7 Reasons Why You Should Use SPF Every Day

SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) is arguably the most important product in your beauty regime. We’re familiar with slathering on the sun cream in the height of summer or when we’re heading to the beach, but we should actually be wearing SPF every. Single. Day. Yep, even when it’s torrential rain and the depths of winter outside, you should still be applying your SPF religiously (just make sure not to use it at night).

SPF has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with so many different skin friendly formulas available for all types of skin. Check out our reasons why SPF will be your new best friend and you’ll be adding it to your haul straight away.

What Is SPF?

Let’s start with the basics — what is SPF? In the beauty sense, SPF refers to sun protection for your face, neck, and chest. It protects your skin against harmful sun rays that can lead to pigmentation, sunburn, premature aging, and in extreme cases, cancer.

There are two types of SPF — chemical and mineral (also known as physical). Chemical SPFs contain ingredients that absorb the UV rays from the sun before it causes damage to your skin. Mineral SPFs contain ingredients such as zinc oxide that act as a physical shield, preventing UV rays from penetrating the skin in the first place.

Which SPF Is Right For Me?

Finding the right SPF for you depends on multiple factors. Mineral SPFs used to have a bad rep, particularly as they tended to be thick, heavy, and have a strong white cast. But these days, mineral SPFs are so much better and are typically favoured by those with sensitive skin types. Chemical SPFs are also a good option, particularly if you like lightweight formulas. However, they have been known to irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin types.

Beyond the two obvious categories, there are a whole host of options available. From serums to sprays and lotions to gels, there’s a formula for every skin type, texture, and concern, depending on what you’re looking for.

In terms of the SPF factor, we’ll always say the higher the better, particularly during the height of summer.

How Much SPF Should I Use?

It’s a lot more than you think. Ideally, you should be applying the length of three fingers. Make sure to cover your eyes, lips, neck, and chest too. Ideally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. While this might not always be achievable, try and stick as closely to the guidelines as possible. A top tip? Bag yourself a spray formula that can be reapplied over makeup for maximum protection.

Now you’re well-versed in the ins and outs, let’s dive into the reasons why you should use SPF every day.

1. It Protects Against Harmful UVA & UVB Rays

When looking for an SPF, the best formulas to go for are broad-spectrum SPFs — these are the ones that protect against both the UVA and UVB rays that come from the sun. UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and skin cancer, whereas UVA rays cause premature aging. As well as decreasing the risk of sunburn and premature aging, wearing an SPF decreases your risk of developing skin cancer. Although it may sound scary, it’s the reality, and wearing an SPF massively reduces your melanoma risk and any damage to your body that may come with it.

2. It Reduces Signs Of Aging

As already mentioned, UVA rays from the sun can damage the skin and make it more prone to the signs of aging. All that hard work you’re doing with retinol and the rest of your skincare routine? You’re basically undoing it all if you don’t wear an SPF during the day. SPF has been scientifically proven to reduce the early onset of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, so why wouldn’t you want to add it to your routine?

3. It's More Protecting Than Moisturisers/Foundations With SPF

Foundations and moisturisers with an SPF content in them have been around for quite a while — you’ll notice on the label of some of your favourite foundations may have ‘contains SPF’ written on them. The only problem with this is the SPF content is watered down by the rest of the product, meaning it’s a lot less effective and provides nowhere near as much protection as you need. Plus, the maximum protection they offer is usually about SPF 15, when ideally you should be using SPF 30 or higher to really protect your skin.

4. It Usually Contains Antioxidants

A lot of the best SPFs can be used in place of a moisturiser in your morning routine if you have oilier skin (if your skin is more dry, you may want to double-up with a moisturiser) as they are already suspended in a moisturising base. SPFs are packed with an array of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to soften and care for the skin as it protects. So whilst your SPF is working hard to protect against UVA and UVB rays, the antioxidants inside are also helping to defend against the free radicals and environmental aggressors that we are all exposed to on a daily basis.

5. It Protects Your Skin When You're Using Acids

If you’re a regular user of AHAs, BHAs, and retinols, then (and I can’t stress this enough) you need an SPF in your routine. AHAs and BHAs exfoliate the skin, removing all dead skin cells from the surface and revealing a fresh layer of skin, meaning that it’s even more prone to damage from the sun. In the same way, retinol also makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. This means that although you are looking after your skin with regular exfoliation and the benefits of retinol, it’s all wasted if you don’t then wear an SPF during the day. 

6. It Shields Against Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by acne, melanin build-up, and sun damage, which often show as purple, red, or darker marks on the skin. Sun damage can cause pigmentation and make it much worse, so if you’re looking to fade or treat your hyperpigmentation, then SPF is even more of a must. Your skin reacts to damage from the sun by producing more melanin, which in turn causes pigmentation, meaning skipping the SPF is counterproductive. By wearing SPF, it does the protecting for you, so you’re skin won’t have to kick into overdrive and produce the melanin that causes pigmentation.

7. It Strengthens Your Skin Barrier

It’s as simple as this — sun damage causes stress for the skin, and stressed-out skin isn’t healthy. While skin barrier function is made up of multiple different factors, such as hydration, using the right ingredients, and not using too many aggressive formulas, protecting against UV rays has a big part to play. On top of that, weakened skin barriers are much more likely to feel the effects of sun damage, which can lead to pigmentation and further exacerbate the problem. To nip it all in the bud, make sure you’re applying a broad-spectrum SPF every day to avoid any further damage or skin stress.

Check out our favourite SPFs