The Importance Of Daily Sunscreen
Wearing SPF every day – rain or shine – is one of the best ways to protect your skin and keep it healthy. We explain why, and showcase a selection of our sunscreen best-sellers.
Sunscreen Isn't Just For Hot Summer Holidays
We should all be wearing SPF every day – winter or summer – whatever the weather. That’s because UV (ultraviolet) radiation is present every day, and over-exposure to the sun can cause all sorts of serious damage to your skin, from premature ageing to different forms of skin cancer. National Sun Awareness Week (3rd-9th May), led by the British Association of Dermatologists, aims to highlight the dangers associated with excess sun exposure, and share skin cancer prevention and detection advice.
Skin Cancer: An Overview
According to the British Skin Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK – and rates continue to rise. At least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed every year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year in the UK. That’s seven people every single day. While most of us enjoy basking in the sun, and tend to feel more confident/attractive with a bit of a tan, the facts are clear. Overexposure to UV radiation in sunlight causes damage to your skin, which in turn increases the risk of skin cancer.
While all types of skin are susceptible to sun damage, the risk is higher if you’re naturally paler. Having a tan doesn’t increase protection – and you should never let your skin burn, whatever your skin type or colour. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body. The most common sign is the appearance of a new mole, or a change in an existing mole. Non-melanoma skin cancer refers to a group of cancers that develop slowly in the upper layers of the skin. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun plays a major role in the development of both these types of skin cancer. Wearing an effective sunscreen, every day throughout the year, is a key way to help protect your skin.
There’s more bad news. The sun prematurely ages your skin. Photoageing (also known as sun damage, solar damage or photo damage) is caused by repeated exposure to UV radiation. It’s different from chronological (intrinsic) ageing, which is down to time and genetics. Up to 90% of premature skin ageing is caused by sun exposure: think lines, wrinkles, sagging, dullness, dryness, redness and pigmentation. The good news is that you can limit this by using a daily sunscreen – and staying well away from sunbeds!
Which Sunscreen To Choose?
How to choose the right sunscreen for your skin isn’t always straightforward, especially with so much choice available. A broad spectrum formulation offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The former have a longer wavelength, and are associated with skin ageing. The latter have a shorter wavelength, and are associated with skin burning.
The next thing to consider is SPF (sun protection factor). Most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, as this blocks around 97% of UVB rays. However, there’s still a fair degree of confusion about how SPF really works. The SPF number is actually connected to how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to make your skin red (when using the product exactly as directed), versus the amount of time this would take without any sunscreen. So if you usually start to feel sunburned after 5 minutes of unprotected sun, an SPF30 – properly applied – should protect you for 30 x five minutes (i.e. two-and-a-half hours).
Which brings us neatly to the amount of sunscreen you should use. Most of us simply aren’t applying enough! According to the British Association of Dermatologists, the bare minimum is at least six full teaspoons to cover the body of an average adult. You should apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before exposure and reapply at least every two hours – more often if you’ve been swimming or sweating.
The other key considerations to take into account when choosing your sunscreen is type and texture. These days, there’s a huge range of formulations available, including gel, lotion, mist, mousse or cream. As their name suggests, physical or mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier, which acts like a shield to deflect the sun’s rays. These formulations tend to be thicker, but are a better choice for red, irritated or sensitive skin. Chemical sunscreens sink into the skin and absorb the sun’s rays before they penetrate and cause damage. They are often lighter than physical formulations, but because they turn energy into heat, they’re not recommended for post-procedure, sensitive or irritated skin.
The Skin Experts offers a comprehensive selection of sunscreens, to accommodate the needs of every skin type.
Epionce is well known for its physician-strength anti-ageing skincare, but its portfolio features some excellent sun protection products too, such as the Ultra Shield SPF 50 and the Daily Shield Tinted SPF 50. “Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50 is a super-silky water-resistant formula that provides high-level protection without the chalky residue that some SPF50 sunscreens can leave on the skin,” notes Aesthetic Nurse Kellie Baines. “It can be used alone or under makeup to defend against both UVA and UVB rays – and environmental damage – providing optimum protection and support for all skin types.”
She continues: “Epionce Daily Shield Tinted SPF 50 is another firm favourite with our clinic clients. It too offers high protection against UVA/UVB rays and environmental damage, all within a barely-there tint that delivers just the right amount of sheer colour for a natural, healthy-looking glow. It’s also water-resistant, and suitable for all skin types – even sensitive.”
Brush On Block
If you’re keen to try a fast, effective mineral (physical) sunscreen, we recommend Brush on Block. This innovative SPF30 powder face and body sunscreen offers speedy, fuss-free application. The translucent formulation is suitable for all skin tones and types – including sensitive – and it can be worn under or over makeup, too. The clever built-in, self-dispensing brush ensures precise application, and it’s brilliant for those tricky areas such as the scalp or parting. Brush On Block is sweat- and water-resistant. It lasts for ages, and it’s refillable, too!
Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, Heliocare’s 360° Water Gel SPF50+ absorbs quickly and dries to an invisible matte finish, making it ideal for layering with other skincare and makeup products. This lightweight, water-based gel formulation features a combination of mineral and non-mineral sun filters, within an advanced, slow-release delivery system that provides instant and long-lasting hydration, while protecting against UVA, UVB, visible light and infrared-A.
One of the most recent additions to our SPF portfolio is Ultrasun. Regularly recommended by pharmacists and dermatologists for patients with sensitive skin and sun allergies, Ultrasun specialises in sunscreens that deliver long-lasting invisible protection, perform well in all conditions, and help to prevent the effects of premature ageing. Packaged in a practical, easy-to-apply pump dispenser, the SPF30 Family 400ml is excellent value. Fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, it helps to prevent sun allergies and uncomfortable ‘prickly heat’ reactions.
Sunscreen Every Day
Make sure your skin is protected all year round with a daily SPF. Browse our extensive portfolio today to find your perfect sunscreen solution.