When it comes to staying pretty in paradise, SPF is your best ally. For some of us however, the world of SPF can be confusing, and it can be difficult to know what we should be applying and how often, as well as deciphering the many labels we come across. So, we have decided to break it down and give you an easy guide to choosing the right one for you with our exclusive SPF check.
The SPF Acronyms
- SPF - SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and refers to the UVB rays it helps to shield your skin from. It doesn’t include protection against UVA rays, which you need to look for as a separate star rating on the bottle.
- UVB - These are short-wave ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn and your skin to become painfully red. If you are exposed without enough protection, over a long period of time, UVB rays can cause skin cancers.
- UVA - These are longer wave rays than UVB’s and are responsible for accelerated skin ageing and wrinkles. They can also cause skin cancers, so make sure your sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB.
SPF in Numbers
- 2 - The number of tablespoons of sunscreen we need to keep our bodies protected from the harmful UV rays at one given time. Remember to always top this up though every few hours.
- 30 - Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before heading out into the sunshine. It will ensure your skin is properly protected against damaging UV rays.
- 30 - The lowest level of protection you should be using on your skin to keep it protected, healthy and glowing. Don’t even think of putting on that SPF 15, it won’t do anything except give you sunburn.
- 4 - The minimum star rating you should be looking at for UVA rays when buying your sunscreen. The better you protect your skin now, the more youthful it will be as you age.
The SPF Summer Shop
- The Vichy Idéal Soleil Body Milk in SPF 50 contains both broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Plus it can be used on both the face and body, so more room for that pair of shoes.
- For something a little lighter in texture, try La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Ultra-Light Spray in SPF 30, which sinks in straightaway, but has protection against both damaging UVA and UVB rays.
- For something a little more indulgent and protective, try Chantecaille’s Ultra Sun Protection. It has SPF 50 and increases protection against UVA and UVB rays by 45 times. Plus, it’s calming blend of botanicals help to soothe stressed-out skin in the sun.