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Autumn 2021Beauty Feature: Sun Protection Factor


Beverley Watson is a director and therapist at Revive Me with 24 years’ experience in the beauty industry, including seven years as a lecturer and assessor. She is skilled in all aspects of beauty, HD Pro Brow stylist, CND L&P master nail tech.

When we think of SPF (sun protection factor), most of us only think we need it when being exposure to bright sunshine and ensure that it is packed ahead of our holidays. Here is our guide to SPF and protecting your skin from UV rays.

What is SPF?

SPF (sun protection factor) indicates how long it will take UVB (burning) rays – the main cause of sunburn – to make the skin red. For example, SPF 15 means it will take 15 times longer for our skin to go red with the cream on than without. UVA (ageing) rays are different, these penetrate the skin more deeply and they play a major participation in accelerating the signs of skin cancer and premature skin ageing. They are the same rays emitted from sunbeds. To protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, you should ensure that the SPF is 15 plus AND that it says, ‘broad spectrum’. This means that the product has ingredients to protect against both of these UV rays. However, it is recommended to use a higher protection of SPF 30 or 50.

SPF isn’t just for summer or sunny days

Our skin is exposed to UV rays every single day, photo damage or UV exposure can occur from daylight exposure through clouds, rain, glass, snow, and even fluorescent lighting!

You should wear a generous amount every day to protect your skin as it helps slow down the effects of premature ageing.

Approximately 90% of photo ageing is preventable by wearing your SPF every day.

Chemical versus physical

Chemical sun cream works by absorbing UV radiation and is generally more popular as the sun cream absorbs into the skin, meaning it feels lighter and is less noticeable.

Physical sun cream works by reflecting or scattering UV radiation. On the skin, it can feel heavier and looks more noticeable, however it provides more coverage and is more resistant to swimming and sweat.

How much should I use?

Creams and lotions deliver better protection than spray formulations. The recommended amount of sun protection for our face is one teaspoon of sun cream to give you the SPF protection stated on the bottle’s label.

The equivalent of one shot glass of sun cream is sufficient enough to protect the rest of your body, but this must be topped up every two hours, or after swimming or exercise.

SPF for your face does not have to be the sun protection you use for the rest of your body, as in many cases it can be too heavy and clog the skin.

It is recommended that you consult a skin therapist who will recommend the perfect SPF for your skin’s needs.

Book in with our Dermalogica skin therapist for your FREE skin map analysis.