Expert Guide to Facial SPF
First things first, do we really have to wear SPF every day?
In a word: yes. We have to make sure we protect ourselves not only from episodic sun exposure on holiday, but also from daily low-level exposure. We advice all our clients to wear broad-spectrum SPF all year round. Remember that UVA, the ‘ageing’ part of sunlight, does not fluctuate as much throughout the seasons as the ‘burning’ UVB does, so although you may not see the warning signs of burned skin, you could still be experiencing damage.
As much as 90% of skin ageing is caused by UV exposure, and penetrating UVA rays are present all year-round. They even travel through glass, so wearing SPF should be the first anti-ageing step anyone takes.
And when it’s not sunny?
YES! Both lower-level incidental sun exposure (e.g. walking to work or going shopping) and episodically stronger sun exposure (e.g. sunbathing) contribute to skin damage, including premature ageing and increased risk of skin cancer. Additionally, UVA light can penetrate clouds, so even if you can’t feel the sun, this radiation could still be causing damage.
What is the minimum SPF we should be using?
Nothing less than 30 on your face. This is because we don’t tend to reach the factor stated on packaging – firstly because we don’t generally apply enough product and, secondly, because we don’t usually re-apply every two hours as recommended.
Do moisturisers with SPF in them count?
Absolutely – but only if the moisturiser you’re using has an SPF of 30-50. Many daily moisturisers only have a measly 15, which in our professional opinion is simply not high enough. We recommend flipping this idea and seeking out a moisturising sunscreen instead.
What about foundations or BB creams with added SPF?
The problem is that their primary purpose drives application in a specific way: most women tend to apply much less than the desired amount needed to offer proper sun protection.
At what stage of your skincare routine should you apply SPF?
Your sun protection product should always go on last (just before your foundation, if you wear any).
SPFs often feel greasy and lead to breakouts – how can we prevent this?
Many sun protection products unfortunately can block pores, leading to spots. However, the good news is there are many excellent new products on the market, which sink into the skin quickly and do not leave a greasy feeling behind. As long as you select a suitable product, then anyone prone to breakouts can still use SPF daily. Anyone who suffers from acne or spots should look for a very light, oil-free formula.