31 May 2020

An SPF Guide | How To Protect Your Skin

sunscreen, beauty, sun cream, fashion blogger, summer, style
Marrakech, Morocco

I will not be the first person to tell you that you need to protect your skin from the sun. The harmful UV light from the sun can not only lead to skin cancer (which should be enough to motivate you) but also ageing which includes wrinkling, sun spots and pigmentation.

While I regret lying in the sun as a schoolgirl to make my limbs more golden (as I'm sure many of us did), my obsession with SPF has been going for a good 5 years now, so I've put together a clear guide on buying SPF (as it can be very confusing!) and shared some of my favourite products.

Your SPF needs to protect from both UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning) radiation. This is sometimes known as "broad spectrum" SPF. 

UVA protection is rated either by stars (up to 5) or PA rating shown by the number of "+" (up to 4). The higher the number of stars/+, the better protection.

The level of UVB protection is indicated by sun protection factor (SPF). You should opt for at least factor 30.

I tackle my face and body separately for SPF, especially when wearing makeup. 

For face, I use Bioré UV Perfect Milk SPF50+* after my moisturiser, before applying makeup. I picked up the Bioré Perfect Milk last time I was in Japan, and I love how it sits well under makeup, isn't oily, and has good UVB & UVA protection. Before leaving, I spritz my face with Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin SPF30* which can be used over makeup. I take this in my handbag, so I can top up during the day. I love how quick and easy it is to use.

For body, I use Garnier Ambre Solaire Clear Protect SPF50*. I like a transparent protection spray as I hate white streaky marks getting on clothing, but use with caution as it is easier to miss areas when spraying clear liquid. I carefully apply a good layer of this before leaving the house, and I take it with me if I know I will be in the sun all day so I can reapply. 

Key points:
- Reapply SPF every 90 minutes when you are in the sun
- Remember to reapply after swimming - this includes water resistant SPF
- Always double cleanse when using SPF on your face
- Check the expiry date of your SPF. On UK products, you're likely to find this by checking the period-after-opening symbol which states the number of months it can be used for once opened (e.g. 12M).

biore UV perfect face milk, bioderma hydrabio eau de soin, garnier ambre solaire
            Bioré UV Perfect Face Milk*                           Bioderma Hydrabio Eau de Soin*                     Garnier Ambre Solaire Clear Protect*

Applying SPF is important to protect your skin but you should also:
- Choose shade over sun - the NHS advises to spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm in the UK
- Wear sunglasses and a hat and cover your shoulders with clothing to protect your skin in strong sun
- It goes without saying that sunbeds are dangerous and illegal to use under 18 in the UK. Read the NHS advice on this here

Refinery 29 Top Dermatologists Answer All Your Questions About Sunscreen - https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/sunscreen-spf-dermatologist-tips-faqs

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