It’s been a scorching couple of weeks and protecting your skin from the sun’s rays is essential at this time of year but I think there are a lot of misconceptions about sunscreen and how it should actually be used. It’s very tempting to just slap on the cream whenever we go on holiday or if the sun is super strong but forget about it for the rest of the time or as soon as we get back home – I’m sure we are all guilty of fair weather application at times (I know I am).
The NHS has a highly informative page on their website on sun safety (you can find it here). They recommend that in the UK Sunscreen should been worn daily between the months of March and October when the sun is at its strongest (as a rough guide that’s between and 11am and 3pm).
Sunscreen is measured in its UVB (Ultra Violet B) protection by it’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The SPF ratings are the measure of time which an individual can stay in the sun whilst wearing a sunscreen compared to how long they could stay in the sun without it. For instance:
A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen.
If an individual stayed in full sun without sunscreen for 10 minutes before they began to burn, technically they would be able to to stay in the sun for 300 minutes if they had applied a sunscreen with an SPF30 (obviously this is a rough measure).
Make sense? For now at least.
SPF ratings aren’t a sliding scale; an SPF 50 is not twice as effective as an SPF25. The higher you go, the coverage becomes more negligible. If the sunscreen is properly applied then it works something like this…
SPF 4 will protect you against 75% of UVB rays
SPF 10 will protect you against 90% of UVB rays
SPF 15 will protect you against 93% of UVB rays
SPF 25 will protect you against 96% of UVB rays
SPF 30 will protect you against 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 will protect you against 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 will protect you against 99% of UVB rays
Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours, more frequently if you are in the water or sweating heavily.
The NHS also suggest that two teaspoons of cream should be used to cover head, neck and arms whilst two tablespoons to cover the whole body – who knew?!
Wearing a base such as foundation which contains an SPF is one way to make sure you are covered, so I’ve put together a list of my five favourite bases which will give you colour and coverage whilst also protecting your skin.
Here are my top five bases with SPF…
Green People Age Defying+ DD Moisturiser (£36.00) (O, V)
You may remember I wrote about my love for this a few weeks ago (you can read it here). The UK’s first certified organic DD Cream, this gives you all the benefits of a tinted moisturiser but with the added bonus of SPF15 protection. Available in three shades, it uses Titanium Dioxide to defend against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation (£33.00) (V, GF)
This is a staple of my pro kit and I use it a lot of male grooming jobs – It’s also been featured on here too. A foundation, powder and concealer in one, it is a great on-the-go product. Available in an azmaing 27 shades, PurePressed Base uses a blend of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to give SPF 20 protection.
Balance Me BB Natural Perfection (£26.00)
This was a key part of my regime last year and I imagine it will feature again this year too (it was also on the blog here ;). Titanium Dioxide provides the SPF 25 sun filter, protecting against harmful UVA and UVB rays. It feels great on the skin and blends like a dream, the only downer is that it is only available in one shade which is a little on the pale side.
W3ll People Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturiser (£28.00) (GF)
A make-up/skincare hybrid, the Multi-Action Moisturiser has all the hydrating, nourishing benefits of a moisturiser wrapped up with a full coverage finish. The SPF 30 is broad spectrum (UVA & UVB) with coverage thanks to the Zinc Oxide content. Available in three shades, it ideal for those who want a heavier finish to their base.
A medium to full coverage foundation without the heavy feeling. I’ve recently discovered PHB foundation but really like it and can see myself exploring the brand a little more in the coming months. Available in six shades (fair to [light] medium skin tones), this foundation uses a Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide combo to give sun protection to an SPF 30 rating.
If you want to read more about sun safety and the NHS guidelines on using sunscreen then check out their webpage; NHS Sun Safe