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Why is SPF so important?

Finally, after a winter that seemed to go on forever, the sun is shining, and our Bristol skies are blue. We LOVE this warmer weather, but it is so important to get sun smart and remember to keep safe in the sun this summer. Not only can the sun dehydrate the skin, causing premature ageing, but over exposure and burning can increase the risk of skin cancer.

So, let’s talk about Sun Protection Factor (SPF), otherwise known as sunscreen, sun cream or sun block and what you can do to safeguard yourself. SPF numbers represent a product’s ability to delay sun-induced burning. For example, if you normally burn in 10 minutes, one application of an SPF 15 will protect your skin for 150 minutes.

It should go without saying, but apply your cream to clean, dry skin around 30 minutes before you go out in the sun. When you look for a sunscreen we would also suggest you buy one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (UVB protection). Once you have chosen your product, it is vital to apply it correctly otherwise you are putting yourself at risk.

Whether you’re old or young your skin is most at risk between 11am and 3pm. During these times it is best to stay in the shade, wear a t-shirt, sunglasses and hat and ensure you have applied enough sun cream. Slap it on! Many people simply do not apply enough cream to their skin and think a little goes a long way. This is simply not true.

TIP: 1 shot glass = 1 full body application 1 teaspoon = 1 full face and neck application

Reapply, reapply, reapply…
Sunscreen is easily rubbed, sweated and washed off the skin, so follow the instructions to the letter. Never skip an application, especially in the middle of the day. This also goes for ‘water resistant’ and ‘waterproof’ products. Once you are out of the water and have dried off, reapply to ensure you are safe.

Keep those bottles cool…
Store your sunscreen in a cool place. Extreme heat can ruin their protective chemicals and again put you at risk from the sun.

Check the expiry date…
Most sunscreens last for around two to three years, so it is good to check your sunscreen has not expired before you start to use it. This will ensure it is still offering the level of protection you are expecting. If in doubt, buy some more.

Drink up…
As well as using sunscreen, on warmer days it is also important drink enough water to keep you feeling cool and hydrated.

Summer Dermalogica recommendation…
One of our favourite stay safe sun product must be Dermalogica’s Solar Defence Booster SPF50. Mix with your favourite moisturiser or make-up to boost Broad Spectrum UV defence. This really is a five-star SPF that shields against both UVA and UVB rays and retails at £44.00. Pop in and pick up your bottle, you know it makes sense.

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