MASTERCLASS: WHY YOU NEED TO USE SPF DAILY
I get genuinely concerned when I talk to friends and family about sun protection. When they tell me that they don‘t use SPF daily, but only when they are going on vacation or to the beach for a day, I know they are not aware of the skin damage they might be exposed to. And if my friends and family don’t use SPF daily, there are probably several thousands people out there who think the same way. This is one of the reasons I wanted to launch this platform, to inform and educate you.
SO LET‘S GET RIGHT DOWN TO BUSINESS. WHAT IS SPF AND WHY DO YOU NEED TO USE SPF DAILY?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it represents the amount of sun protection you can get. Let me make an example of how this works. , If you can be directly in the sun without getting burned for approximately 10 minutes, you do a quick calculation 10x15 to get your total sun protection factor of 150 minutes, here after you would need to reapply. Standard SPF available is SPF 15, SPF 30 and SPF 50, some scientists say, that when you get above SPF 50 it doesn‘t really improve the result anymore. Rule of thumb here is, every single day wear SPF 15. When you are traveling by a plane or a car for few hours, use SPF 30. For vacation time you opt for SPF 50 every single time!
THE ULTRAVIOLET RAYS
Do you really need to use SPF when you are inside a plane or driving a car (I know that‘s what you were thinking) and the answer is yes, absolutely and here is why. SPF protects you from the harmful UV rays, and there are two different kinds, it is UVA and UVB. I like to remember those by saying that UVA is UV Ageing and UVB is UV Burning.
UVA or UV Ageing are the ultra violet rays that are so strong that they can penetrate through glass. Meaning, if you are sitting on a plane for 3 hours in a window seat (and here you are closer to the UV rays than when you are on the ground) you need to protect your skin. If you are commuting to work for more than 10 minutes, you need to apply a good amount of SPF (as I mention above, SPF 30 should do) as the UVA rays will penetrate through the glass and into your skin. UVA rays penetrate through your skin and breaks down collagen and elastin, which are the two key elements in our skin to make us look young and healthy. (not to mention we loose about 1% of collagen and elastin every year after we turn 20) so we certainly don’t need any help here. This is why I like to call it the Ageing UV rays as they will affect the look of your skin, and make you age faster.
UVB or UV Burning or the ultra violet rays that can burn your skin. So when your skin gets red after being exposed to the sun, that‘s due to the UV B rays. We’ve all heard that the sun can be bad for you, as it can cause cancer, but let me inform you that the sun can actually be good for you, as long as you protect yourself. It is actually recommended to get your daily dosage of vitamin D by being in the sun for 10 minutes a day. Your skin only burns if the skin cells are affected by the UVB rays, and you can only get skin cancer due to the sun if your skin cells get burned. (Sure there are other reasons you can get skin cancer, but I’m only referring to the skin cancer thats most often caused by the sun and the UV rays) What happens when your get red or burned is that your are damaging your skin cells. (I’m not going to go all scientific here, but will try to explain it in an easy to understand way, so bare with me) The skin cells like to work two in two, they need their partner, their dancing partner you can say. And when you get red or burned, you have taken their dancing partner away, so the skin cell is alone, looking for a new partner (which thankfully, most often they find) but when they don’t they get mad, and start freestyling. That‘s when they get up to no good, and thats when the skin cell can turn cancerous. So if you think about it, it‘s completely okay to soak up the sun, as long as you wear SPF and make sure you don’t get burned.
It sounds so obvious but even I find myself forgetting sometimes the tremendous damage the UV rays can have on our skin. But if there is one beauty advice you will get from any expert, it will always be the same. Start wearing SPF.
Application is a nightmare, I know. And I get that many of us hate the way our skin feels after applying sun factor, as most of the times it’s sticky, and our skin is shiny - not in the glowing kind of way. But today, there are actually plenty of good options on suncare. Many companies are aware of the importance of sun protection and the difficulties of applying, so they have started to develop amazing sunscreens that feel so light on your skin while still providing you with all the benefits you need.
Many skincare brands have also started to include SPF in their creams and foundation (even though I prefer to have it separately, but that is a topic for a whole article on its own). So look around and try different ones, I’ll list some of my favourites below, but start wearing sunscreen. And please also remember the rest of the family and not just yourself. It is scientifically documented that the sun exposure we get as kids and in young adulthood is what makes the most damage to our skin, but it only shows up years later. So those pigment spots on your face that came out of nowhere, well think again, they came because you didn’t wear SPF as a child. Many articles today are mentioning the importance of using sunscreen every day and this is resonating with all of us. If I look at my friends, we are parenting completely different than our parents were, and we almost all rub SPF 50+ on our kids face before we take them to daycare. This just wasn’t the norm back in the days, which is also the reason why there was a big increase in the beauty industry revenue when baby boomers all of the sudden realised they needed anti-aging skincare to turn back the clock on the damage that had already been done.
Anyways, hope you learned a thing or two, and that this article will make you think twice before leaving the house without applying a SPF.