SPF Spotlight: Why SPF should be your BFF
Here it is, your deep dive into everything SPF and reaffirming why it should be your BFF all year round. SPF is are top most recommended product and should be worn come rain or shine - despite whether the weather is balmy or barmy. Sunscreen isn't what it used to be - trust us - that's a good thing. We no longer have to put up with greasy, spot-inducing lotions, chalky residue and ghost-like complexions. Today's high-tech formulas combine protection with skin-friendly properties to avoid clogging the pores, disrupting makeup and dulling the complexion.
If at some point, the visible effects of past sun exposure have surface in the form of fine lines, discolouration and dark spots that are stubborn to treat and cover up, then like most of us, you'll have wished you had started applying sunscreen every single day sooner. UV exposure causes alterations to our cellular DNA and may account for up to 80-90% of visible signs of skin ageing*.
The Chemical Vs Mineral Debate
The key difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is that mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block rays, while chemical sunscreens filter out rays. Mineral SPF's tend to be better for sensitive and blemish-prone skin as they sit on the skin as opposed to being absorbed. If mineral sunscreens are your thing, look out for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If you are more in to chemical filters, then avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate are your ingredients to look for.
Whether you opt for chemical or physical, as a rule of thumb, always make sure your chosen SPF contains at least one of the following active ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone or Tinosorb.
Ingredient In Focus: Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a highly sought-after ingredent found in mineral sunscreens. It's the hero ingredient in our Skin Shield Moisturising + Priming SPF 50 PA+++, and here's why:
🧡 It's a potent antioxidant that provides protection from other external aggressors, such as pollution.
🧡 It helps to soothe sensitive or reactive skin and is often included in healing products, thanks to its non-allergenic + anti-inflammatory properties.
🧡 As it is non-comedogenic, it won't block the pores, making it a go-to for those with acne-prone or congested skin.
🧡It's a sustainable choice: zinc oxide has been declared 'reef-friendly' and is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical sunscreens.
Shield Against Digital Pollution: Is Our Tech Addiction Damaging Our Skin?
While UVA/UVB rays remain the primary culprit in inflaming + damaging the skin, HEV light (blue light) emitted from our digital devices might also be a contributor. Whilst research is still in its infancy, studies have found that it can cause skin cell death, ageing and the production of free radicals**.
So far, studies have been short term and so long-term trials with more comparable light sources are warranted, but as we're increasingly attached to our digital devices with most of us individuals living in a world near-relentlessly cast in blue, we're strong advocates of erring on the side of caution and opting for an SPF 50 mineral sunscreen (hello Skin Shield🧡) that works as a protective barrier is the best way to do this. As the saying goes, prevention is far better than cure!
Is SPF in your makeup enough?
Whilst a number of brands are packing SPF into primers, foundation and even bronzer, it's important to note that although products can have sunscreen ingredients in them, it doesn't make them an actual sunscreen. Of course, foundation and other forms of makeup containing SPF can be beneficial as an added extra but should NOT be used in place of a sunscreen. This is because it would take heaps of makeup to meet the daily recommended amount of SPF (1/2 a teaspoon for the face alone) which is way more than we imagine anyone to wear.
To really get the best out of your sun protection, it should be applied before makeup in a separate layer to ensure sun-protecting full-face coverage. And if you're Skin Shield SPF 50, this is a welcome step as it works brilliantly as a makeup primer, providing the dreamiest peachy glow for gloriously dewy skin!
Nerdie Note: Re-application of SPF every 2 hours is KEY for maximum protection, and yes that includes re-applying over makeup!
*Amaro-Oritz, A., Yan, B., & D'Orazio, J. A. (2014). Ultraviolet raditiation, aging and the skin.
**Nakashima Y, Ohta S, Wolf AM. Blue light-induced oxidative stress in live skin.