Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week, Mr. MANFACE and I have managed to snag a break in Spain for some much needed R&R. I am writing as I’m out here which has been nice as I’m more relaxed so keep an eye on some fab stuff to come. However, Mr. MANFACE has already managed to burn himself across his arms and back despite my best efforts, lectures and hurling of SPF products
So, how the hell do you work out an SPF; what sun protection is best and what does it all mean?
1. The Basics
In the UK, you can be in the sun for 15 minutes before you start to burn and skin is damaged. When on holiday in warmer parts of the world, this number can decrease drastically, as well as increasing in darker climates.
There are 2 types of UV radiation, UVA and UVB. UVA is sometimes called UVAge and UVB sometimes called UVBurn. UVA rays are longer, thinner and damage deeper in the skin and break down our skin’s collagen and elastin. UVB works further up and is responsible for triggering the skin’s emergency protection to sun damage; melonin/tan production.
2. Sun Protection Factor: Quick Calculation
Do I need an SPF15, 30, 100? Well it depends really but for most cases, I’d often say SPF30 is plenty. Here’s why:
A very quick calculation tells you how long you can be in the sun before burning whilst wearing SPF.
In the UK, you have 15 minutes in the sun before burning; then let’s say you wear an SPF30. 15 x 30 = 450.
450 is the number of minutes you can be in the sun before you start to burn and your skin has had its daily fill of sun exposure. That’s 7 hours, 30 minutes; which is why I say that’s often plenty of time. Once that time has elapsed, it doesn’t matter if you reapply, the sand has fallen through the hourglass – get yourself inside.
3. Which SPF? Chemical or Mineral
Always look for UVA/UVB sunscreens; never buy one that doesn’t offer both types of protection.
Chemical sunscreens provide the most protection, particularly against sweat and swimming (although always reapply) however they are often the biggest culprit in skin reactions. These sunscreens work by scrambling the rays as the enter the skin, rendering them harmless (or much less harmful).
Mineral sunscreens work by deflecting the sun’s rays and although they need reapplying more often and provide very little sweat and moisture resistance, they are often much gentler on the skin. These are most often my weapon of choice, specifically Clinique’s mineral suncare offering.
Whatever the weather, whether home or abroad, get your SPF on. There are an absolute tonne of reviews for a whole host of SPF and sun protection products in the Suncare review archive, so be sure to check them out!