We all now know that not wearing sunscreen can lead to unwanted skin damage such as premature aging, uneven skin tone and even skin cancer. Believe it or not, there are quite a few questions about SPF and I'm ready to clear up that confusion! Let's take a deeper look at some of the most common sun protection questions!
Do I have to wear a face cream with SPF even if I'm indoors all day?
That's a question I hear a lot and the answer is YES, YES, and YES again! When you are indoors, you are exposed to UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and are primarily responsible for premature aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness and dark spots. Even on a cloudy day, these UVA rays can still penetrate your skin and cause unwanted damage. Nowadays we are also sitting at our laptops or our phones and our skin is now constantly exposed to damage from blue light. Blue light has been shown to cause the same damage that UVA rays can cause! So yes, even if you are indoors, you must wear sunscreen.
How high should the sun protection factor of my day cream be?
Day creams with SPF typically range from SPF 15 to SPF 30 to SPF 50. All will give you adequate sun protection, but they offer different levels of protection. Here's a quick guide:
SPF15 filters out around 93% of UV rays
SPF30 filters out around 97% of UV rays
SPF50 filters out around 98% of UV rays
As you can see, you only lose about 1% of the UV protection from an SPF30 cream to an SPF50 cream, making the SPF30 cream the most common choice. All three are good, but I personally prefer an SPF of 50 to be sure I'm getting the maximum protection.
What is the difference between a chemical and a physical sun protection factor?
First of all, don't be scared when you hear the word "chemical". Just remember: WATER IS CHEMISTRY TOO. Both chemical and physical sunscreens offer excellent protection from the sun! Physical sunscreens are physical blockers that contain minerals such as:
These minerals "physically" reflect UV rays from the skin. They're basically like a shield. The great thing about physical sunscreens is that they work well on sensitive skin, provide effective protection immediately after application, and are much less likely to cause breakouts. If your skin is sensitive or prone to acne, a physical sunscreen formula is best for you! ⠀ ⠀
Chemical sunscreens work a little differently. Chemical sunscreens consist of natural substances such as e.g.:
Oxybene zone ⠀
Octisalate ⠀ ⠀
When applied to the skin, a chemical reaction takes place (that's why they're called chemical sunscreens). They work by absorbing UV light and converting it into heat, which in turn can be released from the skin into the environment. Chemical sunscreens work great, but because they need to be absorbed into the skin to be effective, they need to be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure. This type of sunscreen tends to feel better because it absorbs into the skin and doesn't leave the typical "white film" of sunscreen on the skin. However, if your skin is prone to redness or pigmentation, I wouldn't recommend this type of sunscreen, as heat can make redness worse, and the extra heat can also encourage pigment development. Both types - physical and chemical protection - are great for protecting your skin from sun damage, and the bottom line is that the perfect formula is the one that feels best on your skin!
What does protection against UV-A or UV-B radiation mean?
There are two types of harmful rays that we get from the sun. These are UV-A and UV-B. To keep it simple: UVA rays are responsible for the aging of our skin and UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and lead to skin cancer. When choosing a sun protection factor, make sure that it protects against both types of radiation!
Should I apply a moisturizer and then a separate day cream with SPF and if so, how?
There is no need to use a separate SPF. To be honest, I prefer to recommend a face cream with built-in SPF to my clients. In fact, I find it an advantage to only use one product, especially if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin. Basically, it is better for the skin to use as few different products as possible. It's also much easier: if the SPF is already included in your day cream, it's one less step to do in the morning before you can leave the house!
If you prefer to use a separate SPF, that's fine too! Just make sure you put on the moisturizer first and then the SPF. Think of it as a small protective shield that protects your skin from external influences!
Should I use an SPF face cream even though I have darker skin tones?
That's a common question I get asked over and over again, and the answer is still yes! Darker skin types have a lower risk of sunburn, but they are still exposed to UVA rays that cause unwanted skin damage and premature aging. For darker skin tones, I always recommend using a chemical sunscreen as it leaves a less intense white cast on the skin and spreads much better over the skin.
If you're still looking for a great SPF day cream to add to your skincare routine, IMAGE Skincare has some of the best formulas out there! All creams are plant-based and co-developed by beauticians and plastic surgeons, so you can rest assured that only the finest ingredients are included!
Whether you have combination to oily skin or skin prone to acne, choose Prevention+ Daily Matte SPF32! It's an oil-free formula that easily moisturizes and helps absorb oil throughout the day, leaving your skin looking pore-free!
Do you have dry and rather sensitive skin? Try Prevention+ Daily Hydrating SPF30! This is a physical sunscreen that provides deep hydration while protecting against blue light damage!
Are you looking for a face cream that is suitable for all skin types and offers additional anti-aging support? Go for the Image MD Restoring Daily Defense SPF50 Moisturizer! This luxurious day cream offers the highest level of sun protection along with nourishing moisture and stem cell extracts for younger, firmer skin. Did I mention that this product also works against blue light damage? A true winner!
I say no more excuses and it's time for you to hop on the LSF train and never look back! Trust me, you'll thank me later!
Not sure what skin type you have or which day cream with SPF suits you best? Try our free online skin analysis now and we'll tell you!
ONLINE SKIN ANALYSIS