When it comes to sun care safety and SPF luckily we only have to remember two letters and not 26 (there is in fact a UVC but as it doesn’t tend to break through our atmosphere so let’s discount this from our lesson).
First, a bit of science. UVA is the most dominant in the UV radiation spectrum- having a wavelength that penetrates deeper than UVB, A is for ageing and it is this type of ray that is attributed to photo-ageing (think wrinkles, sun spots and crepey skin). UVA is also the tanning ray working at a low level and is generally the type of light you get in a tanning booth. UVB rays do not penetrate the skin as deeply so are mainly the culprits of skin redness and sunburn as well as initial tanning, whilst both types have their own dangers UVB has traditionally been linked more closely to skin cancer.
We are by no means practising or preaching a full on burkini on the beach however even the secret to a perfect sun-kissed glow comes in the form of sensible SPF. Depending on your skin type you can adjust your SPF levels as long as you bear in mind those 20 minute golden rules and don’t slack on your applications or re-applications (think lashings of cream), also always remember the “mad dogs and Englishmen” saying – not a good stereotype. A chic oversized hat, very effective sunglasses and lounging under an umbrella in the midday heat will not only save your sun burn blushes but your wrinkles too.
So when it comes to sun care is it better to save or splurge? The answer is not necessarily in terms of protection, even pricey longer lasting SPF’s still need to be re-applied although they will allow you that little bit extra protection. You can also try and avoid alcohol in the formulations (often used as a stabiliser for notoriously unstable SPF). Truly anti-ageing aware sun bathers can look to the new breed of supercharged SPF’s which come with wrinkle reducing anti-oxidants and skin calming actives. Hair is also gaining support with specialised products to protect and repair straw like sun damaged locks. Zinc Oxide (the main blocking ingredient in sun tan lotions) has also evolved to keep pace with style and safety becoming more lightweight and transparent for better texture and less fear of that chalky residue.
We have put together a pinterest board of our favourite SPF’s for performance, packaging and application from beach bag essentials to facial skincare to make-up. TS
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