We all know how important SPF is for our skin health – but how many of us really know why?
UV rays provide our bodies with essential vitamin D, which helps improve our bone health, boost our immune system, and even enhance our mood. But all these positives come with a big downside: overexposure to UV rays can cause serious skin complications, including premature ageing.
Here at Paul Edmonds London we stock some of the best, travel-sized SPF products on the market, so you can enjoy spending time in the sun this summer without compromising on your skin’s health. To help you make the most of the weather, we’ve put together a complete guide to SPF, so you can find out everything you need to know about sun protection.
WHAT IS SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF number indicates how much solar energy is needed to produce sunburn on protected skin in relation to the energy required to cause a reaction on unprotected skin.
Many people think SPF is linked to the time you can spend in the sun, with a higher number meaning you’re protected for longer. This isn’t the case, as everyone has diverse skin types that react differently to the sun.
There are many factors that impact your reaction to solar energy. People with fair skin are likely to absorb more solar energy than those with darker skin, and the intensity of the midday sun will absorb much faster than the rays at 8 o’clock in the morning.
These differences are the reason why it’s so important to find an SPF product that works well for your skin type, and to reapply it as much as you need to throughout the day.
WHY DO I NEED TO USE SPF?
Ask any skin specialist, and they'll tell you that UV rays are the number one cause of skin damage and premature ageing. So if you want to keep your skin youthful, hydrated, and healthy, you'll need to invest in a top-quality SPF.
We all know that using UV and infra-red protection is a must in the hot summer sun, but it’s equally important to protect your skin all year-round – even indoors. For the best level of all-round protection, you should apply your SPF every day as part of your skincare routine. On sunny days, you’ll need to reapply every couple of hours.
CAN I USE SPF UNDER MAKE-UP?
There are several SPFs that can easily be used under make-up. Heliocare 360 Airgel SPF 50+ has a gentle foaming mousse formula, so you can use it as a morning moisturiser and base for your make-up. With a discrete texture to the finish, it's perfect under your foundation and the travel size means you can easily pop it in your make-up bag.
Some foundations say they include SPF, but it’s probably very limited so it’s important to use proper UV protection too. For an effortless daytime look, Heliocare 360 Oil Free Gels act as a tinted moisturiser on its own, matching to your skin tone for a light foundation that provides complete protection and prevents damage.
If discolouration is a concern for your skin and you want to even out your skin tone, then Skinceuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense could be perfect for you. It contains Tranexamic Acid and Niacinamide to improve your skin’s clarity, boost brightness and reduce the appearance of discolouration.
WHAT SPF IS BEST FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN?
For oily, acne-prone skin, you’ll need an SPF that lets your skin breathe. There are some great oil-free, non-comedogenic formulations available that provide a high level of protection without causing break-outs.
Skinceuticals Oil Shield UV Defense is a lightweight, residue-free formula with mattifying properties to reduce oiliness. The invisible formula provides complete protection with a comfortable, dry-touch finish. For a full regime of acne reduction and prevention, pair your SPF with Silymarin CF and Blemish + Age Defense to decongest the pores and minimise inflammation.
WILL SPF MAKE MY SKIN FEEL CLAGGY OR CHALKY?
Technology has come a long way in recent years and formulations have improved a lot, so most SPFs no longer feel claggy or look chalky on the skin. Even mineral SPFs that once made you look like a waxwork now use blending technology to perfectly match your skin tone while reflecting those harmful UV rays.
Modern mineral SPFs like Skinceuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense sit on the skin rather than being absorbed, making them perfect for sensitive skin or for use after aesthetic procedures. The silky texture dries quickly has a weightless matte finish, so it’s ideal under make-up too.
MORE SPF PRODUCTS WE LOVE
Decree Day Shield SPF 30
Alongside a high level of SPF protection, this essential product includes antioxidants and peptides to keep your skin feeling younger and smoother. The invisible mist can be easily absorbed over make-up, and with its handy travel sized bottle, it’s perfect for on-the-go, post-gym protection.
Heliocare 360 Airgel SPF 50+
This must-have mousse SPF is so easy to use, making it the perfect addition to your daily skincare routine. Easily absorbed and super moisturising, with SPF 50+ protection against every possible damaging ray – including UV from the sun as well as HEVL, infra-red and even the blue light from your laptop screen.
Heliocare 360 Invisible Spray
A clear spray that leaves your skin with a glossy, sun-kissed shimmer, this water-resistant SPF is an essential for your beach bag. Rich in green tea, vitamin C and antioxidants, It helps to calm, revitalise and moisturise the skin while protecting it from harmful rays.
Head to our online shop or pop into the Paul Edmonds London salon to stock up on your SPF essentials this summer. Heading on holiday? Don't forget to come and see us before you go — book yourself in for a treatment and jet off looking your best!