We all know we should be using Sunscreen every day all year round, especially living in Australia, yet still, people forgo this in their morning routines. Gone are the days of spending long hot summers outside covered in baby oil for that glowing tan. Today is the time of the SPF 50+, long-sleeved one-piece, wide-brimmed hats, and UPF 50 clothing (sun protective clothing for those that don't know).
I will be the first person to admit I never use to wear Sunscreen; I have light olive skin so I got away without burning most of the time and I prioritized tanning over skin health. However, once I entered my late 20's, had family members diagnosed with skin cancers and having two children, I realized I was constantly noticing more and more pigmentation showing up on my skin after being outdoors and the reality of where I was headed begun to scare me. I found I was spending so much money on trying to reverse the sun damage however it was appearing quicker than I could cure it. Fast forward to 2016 and I became a religious Sunscreen wearer, vowing to include it on my face every day and preaching the message to everyone who will listen.
Australians alone spend millions of dollars annually on skincare to fight the signs of aging and reverse sun damage on their faces, yet still, so many people don't include a broad-spectrum Sunscreen into their daily routine. Many people also rely on inadequate SPF in products like makeup or simply don't understand how sunscreen works in the first place. Sunscreen isn't a hard product to incorporate daily just like you would use a moisturiser, however, we need to understand what exactly SPF is and how we can make it work for us to ensure our skin is protected.
Our Vela Days Active Compound contains encapsulated retinol which is an ingredient which can cause your skin to become more sun sensitive, therefore, it’s a imperative to wear Sunscreen every day to both protect your skin and enhance the benefits of an active skincare routine.
So, what exactly does SPF mean and what does it do?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF of a product measures the level of UVB protection a product will give, this provides you with a length of time that your skin is protected from being burnt. For example, if your skin naturally burns after 10 minutes in the sun without any sunscreen, once you apply an SPF 30 sunscreen you will be protected for 30 x 10 minutes (or 300 minutes) before your skin will burn again. However, this doesn't take into account if you sweat, swim, exercise or alter the SPF on your skin in any way which is why its recommended you reapply every 2 hours if you're outdoors.
No sunscreen blocks 100% of UVB rays, however, the below SPF's which you see in skincare will cover:
- SPF 15 will filter out approximately 93% of the UVB rays
- SPF 30 keeps out about 97% of the UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks out around 98% of the UVB rays
The differences might be small, however with continual exposure every day all day, even on cloudy days or inside, the small percentage adds up.
Why we should be applying Sunscreen daily?
Aside from protecting against skin cancer, which should be everyone’s main reason for wearing sunscreen, if you're going to be spending any time, money and effort on skincare it's going to be far less effective if you're not using a sunscreen.
The majority of the symptoms we are trying to treat with skincare are damage we receive from the sun such as fine lines, pigmentation, and loss of elastin. By using a sunscreen, you are also allowing your skin time to repair itself during the day from damage that previously occurred. Preventing damage is far easier than treating!
While UVB rays cause visible skin damage we also need to protect against UVA rays which can penetrate windows and glass. This is why we need to be using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA.
The different types of sunscreens
There are two different types of sunscreens, physical and chemical, both are great effective forms of sun protection.
Chemical sunscreens use specific chemicals to absorb the UV rays. They are often lighter and more easily applied than physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens need to be fully absorbed into your skin before they can work so you will need to apply these at least 20 minutes before you go into the sun. These can often be good for people with oily or acne-prone skin as they are lighter and don't clog your pores.
Mineral sunscreens, or physical sunscreens, often contain a type of zinc or titanium dioxide, which works to reflect (and also absorb) the UV radiation like a physical screen. Mineral sunscreens can sometimes be less reactive for those with sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens work more quicker after you apply them than chemical sunscreens as they create a physical barrier however still need time to absorb.
Why we can't rely on SPF in our makeup?
While it's great that some of your makeup might contain sunscreen, you cannot rely on these to adequately protect you. This is because generally, we apply less makeup to our face than would be needed to provide adequate SPF coverage than if we apply a sunscreen product separately. Makeup also doesn't usually protect against UVA rays so you are missing a large part of the coverage.
How should we be applying sunscreen?
Adding a sunscreen into your skincare routine is easy and will become second nature after a little while. Your sunscreen should be applied as the final step in your skincare regime before you begin applying makeup. If you are using a facial sunscreen which is also combined with moisturising ingredients then you can replace your moisturiser in the day with your sunscreen. It's important to wait until your sunscreen is completely absorbed and dry before you begin to apply your makeup, usually around 60 seconds is adequate.
If you are staying indoors in an office all day then you should be ok to just apply your Sunscreen once in the morning. However, if you are going to be outside during the day for a lunch break or are doing any exercise, swimming or sweaty activity then your Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours.
Which Sunscreens products are best?
There are so many great sunscreen products out on the market today which work wonderfully on top of all your skincare and under makeup without causing pilling or any white cast. Below are a few fantastic options for your face and body:
- Ultra Violette Supreme Screen. SPF 50 – A moisturising and hydrating hard working Sunscreen perfect for everyday.
- Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face. SPF 50 – An easy-to-use everyday sunscreen at a great price.
- SPF50+ Collagen Glow 100% mineral perfecting priming lotion - Great for sensitive and acne-prone skin types or those looking for a quality physical sunscreen.
- Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF 50 - A great mineral sunscreen that won't clog pores.
Remember the best Sunscreen is one you actually use, so pick one that works best for your skin and put it front and centre in your routine every day!