If there is one item you need more than anything else in your skincare stash, it’s an SPF. The un-sung, all-round beauty hero, this wonder product protects your skin against the damaging effects of the sun, including premature aging, pigmentation, and the increased risk of skin cancer. If you’re putting in all the hard work with retinol, vitamin C, and acids, you’re basically undoing it all by not wearing an SPF. But as with most skincare, myths about SPFs have been ingrained in us over time, that some people may now think as fact. So we’re here to separate the fact from the fiction and tell you why you need an SPF in your skincare routine.
People with darker skin tones don’t need to wear sunscreen
Not. True. Although people with darker skin do not sunburn as easily as people with lighter skin, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t exposed to the damaging effects of the sun. Melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its colour, is higher in people with darker skin, and it does have the ability to absorb UV light – but not completely. So, if you’re looking to avoid wrinkles, pigmentation, and even skin cancer, get layering that SPF on ASAP.
You only need to wear SPF when it’s sunny
Perhaps one of the most commonly believed myths is that you only need to wear SPF in summer or when the sun is out. Granted, when the sun is at its strongest you are more susceptible to UVA damage, but that doesn’t mean to say that the risk isn’t present at any other time of the year. Ultraviolet light is present all year round, so make sure that SPF is a staple in your routine 24/7/365.
SPF causes breakouts
When it comes to skin that suffers with breakouts, it’s like most things – you aren’t just going to put anything on your skin without careful consideration first, so just treat your SPF the same. Although it is true that some SPFs may irritate problematic skin, there is a whole range of SPF types for every skin concern out there. So, if you do suffer from spots, look for a lightweight, oil-free SPF that isn’t going to clog your pores.
My foundation contains SPF, so I don’t need one
Wrong, so don’t choose a foundation just because it has SPF in it, you still need a separate one. The same rule applies for moisturiser too – when combined with a foundation or moisturiser, the protection of the SPF is essentially watered down and therefore does not give you the protection you need. To fully protect your skin against the damaging rays of the sun, apply a broad-spectrum SPF as the last step in your skincare routine before your makeup.
You only need to apply SPF once a day
Unfortunately, applying SPF once in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean that your covered for the rest of the day. To be truly effective, SPF needs to be re-applied at regular intervals to keep you fully protected from harmful UVA rays. We hear you when you say that taking off your makeup and reapplying SPF may not be practical in the middle of a working day, but luckily for us there are formulas out there that can be reapplied more easily.
You can still tan while using SPF
No sunscreen can protect your skin from 100% of UV rays, so you can still get a tan (to some degree) while using SPF. However this doesn’t mean that you should. Any change in skin colour is a sign that your skin has been affected by UV (the change in colour is basically your skin’s warning system) so there really is no such thing as a healthy natural tan.
Any SPF will do
It’s the same as it is with body protection – the higher the number, the higher the protection. But it’s not all just about the SPF number on the front. You want to make sure that your SPF is a broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protectant. Ultrasun is our fave brand for covering all bases.