More than skin deep
You may be wondering why on EARTH would I choose to write about sun protection in March?
For the time being we know we’ll be staying at home, but that doesn’t mean we should forego sun protection when we’re taking our daily exercise outside.
Tried and tested? What’s on offer? Recommendations? However you purchase, the bottom line is…you use an SPF. Whether you’re walking, running or cycling, we all know the importance of protecting our skin as the sun starts to appear.
OK, let’s recap some sun science.
There are actually three types of UV radiation.
UVC – the shortest reach UV, predominantly absorbed by the ozone layer.
UVB – B is for BURN.
Short wave radiation affecting the outermost layers of skin. The intensity of UVB varies seasonally, hourly and geographically. A significant amount of UVB is absorbed by the ozone layer and blocked by glass.
UVA – A is for AGEING.
Long wave radiation that can penetrate glass, even on an overcast day. UVA is believed to contribute around 95% of the UV radiation that reaches Earth. UVA damages deeper, beyond the dermis.
Both UVA and UVB cause cumulative effects over time. Highly reactive free radicals cause oxidative stress, fragility, inflammation and premature signs of photo-ageing, for example, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Add to this a greater potential for cancerous melanomas.
UVA is not rated by SPF like UVB. There is no one global definitive guide for UVA protection factor.
SPF – it’s just not enough any more.
SPF rating is a guideline measure of how well your skin is protected from UVB rays, calculated to give an estimated extension to natural protection.
If your skin burns in 12 minutes – SPF 30 is 30 x 12 minutes = 360 minutes protection = 6 hours.
No SPF provides 100% protection.
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB
SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB
Safeguarding is entirely dependent on application volume, (around 1 teaspoon for face and neck) method and conditions, so it is recommended you reapply every two hours regardless.
UVA research is still relatively new. Historically, UV protection was only related to SPF and now, we have to shift our protection criteria accordingly.
Blue Light (High Energy Visible light (HEV)) is now understood to have similar cumulative effects as UVA. This longer wave light is emitted from the sun and digital devices. There is no escape!
Bottom line, we should ALL be wearing broad spectrum UVA/B to protect us in our modern world.
Beauty with Benefits
When creating products, there are two types of sunscreen:
– Organic / chemical – absorb the UV.
– Inorganic / mineral / physical – reflect and scatter the UV.
Incorporating SPF can compromise the elegance of the formulation, leaving it heavy and creating a white cast across the complexion, compromising the efficacy of expensive actives.
Let’s face it, the less desirable the texture, the less likely you are to apply sufficient for the protection required.
I have picked a couple of products that represent innovative examples of broad spectrum solutions available at Elys.
Ok, so first off Origins GinZing™ Energy-Boosting Tinted Moisturiser SPF 40.
I love this for a few reasons:
- Texture – utterly weightless and not sticky
- Finish – leaves less a tint to skin and more a healthy glow. Not overly shiny but even and luminous
- SPF 40 – a solid broad spectrum protection, lightweight enough to re-apply throughout the day especially as there is no “coverage”.
I would recommend using this as your last step of skincare, over your moisturiser. Depending on your complexion preferences, you can use to simply conceal where needed, or add foundation on top.
My second choice, is Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence SPF 30.
An exciting new launch showcasing innovation in creating a weightless application, using a physical sunscreen Zinc Oxide meaning it is arguably more skin tolerant. It is also actively protecting from blue light, which, if like me you are sat typing at a laptop for most of the day, is real reassurance that my needs are met for the indoor and the outdoor me!
This is a conscious addition to your skincare, you are more likely to take it out and reapply. You can retain a moisturiser with potent actives and it light, glowy and comfortable.
Check out the online diagnostic to help navigate your skin protection profile based on location and lifestyle, Bravo Dermalogica!
The Insider’s Tip
SPF degrades, so always replace your SPF products!