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10 things you need to know about SPF – plus 5 sun protection products we love

10 things you need to know about SPF - plus 5 sun protection products we love MAINSLIDER

The sun looks like it’s here to stay. We know more than ever before how important wearing SPF is for our skin. Here’s what you need to know and the sun protection products we love 

As we head into summer, the shop are full once more with an array of SPF products to help us look after our skin during the sunnier days.

However, did you know that to truly protect your skin, prevent premature ageing and improve skin texture – you should be wearing your SPF all 365 days of the year?

It is your critical daily dose skincare asset and your ultimate preventative weapon no matter your skin colour or tone.

SPF benefits…
  • Reduces your risk of cancer
  • Protects skin from damaging UV/UVA rays
  • Protects against sun burn, redness, inflammation
  • Prevents early signs of ageing
  • Prevents hyperpigmentation, helping to maintain even skin tone
  • Stops DNA damage
Top 10 frequently asked questions about SPF…

Do you have to use sunscreen when it’s cloudy?

Cloudy days are no excuse not to skip sun protection, as the level of UV radiation is not affected by temperature and UV rays can penetrate through thin cloud.

the level of UV radiation is not affected by temperature

In fact, patchy clouds can intensify UV levels because radiation is reflected off the clouds edge and then focuses on the ground.

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What SPF should you use on your face?

Even if you decide to go for a lower SPF on your body, you should always go for the highest possible protection on your face.

‘The SPF in your foundation isn’t enough to protect you in the sun, so always use a separate SPF sunscreen on your face,’ says Dr Preema Vig, former GP and advanced aesthetic doctor.

What is the difference between UVB and UVA rays?

UVB rays cause skin to burn while UVA rays are the ones that cause ageing and are associated with DNA damage.

‘UVA rays can alter the skin cell DNA, causing malignant melanoma over time,’ explains Dr Preema.

UVA rays are the ones that cause ageing

How important is wearing sunscreen in the battle against skin ageing?

The most important skincare product available to prevent wrinkles is sunscreen. Both UVA and UVB rays cause wrinkles by breaking down collagen, creating free radicals and inhibiting the natural repair system of the skin.

‘If you only invest in one skincare product, let it be a good SPF,’ says Dr Preema

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Do sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays equally?

The SPF on a bottle of sunscreen tells you the amount of protection from UVB rays and products in the UK contain a star rating to tell you proportionally how much UVA protection is in a sunscreen.

look for sunscreens that are labeled ‘broad spectrum’

Five stars means an SPF15 will offer the same level of UVB and UVA protection; whereas three stars (the EU standard) tells you that your SPF15 will give you lower UVA protection than UVB.

Also look for sunscreens that are labeled ‘broad spectrum’, as only sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays are legally allowed to use this label.

How often should you apply sunscreen?

Always apply a generous amount of sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure so it can penetrate the skin and then reapply every two hours, especially if you’re in and out of the water.

‘Remember to reapply sunscreen as soon as you sweat or swim and every couple of hours,’ advises Dr Preema.

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Which formulation offers more protection – spray, gel or cream?

All formulas will give you the same amount of protection. So, if it says SPF15 on the bottle that’s what the protection will be.

It’s really down to individual preference, so look at what the product does rather than what it is and ensure the product you choose has a high SPF and UVA level of protection.

Products with Retinol will make skin light sensitive

Should you avoid using products with Retinol (Vitamin A) if you go in the sun?

You shouldn’t wear products containing Retinol when out in the sun as it will make your skin more susceptible to UV rays and actually cause skin to age faster.

‘Products with Retinol will make skin light sensitive and will strip the skin of old skin cells, so you loose a bit of sun protection from the lifted dead skin cell barrier,’ warns Dr Preema.

What are the best ingredients to look for in a sunscreen?

Sunscreen ingredients can be divided into physical compounds that block radiation or non-physical compounds that absorb radiation.

Look for scientifically advanced physical sunscreens like Titanium Dioxide and micronised Zinc Oxide, as they provide broad-spectrum sun protection.

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What is the future of sun protection? –

Cutting edge sunscreens not only protect against UVA and UVB rays, they also offer anti-ageing properties and reverse and repair DNA damage.

Top Product Picks:

Below are some of our top SPF picks for you to try this summer and take with you into the colder months:

#1 iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 40, £68


This advanced sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection and helps to repair solar damage by reducing redness and inflammation associated with sunburn.

In clinical studies, the application of Extreme Protect SPF was proven to offer nearly complete protection against thymine dimmer formation. Thymine dimmers cause the specific DNA damage that is consistent with a high cancer risk.

This SPF is an antioxidant-rich, state-of-the-art, broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen that helps support optimal skin health as it moisturises and protects.

The multilevel, environmentally protective formula features our proprietary Extremozyme technology combined with scientifically advanced all-physical sunscreen actives. It helps to repair solar damage by reducing redness and inflammation associated with sunburn.

Revision Skincare Intellishade TruPhysical SPF

#2 Revision Skincare IntelliShade TruPhysical SPf, £81

A tinted, mineral sunscreen which is effective against both UVA and UVB.

This SPF from Revision Skincare fights fine lines and wrinkles thanks to the contents of over 20 age-defying ingredients to prevent premature signs of ageing.

Moreover, this SPF works to restore and rehydrate the skin whilst supporting its natural moisture barrier. A perfect SPF for all days of the year.

#3 Skinbetter sunbetter SPF 50 Compact, £65

sunbetter Compact spf powder foundation

This SPF 50 sunscreen compact provides a high level of on-the-go sun protection.

The skin tone-adapting, silky smooth compact provides a hint of coverage, perfect for throwing into your beach bag for a busy day out in the sun.

The compact is a broad spectrum sunscreen that can act as a primer under makeup and may be layered for additional coverage as needed.

#4 Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50, £31

Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50

Designed to purposefully help prevent premature skin ageing and help reduce the risk of skin cancer and environmental aggressors associated with outside exposure, this SPF has you covered.

The lightweight, quick absorbing sheer formula is perfect for all skin types.

It is an ideal SPF for anyone who wants cruelty free, vegan skincare and it’s also water resistant making it ideal for anyone wishing to get active this summer.


#5 Croma Calming mask, £48

The calming face mask is perfect for when you have had a bit too much sun and need something that is both cooling and hydrating.

The sheet mask is packed full of soothing ingredients, such as aloe vera, green tea and rosehip oil, which offer effective skin-regenerating properties.

The perfect post beach skin treat to replenish the skin with vitamins, soothe irritations and provide comfort to aggravated skin.

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