Most of us are keen users of sun protection factor when we are on the beach or lounging by a pool… but how many of us are using it day in, day out? And should we be?
We all love the sunshine… it makes us feel bright and breezy and generally puts a spring in our step! But that big raging ball of fire in the sky is not always our friend! The first sign of summer and it’s guaranteed we’ll see some pink shoulders the next day!
What’s the big deal?
- Ultraviolet A (UVA) penetrates the skin deeply, causing the skin to age and wrinkle
- Ultraviolet B (UVB) acts on the surface of the skin, causing redness and sunburn
The big one – CANCER. It’s a proven fact – UV exposure is the cause skin cancer. THIS INCLUDES SUNBEDS! We can’t tell you how often we hear people saying “I just have a couple of sunbeds to stop me burning when I’m on holiday” AGGGGH!! Using sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer by 16-20%. High SPF and a bit of shade bathing will stop you from burning on your holiday. At best, skin cancer can be disfiguring and at worst, life threatening.
Getting sunburn just once every 2 years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. Scary.
The simple facts about coverage – SPF 15 will block about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 will block about 97%, and SPF 50 will block about 98%. So, 30-50 tends to be the safe zone with only a minimal difference in protection.
Chemical sunscreen vs. Physical sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens contain carbon based compounds that absorb, convert and redistribute UV as heat.
Physical sunscreens contain reflective mineral compounds that bounce UV away from the skin surface.
Now and then we hear things about sunscreen being ‘bad’ for us… We are lucky that the regulatory bodies are particularly tough on sunscreen products manufactured in Europe and Australia, with high levels of testing and protocols as standard. All cosmetics sold in the UK are regulated by very strict European laws (specifically the EU Cosmetic Products Regulation).
Endocrine (hormone) disruption – chemical sunscreens are not proven to cause this but there is potential. The saying ‘poison is in the dosage’ comes into play – According to some studies, you would need to apply chemical SPF to the face, neck, chest and arms for 277 years everyday to have a possible effect. It is 1.5 million times less likely to have an influence on hormones than the contraceptive pill, which millions of women pop everyday without thought.
Some general guidelines…
Apply SPF about 20-30 minutes before you head out.
Apply 30ml (a good shot glass full) to the body.
Apply 5 ml to the face, neck and chest.
Reapply every 2 hours if outside.
Foundations and make up containing a measly SPF10 just aren’t up to scratch! We would never use 5 ml in one application for a start! Layering with primers and moisturisers with SPF helps to achieve a better level of protection.
Look out for ‘broard spectrum’ SPF to ensure you are fully protected.
Find a hat that really suits you! – your future face will thank you for it!!
Happy shade bathing!
Helen & Amy