… and more important than a tan too! Only in recent years as science has developed that we’ve seen the shocking statistics to link unprotected sunbathing with skin cancer. According to the Cancer Research UK page, “an estimated 86% of melanomas in the UK (around 11,500 cases) every year are linked to too much exposure to sunlight and sunbed use.”
Let’s start with the basics about SPF:
SPF is the sun protection factor which determines the ability to deflect sunlight rays from your skin, SPF15 deflects 93% of rays, SPF30 deflects 97% of rays and SPF50 deflects 99% rays. The main two sunlight rays you need to know are UVA (long waves that can reach the dermis layer and thickest part of your skin) and UVB (short waves that cause damage to the top layer of your skin) ensuring you’re protected with a good SPF and including UVA and UVB protection is key.
We recommend applying SPF throughout the year, even when it’s cloudy as the sun’s rays can still penetrate the skin. Opt for a facial SPF which you can wear throughout the year, then add a body SPF for the summer months when your skin is exposed to direct sunlight.
So why is all of this so important? What does sun damage actually do to our skin?
As well as increasing your chances of skin cancer, unprotected sun bathing also increases the ageing process. As UVA waves penetrate the dermis layer of your skin, this accelerates the breaking down of elastic fibres in your skin that keep it upright and smooth. Areas particularly prone to this are around the eyes, as this is the thinnest layer of skin on your face. Accelerated ageing is a long-term affect of sunlight exposure, so it’s best to start now and prevent faster ageing than curing it later on!