your skin so this is the danger. UVA rays are also a huge concern for some types of skin cancer so generally they can be quite damaging to the skin.
With UVB rays you can feel the ‘burn’ sensation. These rays cannot penetrate through glass and are generally only present during the summer months. Although UVB rays can cause sun burn or a slight tanning to the skin these rays do not penetrate deep into the skin’s layers. Both UVA and UVB rays can reflect from water, sand and snow so really there’s no getting away! This is why it’s essential to use broad spectrum sun protection which will protect you from UVA and UVB rays. SPF protection usually only refers to UBV rays so be sure to check your skincare for broad spectrum protection.
The factor you use depends on individual choice. People with very fair complexions tend to be more sensitive to the sun so use a higher factor which is necessary and fine to do all year round. With this said, a lot of people who have darker skin tones seem to think they do not need sun protection or a high factor but this is not true. Darker skin tones are prone to pigmentation of the skin and dark marks, when exposed to sunlight without any sun protection this is only going to get worse. So actually it is just as important to use a high factor all year round for darker skin tones. I have had so many friends who have asked me what they should do about pigmentation and darks marks on their faces when I ask if they use SPF everyday obviously the answer is no because we live in England, or it’s winter or it makes their face greasy (I’m coming to this soon) or they didn’t think they needed it. Once I have literally begged them to use broad spectrum SPF for just a month to see how it goes they have all come back saying how much their pigmentation has improved and even if they get blemishes the dark marks left behind disappear rapidly. This is because the skin is generally is much better condition from using SPF. I use factor 50 everyday, even in the winter.
In the past SPF creams have been quite greasy or leave a white tint on your face. However sun protection is now so accessible all year round and it genuinely is hard to find a good skincare brand that doesn’t have an SPF on their range. I love the La Roche Posay Anthelios and everyday I use the Dior Bronze Beautifying Protective Creme Sublime Glow SPF 50, it has a slight golden shimmer to it and it a lovely base before makeup. Layering SPF is going to do no harm but just be aware that if you SPF 20 I’m your moisturiser and SPF 20 in your primer that doesn’t mean you are then wearing SPF 40. It doesn’t work like that, you’re still wearing SPF 20. In the winter months it is ok to have SPF within your moisturisers and primers but just check that it is the broad spectrum protection you are getting.
Another problem a lot of people seem to think is that by using SPF everyday or a high factor SPF means you are not getting your Vitamin D intake. Here’s the news, what broad spectrum SPF is protecting you from is far better than what the little amount of Vitamin D you’re exposed to would do for you anyway. So protect yourself by using broad spectrum SPF everyday and for Vitamin look into supplements and nutrition instead.
Are you a fan of SPF? What creams do you use? Please comment below and let me know. Please be sure to follow me on Instagram (where most of my product review are now) and Twitter for instant updates that go beyond the blog. Also be sure to subscribe to the blog here, so you are the first to know about new posts ♥