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.
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.
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?
It is more protecting than moisturisers/foundations with SPF in them
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 that they may have ‘contains SPF’ written on them. The only problem with this is that 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.
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.
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.