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It’s a common misconception that SPF only needs to be applied to the face when going out into the sun or when you’re on holiday.
In fact, you should actually apply your SPF on your face every single day regardless of the weather to combat premature photo-ageing even when you’re not going outside and even in winter. It’s really important to ensure that you use an SPF with UVA and UVB protection.
What Do the Numbers on Spf Mean?
SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and the numbers following (for example SPF30 or SPF50) refer to how well the product will protect your skin against sunburn.
A simple formula is used to calculate the SPF number – the number of seconds that it takes a patch of skin to slightly redden when covered in sunscreen divided by the number of seconds it takes to slightly redden with no sunscreen.
There are two basic types of UV rays; UVA and UVB.
UVA rays generally penetrate more deeply into the skin and are responsible for damaging elements within the skin such as collagen and elastin. This can lead to free radical damage, pigmentation and premature ageing.
UVA rays can penetrate through glass too. UVB rays affect the more superficial layers of skin and are responsible for sunburn. Both UV rays can contribute and have a major part to play in the formation of skin cancers.
With more and more jobs being computer-based and us spending an increasing amount of time on our phones, it’s also really important to use a product with Blue Light (HEV) protection.
There is now increasing data to show that Blue Light (the light that is emitted from your digital devices like your phone, laptop or tv) has been shown to contribute to premature skin ageing. Some research suggests that Blue Light can be more damaging than UVA and UVB as it can penetrate all the way down into our dermis (where our collagen and elastin live).
So, What Should I Be Looking For?
ideally, you need to look for a product that is broad spectrum, meaning that it’ll protect you from UVA and UVB. It is also worth looking for a product that specifically blocks Blue Light. Zinc and Titanium based SPFs are generally favourable for blocking Blue Light, but not all of it.
I personally advise using an SPF50 – some of my favourite brands are ZO, SkinTech Melablock, Heliocare and Neostrata SPF50+.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can also ensure that the ‘night mode’ or ‘night shift’ setting on your phone is activated which takes the blue hue out of your screen and makes it a more yellow tone.
This is not only beneficial for your skin, but also ensures reduces the impact of blue light on the eyes. This can reduce eye strain and allows the brain to relax and prepare for sleep.
I cannot recommend the daily use of SPF enough – prevention is always easier than cure!
Anna Kremerov is an award-winning nurse practitioner known for aesthetic medicine and non-surgical procedures. Founder and medical director of the Anna Medical Aesthetics clinic in Swindon – she has earned an impeccable reputation with industry-leading 100% 5-star Google and Trustpilot excellent reviews.
Call Anna Medical Aesthetics on 01793 959 010 or visit her website Anna Medical Aesthetics.
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