You’re probably totally sick of people telling you that you should be wearing SPF everyday, right? The thing is, they’ve got a point – sunscreen is for life, not just for summer… It’s the only proven anti-ager in terms of keeping premature wrinkles at bay for as long as possible, and it’s also one of the surest defences against skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with 1 in 54 people diagnosed during their lifetime – but a recent study revealed that 86% of skin cancer cases could have been prevented with better skin protection.
Still consider getting a tan to be more important? The truths about sun protection often blur into myth, so here are some hard facts to inspire you to up your sunscreen game – because unless you work nights or live in a cave, UV rays are attacking your skin (literally, right now). It’s time to practice safe suncare.
1. Sunscreen shields skin from harmful UV rays
There are two types of UV (ultraviolet) rays – UVA rays which penetrate deepest and are the culprit behind premature ageing – wrinkling, sagging, pigmentation etc, and UVB rays which are responsible for mutating cells and causing sunburn. Both can contribute to skin cancer, but SPF only measures protection against UVB so it’s important to wear a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen which blocks both UVA and UVB.
2. Sunscreen prevents premature ageing
Over time, UVA rays break down the collagen and elastin in your skin (which is what keeps it tight and plump), as skin thins, it’s more likely to form lines and wrinkles, which once defined are irreversible. This makes sunscreen the only legit ‘anti-aging’ product out there.
3. Sunscreen lowers skin cancer risk
UVB rays cause skin cells to mutate (which can lead to skin cancer) – reddening skin is a sign of this mutation occurring. This is worsened by the fact that cells reproduce by replicating themselves – so as damaged cells attempt to renew themselves, they create even more mutated cells and increase the risk of serious damage.
4. UV penetrates through clouds and windows
Skin isn’t only damaged by the sun if it’s bright red/burnt to a crisp – the problem with UVA rays is that they cut through glass and cloud cover. Therefore, while the sun may be stronger in the summer months, UV light is strong all year round, so even in the winter or when you’re indoors, you get way more UV exposure than you expect.
5. UV damage is cumulative
It might not seem like a big deal when you’re in your teens and twenties, but that’s actually when the worst sun damage happens, you just won’t see the visible results until much later on. Incidental sun exposure happens on a daily basis – this adds up and over the years makes a huge difference – and there’s no regeneration period so once the damage has occurred there’s no going back.
6. Sunscreen keeps skintone even
Damaged cells don’t produce collagen, and they also cause oxidants to overproduce, which effects skin on both a deep and a superficial level. This oxidisation is the same process that occurs when fruit is left out for too long and develops brown marks – pigmentation such as freckles and dark spots, which contribute to making the overall skintone appear dull and blemished.
Looking for a non-greasy/chalky sunscreen?
A quick count around Beauty Bay HQ revealed that greasy texture and chalky appearance were the big factors in most people not wanting to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. The thing is, product manufacturers are getting savvy to this and every year sees the introduction of new, innovative products designed to protect against UV damage without feeling unpleasant.
These hi-tech sunscreens are guaranteed to take the thought out of adding protection to your routine…
This clear gel somehow manages to feel just like a weightless serum so you don’t have to bear the thick, greasy feeling of most facial sunscreens. The genius formula means you can apply it straight to your skin or use it to turn any foundation or moisturiser into a supercharged double-duty sunscreen by amping the SPF factor from 0 to 30.
Spiked with powerful antioxidants, this is designed to repair, protect (with SPF50!), and hydrate face, body, and hair – so you get full benefits on every front. And thanks to its dry oil texture, it’s superlight, totally non-greasy, and absorbs instantly – plus, it smells great. In short, it’s the perfect all-rounder to cover every base in your daily routine.
This light, soothing sunscreen mist has a barely-there texture, but works just as hard as a cream to moisturise and pack a sun-protection punch – so you get all protection without the greasiness. The hands–free spray formula makes application a complete no-brainer, and it sinks into skin in seconds, so it doesn’t look remotely obvious.