Recently, BBC News has highlighted the high risk of skin cancer here in the South West compared to other parts of the UK.
Adding SPF into your daily skincare routine is essential – and I mean every day! It’s not just about putting on suntan lotion for your beach day. We all tend to reach for SPF when the sun is shining. However, now we are heading into the colder months it’s equally essential to make SPF a habit, even on those miserable days!
We’re protecting our skin from two primary types of UV rays. The first one is UVB, known for causing sunburn and redness. UVB is typically the reason we reach for sunscreen before enjoying a day at the beach or soaking up the sun in our gardens. However, the second type is equally crucial, even though it tends to slip our minds – UVA. Ultraviolet A is one of the reasons behind premature skin ageing.
What does SPF mean and how is it measured?
SPF, or sun protection factor, is a gauge of the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the protective barrier. A higher SPF number signifies a greater reduction in the amount of UV radiation that manages to pass through.
An SPF of 30 allows one-thirtieth or 3.3% of UV to reach your skin. This means it filters 96.7% of UV. With an SPF of 50, 98% is filtered and one-fifth or 2% gets through.
Put another way, if your unprotected skin would take ten minutes to show signs of burning, then properly applying SPF 30 sunscreen would slow the rate of burning to the point where it would take 30 times longer, or 300 minutes in total. SPF 15 would take 150 minutes, while SPF 50, 500 minutes.
What is our SPF protecting us from?
The obvious factor is sunburn. However, without wearing our SPF, we are at high risk of premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, loss of elasticity and skin cancer.
Anna Varle, a BBC journalist from Devon, recently shared her experience with skin cancer to spread awareness.
The journey began with a small scab on Anna’s nose, persistently reappearing, leading to her referral to the dermatology department at Derriford Hospital. Upon receiving the biopsy results confirming it as skin cancer, Anna underwent surgery for its removal. However, this wasn’t the only time, scabs had reappeared on her nose and forehead.
“Dreading the pain. Worried about the scars. Anxious about how it could affect my career and how long it would take to heal.” Anna admitted, now concealing her scars with makeup.
Cancer Research UK has highlighted that the incidence rates of melanoma skin cancer are notably higher in the South West region compared to the rest of England. Dr. Nelson informed Anna that in Plymouth alone, they diagnose up to 10 new cases of melanoma every week, a figure that is indeed unsettling.
What is the best SPF to buy?
Sunscreen is typically known as a thick white liquid that doesn’t blend in well and leaves your skin feeling sticky and greasy. Here at Sandon, we offer UVB/UVA broad-spectrum sunscreen, which feels light and absorbs easily with a soft invisible skin feel that wears perfectly under makeup. Heliocare is our leading brand for sunscreens, we offer multiple types of sunscreen tailored to your skin type.
Hopefully, this blog has given you an insight into the wonderful world of sun protection and convinced you to add an SPF into your routine if you haven’t already.
If you’d like to book a consultation to find out which SPF is right for you or find out how to incorporate one into a tailored skincare routine designed just for you; tap through to fill out the consultation form.