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June 26, 2023
Hey, LUCY Lovers!
We’re familiar with slathering on the sun cream in the height of summer or when we’re heading to the beach, but did you know you should actually wear SPF every single day?
Yep, even when it’s torrential rain and freezing cold outside, you should still be applying your SPF religiously.
SPF has developed in leaps and bounds in recent years, so there’s a skin-friendly formula for every kind of skin type. Check out our reasons why SPF will be your new best friend and you’ll be adding it to your haul straight away.
SPF is sun protection for your face, neck, and chest. It protects your skin against harmful sun rays that can lead to pigmentation, sunburn, premature aging, and in extreme cases, cancer.
There are two types of SPF: chemical and mineral, also known as physical SPF.
Chemical SPFs contain ingredients that absorb the UV rays from the sun before it causes damage to your skin. Mineral SPFs contain ingredients such as zinc oxide that act as a physical shield, preventing UV rays from penetrating the skin in the first place.
Finding the right SPF for you depends on multiple factors.
Mineral SPFs used to have a bad reputation because they were typically thick, heavy, and with a strong white cast that made them difficult to wear on their own.
However, mineral SPFs have come a long way, and if you’ve got sensitive skin, they’re going to become your best friend pretty quickly!
Like a more lightweight formula? Chemical SPFs can be a little irritating for sensitive and acne-prone skin, but they’re fantastic for any other skin type.
Beyond the two obvious categories, you can buy SPF in multiple forms: serum, spray, lotion, gel – there’s a formula for every skin type!
As for how high you should get your SPF, we always say: the higher the better, especially for Maltese summertime.
It’s a lot more than you think!
Ideally, you should be applying about a teaspoon’s worth of sunscreen, or about the length of one line of sunscreen on three fingers. Make sure that you don’t miss out on covering your eyes, lips, neck, and chest as well, and if you can, reapply every two hours. We recommend splurging on a spray formula that you can just spritz on when you’re out and about.
Here’s a few more reasons why you should invest in a good SPF as part of your normal makeup routine.
When looking for an SPF, the best formulas to go for are broad-spectrum SPFs — these are the ones that protect against both UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and skin cancer, whereas UVA rays cause premature aging. As well as decreasing the risk of sunburn and premature aging, wearing SPF decreases your risk of developing skin cancer. Although it may sound scary, it’s the reality, and wearing SPF massively reduces the risk of developing melanomas.
As already mentioned, UVA rays from the sun can damage the skin and make it more prone to the signs of aging. All that hard work you’re doing with retinol and the rest of your skincare routine? You’re basically undoing it all if you don’t wear SPF during the day. SPF has been scientifically proven to reduce the early onset of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, so it actually goes hand in hand with the skincare routine you’ve spent so long putting together!
Chances are you already own some products with SPF, like a foundation or a moisturiser. They’ve been around for quite some time, and usually they’ll have a little label on them that says they contain anywhere up to 15 SPF. They’re not bad products, but mixing SPF in with anything else reduces the protection factor significantly and ideally you should be using SPF 30 or higher to really protect your skin.
A lot of the best SPFs can be used in place of a moisturiser in your morning routine if you have oilier skin, though we’d recommend putting it on over a hydrating moisturiser if you’re drier-skinned.
SPFs are packed with an array of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to soften and care for the skin as it protects you from the sun, so while it’s working hard to prevent long-lasting damage from UVA and UVB rays, the antioxidants inside are also helping to fight off the free radicals and environmental aggressors that you can get exposed to on a daily basis.
If you’re a regular user of AHAs, BHAs, and retinols, then SPF is vital for your routine to continue boosting skin health.
The way AHAs and BHAs work is that they exfoliate the skin, removing all dead skin cells from the surface and revealing a fresh layer of skin, meaning that it’s even more prone to damage from the sun. In the same way, retinol also makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight. This means that, although you are looking after your skin with regular exfoliation and the benefits of retinol, it’s all wasted if you don’t then wear an SPF during the day.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by acne, melanin build-up, and sun damage, which often show as purple, red, or dark marks on the skin. Sun damage can cause pigmentation and make it much worse, so if you’re looking to fade or treat your hyperpigmentation, then SPF is even more of a must. Your skin reacts to damage from the sun by producing more melanin, which in turn causes pigmentation, meaning skipping the SPF is counterproductive. Wearing SPF does the protecting for you, so your skin won’t have to kick into overdrive and produce the melanin that causes pigmentation.
It’s as simple as this — sun damage causes stress for the skin, and stressed-out skin isn’t healthy. While skin barrier function dependant on hydration, using the right ingredients, and not using too many aggressive formulas, protecting against UV rays also has a big part to play. Weakened skin barriers are much more likely to feel the effects of sun damage, which can lead to pigmentation and further exacerbate the problem. To nip it all in the bud, make sure you’re applying a broad-spectrum SPF every day to avoid any further damage or skin stress.
That’s about it from us LUCY lovers – but we want to hear from you! What’s your favourite SPF, and why do you like it so much? Write in below and let us know!
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