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March 24, 2021

If you’re wondering whether to add an SPF to your skincare routine, the short answer is, yes! You should. This goes for all weathers, all seasons.

As with all things skincare, there are ways to integrate an SPF into your morning regime for maximum benefit. And for those of us who like to keep things simple, adding sunscreen doesn’t have to mean complicating your process.  

Why you should use sunscreen for your face

If you’re still teetering over this issue, here’s why you should wear an SPF every day:

  • It prevents sunburn.
  • It fights against premature ageing, including sunspots, wrinkles and “leathery skin”.
  • Decreases the risk of skin cancer.
  • Reduces the risk of sun-sensitive reactions which can happen when you’re using certain medications or using certain products.

It’s also worth noting that sunscreens don’t offer 100% protection against risks like this. But they do either reflect or absorb UV radiation, depending on the type of sunscreen, to prevent it from reaching the deeper layers of your skin.

That means that you still need to be cautious in the sun, even with an SPF. You should follow expert advice, such as reapplying it regularly and wearing an appropriate factor.  

Is SPF 20 enough?

Is anyone else confused over sunscreen factors? This is a common one because there is so much information flying around about SPF’s. If you’re a logical type, you might expect a factor of 30, to protect you for twice as long as a factor 15.

So, what’s the deal? According to dermatologists, factor 15 protects us from around 94% of the sun’s UVB rays. Factor 30 blocks around 97%, and SPF 45 blocks around 98% of those rays. This is why the factor issue isn’t totally straight forward.

What derms do agree on, is keeping on top of reapplying it, as highlighted above. Because no matter what factor you wear, when it’s gone, it’s gone!    

What about natural sunscreens?

Any Facetheory fan will know how we feel about botanicals and the power of natural ingredients. And there’s a lot of noise around natural sunscreens. This can be an especially attractive idea to anyone who likes to keep their skincare clean.

As far as facts go, certain ingredients can protect against some UV rays. But they don’t have a powerful UV filter. And although you can make your DIY sunscreens at home, without the skills of a chemist, you’ll be guessing the qualities of each ingredient and its efficacy.  

Using SPF with my skin type

Here’s the big takeaway here. Regardless of your skin type, you will benefit from wearing an SPF.

We know, it’s tricky if you’re balancing up certain skin concerns, like acne or oily complexions. Finding a non-comedogenic SPF or other products that target specific skin types is an option though.

This advice goes for people with black skin or skin that tans easily too. There’s a debate around what’s been called the sunscreen gap. A lot of the misinformation here comes from a lack of research and training into black skin. But the fact is that skin cancer and other risks can affect anyone. So, always say yes to sunscreen.

Do I apply SPF before or after moisturiser?

On to the practical part. If you’re sold on the idea of wearing an SPF every day (yes, you should!) you might be wondering how to easily work it into your routine.

The trouble is that advice varies around skincare steps here. Some experts say to apply it before moisturiser, some say after. Again, this doesn’t just come down to the kinds of products you’re using, but skin concern too. If you have oily or breakout-prone skin, you might not want to keep slathering on a heavy SPF every two hours during sunny days.

A good workaround is often found in products with SPF. Moisturisers with added SPF can eliminate extra steps in your skincare routine. You can find non-comedogenic versions too, to manage acne-prone skin. Just remember to reapply while you’re out to keep your sun protection topped up.

Wearing an SPF under makeup

We know this might feel like a stretch for some, but if you can keep your skincare, and that includes your makeup, light during the hotter, sweatier months, your skin will thank you.

In reality though, sometimes wearing a foundation feels like a must. And as you should wear an SPF every day (message received by now, right!), foundation-wearers need a fix that’ll take them through summer to winter.

Again, products with added SPF provide a good solution here. Especially if they’re geared to your skin type. Yes, there are non-comedogenic SPF foundations out there! This will also ease your re-application worries, as it won’t cake your skin.

References

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-366/sunscreen-topical/details#:~:text=They%20help%20to%20prevent%20sunburn,%2C%20phenothiazines%20such%20as%20chlorpromazine

https://www.webmd.com/children/sunscreen-use-correctly

https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better

https://www.healthline.com/health/black-people-need-sunscreen#_noHeaderPrefixedContent