Summer is almost at its peak and the great outdoors beckons to us over the festive season. With this in mind, it would do us well to be reminded of the essentials of sunscreen. Our skin accounts for a massive 16% of our body weight and is the largest organ in our body. So it’s important to treat it with the care it deserves. In order to do that, a good sunblock is absolutely mandatory… even on the cloudiest day.
Facts to factor in
Most of us are aware of the fact that direct exposure to UV rays is harmful and can lead to extensive sun damage and potential skin cancer. However, many of us aren’t 100% sure what the SPF label on a sunscreen is all about.
“SPF” stands for Sun Protection Factor. In short, it tells you how many times longer it would take for your skin to burn if you used sunscreen. This means, if you apply an SPF 30 sunscreen, it will take 30 times longer for your skin to redden than if you didn’t use one at all.
Lessening your exposure
According to the experts, if you’re going to be exposed to the sun for any amount of time, you should use an SPF 15 sunscreen at the very least. However, the higher the factor, the less “extra” protection it offers. To explain:
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB (dangerous) rays.
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays.
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.
So using anything above a factor 50 makes barely any difference to those percentages at all. And, in truth, most dermatologists are happy to recommend an SPF 30.
Applying the rules
Whether you have a fair skin or a dark one, tan easily or don’t, sunscreen should always be applied if you’re going outdoors. Here are some guidelines on how to use it optimally:
- If you know you’re going to be in the sun for over half an hour, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. This should include lips, ears, the back of your hands and most especially your face. Do this at least 20 minutes before you go out.
- While you’re outdoors, reapply your sunscreen every hour if you’re perspiring heavily, or every three hours if you’re not.
- Make sure that you use a generous amount and don’t rub it in too much. It needs to form a fairly thick layer on your skin.
- Although many makeup brands do contain an SPF, it’s advisable to still apply sunscreen before you put on your foundation.
Maintaining your glow
Aside from the obvious, sunscreen also protects your skin from premature aging. It also keeps your skin healthy, glowing and prevents an uneven skin tone. In our opinion, it should be a fundamental part of your daily beauty routine which is why, at Cosmetology, we highly recommend Nimue Sun C SPF40, a lightweight, moisturising sunscreen that prevents visible signs of photo-aging.