SPF Made Simple


When it comes to a person’s Summer time bag, everyone has a different idea of what should go inside: water, books, music, snacks…the list can be endless. But one thing we should all be sure to have in our bags in the Summer time is sunscreen. We’ve all heard for years the importance of using sunscreen to protect us from sunburn and skin cancer, and it doesn’t really matter whether you’re in the city or on the beach.

Here are some basic terms you should know:
SPF: Sun Protective Factor.
UVB: Are the rays that cause sunburn.
UVA: Are the rays that cause damage to the skin like aging, wrinkles, dark or light spots.

It’s best if you get a broad spectrum sunscreen as they protect you from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

The SPF protection doesn’t increase proportionally so the numbers may seem tricky. According to scientific research SPF 100 is not twice as good as SPF 50, because SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks about 97%, and SPF 45 blocks about 98%. No sunscreen blocks 100% of UVB rays so don’t be tricked by what the labels say.

If you’re going on vacation regardless of your skin type you should use at the least an SPF 30 to start. This will allow your skin time to adjust to the sun conditions and after a few days you can consider switching to an SPF 15-30. Also look for water-resistant SPF’s to avoid the tedious task of having to reapply constantly, however it is customary to reapply every 40-80 minutes. By the way, a full tube of sunscreen should last you 3-4 weeks in case you’re in the city and just 1-2 weeks when you’re seaside, so if your sunscreen lasts you the whole summer you’re definitely doing something wrong.

It’s also a great idea to get a different SPF’s for your face as the formulas are different. Some prefer spray sunscreens, others like thick creams or gels, there are also wax based sunscreen sticks and on-the-go powders for your face. Many acne-prone individuals find that zinc oxide-based sunscreens tend to work best. Look for “non-comedogenic”, “will not clog pores”, “for sensitive skin”, or “for acne-prone skin” on the labels. Whatever you decide, make sure you apply an even coating because the application is as important as the SPF: if you don’t apply it properly, the sunscreen won’t do its job.

When staying in the city apply your sunscreen every morning to help prevent aging and dark/light spots because even a 5-minute exposure to the sun is enough. There are a lot of powder SPF’s on the market nowadays to keep your skin protected but also your makeup looking better. Here’s just a little hint on those:

1. Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Loose Powder SPF 30

2. IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50

3. NARS All Day Luminous Powder SPF 24

4. Colorscience Sunforgettable Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Remember no matter what the weather is do apply sunscreen. The temperature of the day has nothing to do with the sun’s ability to burn your skin.

When going to the seaside bring with you some extra protection: hats, shirts, cover ups, umbrellas, and more to keep you out of the sun as much as possible for at the least first few days.

Keep your skin safe!