Spring has well and truly sprung: with the flowers beginning to blossom and a chorus of bird songs filling the air, nature has undoubtedly started to restore its beauty. Summer then, with its blue skies and long evenings, is just around the corner. And while this may well be the time of year known for new beginnings, for your skin, the harsh assault of UV rays can be a ticket to premature ageing and potential skin damage.
To make sure that your skin remains youthful and protected and that you can immerse yourself in the beauty of this time of year, we’ve gathered together all the information from the experts. Outlined below is all of the latest information on SPFs, why they’re so essential, and why you absolutely must be applying SPF products throughout the year…
What exactly is SPF?
To put it simply, an SPF number compares the amount of time that you could stay in the sun without wearing any suncream with the amount of time that you’d be safe to stay out in the sun with suncream. What does that mean in practice? Well, if you apply an SPF 30 product, in theory, you can spend 30x the amount of time in the sun than you usually would before your skin starts to burn.
But be careful, SPF numbers only take into account UVB rays. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) encompasses both UVA and UVB rays, and recent research has shown that UVA rays can be just as harmful. For ultimate protection you really want to be applying a suncream like the SOME BY MI, Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Tone-Up Suncream SPF 50+ PA++++, which has both UVA and UVB protection.
Who needs SPF?
Everyone. The American Academy of Dermatology don’t just recommend daily SPF use for the fun of it. Harsh ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause real damage to the DNA of your skin cells. In fact, here in the UK rates of skin cancer have increased +140% since the 1990s. To protect yourself from both short-term burns and long-term damage, SPF products are essential.
How much SPF to I need?
A higher SPF number doesn’t mean better protection, it just means longer protection: so an SPF 4 product for example, would allow you to spend 4x the amount of time in the sun that you usually could before you burn. An SPF 50 product on the other hand, would let you spend 50x your usual amount of time in the sun before you burn. Regardless, dermatologists advise that you choose the highest possible SPF number. A product such as the COSRX - Shield Fit Snail Essence Sun SPF50+ 50ml is a great choice if you’re looking for ultimate levels of protection.
How often do I need to reapply SPF products?
Even if you feel like you’ve thoroughly lathered yourself in a suitable SPF 50 product like the COSRX - Shield Fit Snail Essence it’s so important that you remember to reapply it throughout the day.
Not only is it possible that you missed patches on your skin, it is also possible that you wiped off some layers of protection while swimming, sunbathing, sweating etc. That’s why dermatologists recommend that you re-apply suncream at least every 2-3 hours.
Which SPF is best for my skin type?
Whether you’ve got fair skin or darker skin, sensitive skin or oily skin, choosing the right SPF product is vital. With so many great K Beauty suncreams to chose from it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve made a list of our favourite SPF products for each skin type:
SPFs for sensitive skin
For those with sensitive skin, one of the best SPF products available is the Innisfree Intensive Anti Pollution Sunscreen. Lightweight and easy-to wear, this suncream is formulated with even the most delicate skin in mind.
SPFs for oily/ acne-prone skin
Those with oily skin on the other hand, may well want to try the Innisfree Tone Up No Sebum Sunscreen. Enriched with Centella Asiatica to cool and calm your skin, this is the ultimate suncream for those looking to reign in their skin’s oil levels.
SPFs for dry skin
For dry skin, the Benton Air Fit UV Defense Sun Cream is without a doubt the most intensely hydrating option that you have available to you. Made from a powerful fusion of Centella Asiatica, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate and Tocopherol, this suncream will ensure that your skin is looking radiant and refreshed all year round.
SPFs for normal skin
For those of you with ‘normal’ skin the options are vast and varied, but if you’re looking for optimal style and protection be sure to try the Missha All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++. Quickly absorbed and water-resistant, this suncream is the ideal easy-to-use companion.
SPFs for ageing skin
And finally, for those who are hoping to slow down the ageing process of our skin, have a look at the TONYMOLY Intense care gold 24k snail sun cream. Nourishing and affordable, this suncream is packed full of powerful anti-ageing ingredients.