If you've been following me on social media for while, you'll know how important it is to wear an SPF everyday. Not just summer or sunny days. All seasons, all the days, unless you plan to sit inside, in the dark, with no phone or tablet, because as we now know, blue light from our devices can cause photo ageing and weaken our lipid barrier, so we need protection from that too. Just wrap us up in cotton wool!!
Chemical and Physical
Chemical sunscreens have ingredients in them such as; oxybenzone and avobenzone, which are types of chemical SPFs. They work by absorbing the suns rays, changing them into heat which is then released by the skin. They need to be applied to the skin 20 minutes before sun exposure as it takes this time to start working in the skin.
Physical sunscreens use the ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are also known as mineral sunscreens. The work by reflecting the rays off the skin so they don't enter the skin at all. Originally, these types of SPFs were known to leave a white veil over the skin but with today's fabulous research and technology the particles can be micronised meaning they're made much smaller, so no white veil!
I am not pro natural over chemical, I believe in chemicals and I believe there are lots of great products born under both the natural and chemical title. However, I do think it's important to note that chemicals are in almost everything. Skincare, makeup, shampoo, food and are even found naturally occurring in the skin and body. So, it's a personal choice as to which type you choose. There is no one size fits all, how boring would that be!!
Some tips for choosing ->
Alot of SPFs leave a slight oily finish on the skin, which is fine if you're lipid dry but if you're oily (like moi) then look for words like "matte" or "mattifying". Such as Image Daily Matte Moisturiser 32+, La Roche Posy Anthelios Anti Shine SPF 50, Ziaja Med 50+ Matifying CreamThese will absorb quickly and leave no residue on the skin and are your best bet for under makeup.
Look for SPFs that have antioxidants in them as these help with oxidative stress and free radical damage, the no.1 depletor of collagen and elastin. Examples are; Heliocare, the entire range boosts of it's powerful antioxidant power, NeoStrata's Sheer Physical Protector Spf 50 has potent antioxidants and has a slight tint to help even out skintone.
Always wear broad spectrum SPF. This will protect you from UVA, these rays penetrate deep in the dermis causing premature ageing and have been linked to cancer. UVB, the one that burns, causing pigmentation an is directly linked to melanoma and basal carcinoma. It will also protect against blue light (HEV) which is emitted from our phones and tablets and like we already said earlier, is linked to premature ageing and weakening of the lipid barrier.
Spotting a broad spectrum SPF can be confusing, there is few different ways it's represented. It will either say "broad" or "full spectrum" on the packaging, have a star rating out of 5 (look for at least 4) or it will say UVA with a circle around it. Don't ask me why they can't just pick one!
SPF in foundation is not enough unless it says broad spectrum so you'll need SPF underneath, however there are alot more mineral foundations out there now that have have UVA protection, it's just a matter of finding your fave. Jane Iredale's Glow Time full coverage BB cream is Spf 25 and is broad spectrum. BareMineral's original loose powder mineral foundation is also broad spectrum with an Spf of 15.
When choosing how high of an SPF you need I always recommend at least SPF 30 star rate 4. Especially from from May - Sept, but alot of brand advocate 25 as high enough and some even 15 so the choice is again yours, just make sure you wear it. Something is better than not wearing any at all.
These are just some tips to help you chose, like I say it's not one size fits all, what suits Joe might not suit Sam so try them out. Ask questions when buying and ask for samples when you can.
How to apply
Apply your SPF after your serums. You can use SPF in pace of your moisturiser (you'll need one for time of course, unless you plan on being on your phone all night, which you shouldn't). If you find you have lipid barrier damage or suffer with acne or rosacea or just like the feel of a moisturiser then include this before your SPF. I know in the mornings time is precious, believe me I am not a morning person and have 2 kiddies who love to rise with the birds, but leaving time between serums - SPF - makeup, will give you better results, if not then getting them on is still a success, so go you!
SPF needs to be applied to the whole face, ears, neck and decolloté (fancy for upper chest). The Irish Cancer Society recommends just over half a teaspoon amount for this area alone. Not applying enough won't give you adequate protection.
Reapplication is the only way to keep up protection, again the ICS recommend every 2 hours, but how do I do this when I'm already wearing makeup I hear you cry?? Well these days there is literally everything on the market (except a money tree, am I right?). La Roche Posay and Image both have SPF 50 spray, Brush on Block and Peter Thomas Roth both have brush on mineral block SPF and Avene have an SPF 50 tinted compact. There is something to get you through, I promise.
So, there you have it. This should give you some idea of which Spf you might like to try. It can be trial and error at times but just make sure you are wearing sun protection everyday and you can't go far wrong.
When it comes to matters of the skin, my 360 skin health consultation will give one to one information and advice that is tailored to suit you.
My blog is a place where I can share my knowledge and opinions of all aspects of the beauty industry. Feel free to have a gander and let me know if there is something you'd like me to cover.