The month of May officially marks Skin Cancer Awareness month, a great reminder of why it is so important we wear SPF all year round. Your face and body are exposed to UV radiation every day no matter what the weather. Remember not all sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. You must look closely at the SPF you are buying, what is on the label and the ingredients. Make sure your SPF is labelled Broad Spectrum, which means it contains a combination of ingredients to protect you from both rays.
It’s a huge topic that we’re quite passionate about here at Millies. Luckily, there’s one small thing that you can do in your skincare routine to really make a difference. What is it? Well, adding SPF into your everyday routine, of course. Straight away it will lower your risk of getting skin cancer. So we’re going to go through some different SPFs for different skin types, with the help of our Skincare Specialist Edel.
Not only are we trying to prevent and lower the risk of any type of skin cancer happening in the skin cells, but we’re also going to make our skin look better, feel better and be healthier all around. SPF can help strengthen and keep our skin cells healthy, but it can also but good for reducing redness and inflammation in the skin, preventing further pigmentation and darkening of age spots, as well as preventing the deepening of wrinkles and fine lines, giving your skin a gorgeous healthy glow.
So why use SPF every day? A lot of people associate it with holidays or only during the one week where we’re treated to gorgeous sunshine in Ireland, but why every day? Well, 70% to 90% of all UVA and UVB rays still penetrate the skin even on the most overcast and darkest of days.
As I mentioned, we’re wearing SPF to prevent further damage to the skin, but 90% of all ageing is actually caused by overexposure to the sun which a lot of people may not realise. So it’s essential to pick a good SPF for your skin and to get into the good habit of applying and reapplying SPF.
SPF itself stands for sun protection factor. So, if you wear an SPF 50 every day, it’s going to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer by up to 40%. Some people with sensitive skin prefer mineral sunscreen but some people like the added protection of having both a mineral and a chemical sunscreen as their protection. But what’s the difference between a mineral SPF and a chemical SPF? A mineral SPF is when the actual product reflects the uv rays and chemical spf means that when it’s sitting on the skin it absorbs the ray, then it’s broken down and we discreet it from our bodies.
But what’s key when it comes to SPF is to not only look at the number, but focus on the way you use it and how you reapply.
Reapplication is a lot more important than the specific SPF. No matter how high the factor, it will unfortunately wear off after one to two hours. If you’re not wearing makeup, you can just apply your SPF as normal. But if you are, opt for a mineral-based foundation or powder so that you can top up your sun protection during the day or an SPF mist spray that not only protects your skin but also helps to revive the makeup throughout the day.
Now, it’s time for some top picks!
This pick from Environ is a fantastic SPF. A light but creamy texture SPF contains but a physical and chemical sunscreen making it a broad spectrum SPF. Shop here.
Perfect for anyone with oily, combination or sensitive skin. Acting as your SPF, moisturiser and primer in one, it also contains niacinamide which is going to help with any sensitivity reduce redness and work on oil control, fantastic for anyone concerned with premature ageing. Shop here.
For anyone who’s put off by SPF because it makes their eyes run, or makes their skin feel a little reactive: Murad City Screen is a 100% mineral SPF. Meaning there are zero chemicals, but it also contains Vitamin C in order to give radiance back to the skin. Shop here.
Another great pick from Irish skincare brand Clincare, is the Sun Shield Cream SPF30. Another option that’s perfect for anyone with sensitive skin, it’s hydrating with plant extracts, which reduces redness. Shop here.
Often, even if we can be particular about protection for our faces, we can often forget about protecting the skin on our hands. This is why we may see premature ageing of the hands, including age spots and fine lines. This hand cream from Ultrasun has an SPF of 25, and has an anti-pigmentation formula to it will help keep the skin on the hands really clear and bright. Shop here.