Health & Fitness

SPF: All You Need to Know About Suncare

Swot up on suncare with our simple guide to staying safe in the sun.

The sun is out, out, and there’s nothing we want to do more than basking in that glorious sunshine.

But before you spend your lunch hour soaking up the rays, it’s time to get serious about your suncare.

What’s the difference between UV-A, UV-B and Infrared-A?

UV-A are long-wave rays, responsible for ageing and wrinkling as they cause damage deep in the skin. UV-A protection is rated in stars, with 5* being the highest.

UV-B are short- wave rays and can cause burning and tanning on the surface of the skin. SPF is what protects against UV-B levels and the healthy range for SPF is SPF15 to SPF50+, depending on your skin type.

Infrared-A rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing both short and long-term skin damage.

What SPF should I use?

Stick to SPF 30 at least if you can. if you have very sensitive skin, always go for SPF50.

How much sun cream should I apply?

Too little lotion and you’re at risk of burning and too much is a waste. So what’s the sweet spot?

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat recommends using an amount equivalent to the size of a golf ball, or six teaspoons, to cover your entire body.

In terms of how much that is in a bottle, on average, a 200ml bottle has enough for around six adult applications so try and use accordingly.

When should I apply sun cream?

Apply it an hour before you’re going outdoors and reapply every two hours.

You should also apply it even if you’re in the shade, as it won’t completely protect you from damaging UV rays.

“Whilst spending time in the shade will keep you out of reach of UV-A rays, UV-B rays can reach the skin indirectly so you may still be at risk. To avoid UV-B rays, you need to find a shaded area where you are unable to see the sky so none of these harmful rays can penetrate, or opt for sun care with UV-B protection,” explains Anshu.

It’s also a well-known thought that you should apply an SPF to your face every single day, even in winter. Many face creams have SPF in them so you’ll be covered, or look for a spray SPF to mist over your make-up.





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