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Lion/ne is a skincare service that is totally unbiased when it comes to bespoke recommendations for your skin. This month, they’re here to answer the most frequently asked questions on SPF and why layering it on factor 50 really is the right move to make this summer.
1. Do I really need to wear SPF daily?
YES. Even when you don’t think you are directly exposed to UV light, you are still susceptible to damaging UVA rays. Although this might not burn the skin, it causes free radical damage that leads to premature ageing. These rays can even penetrate windows! SPF can still benefit you by providing a barrier on the skin against pollution (we are looking at you TFL). So even if you only leave your house when it’s dark and work in an office with no windows, SPF will still protect your skin. Not to mention, it also guards us against skin cancer. There really is no reason to exclude this from your daily regime.
2. What does the labelling on sun protection products mean?
SPF actually refers to the length of time the sun protection will last, which is measured based on UVB rays. Just SPF on the label is not enough. It should contain both UVA and UVB protection. You can look for key words like ‘broad spectrum’ as a basic guide. Then there’s PA, which you may also see on labels. This indicates the level of protection against UVA rays in a product. Always look for a minimum of SPF 30 and a PA+++ rating.
3. How do I know that my SPF is environmentally friendly?
Did you know that between 1,000 -6,000 tons of sunscreen is released in our oceans each year? Not only do the chemicals in the product cause an imbalance in the marine ecosystem, they are also a major factor in the deterioration of coral reefs.
The reason lies in oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are both commonly used in beauty products. They are also very harmful chemicals for the ocean. One drop of oxybenzone can contaminate 15,000,000 litres of water, which is equivalent to six Olympic sized swimming pools. Beauty products containing this ingredient have already been banned in Hawaii, Key West in Florida, some places in Mexico, in the Philippines and Palau.
Look for mineral-based SPF with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Opt for SPF lotions and creams instead of sprays – sprays are more likely to stick to the sand than to your skin. If there are sea turtles where you’re vacationing, this is where they lay their eggs and the chemicals can impact the hatching process. Brands that we recommend for eco-friendly sun protection are COOLA, REN, and Organii.
4. Which SPF is best for my skin type?
Because SPF is something that you really should wear daily, it is important to use one that’s right for your skin type. For dry skin, look for a thicker, creamy texture. Oily skin is a tricky one because you want to make sure that you’re not clogging your pores or causing congestion on the skin. Look for a SPF gel, primer or mousse that contains UVA and UVB protection. Combo skin can also be challenging to shop for, but generally we recommend SPFs that have more of a mousse-like texture as it’ll eliminate that T-zone shine. Those with sensitive skin should look for formulas that are fragrance free. We also suggest going for an even higher factor than the minimum 30. Here are some examples of SPF based on skin type:
Want to know your skin health and get a personalised product report? Visit Lion/ne London’s website.