It’s fair to say that not everyone gets chance to access their own personal facialist, but yes, we’re pretty good to you here at RIH. Anti-ageing queries or acne concerns?  Puffy eyes or fine lines? Each month, we’ll be giving you the chance to put your questions to super facialist and skincare expert Antonia Burrell

What’s the deal with SPF? Do I need SPF in my moisturiser and my foundation? Should I be looking for 15 or 35? And do I need to wear an SPF all year round?

skincare sun protection questions

Apply a UVA and UVB sunscreen. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkling and age spots. UVB rays can burn your skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer, so the best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light.

In my opinion, SPF is more effective applied as a separate product – I’m generally not an advocate of SPF in moisturisers, as it needs to be applied regularly to ensure continuous and maximum protection. This allows you to customise your application in relation to sun exposure. However, there’s something to be said for too much product on the skin and the onset of breakouts. I really like the brand Heliocare for high quality UVA and UVB protection.

skincare sun protection

Dermatologists recommend at least a SPF 30. For darker skins an SPF15 is ok. SPF is a rating calculated by comparing the amount of time it would take for an unprotected fair-skinned person to burn, to the amount of time it would take to burn when wearing sunscreen. For example, SPF 15 allows a person to multiply the initial unprotected burning time by a factor of 15. If a person’s skin turns red after ten minutes in the sun with no sunscreen, for example, it would take 150 minutes for him to burn.

You should always aim to avoid the sun between 11am and 2pm because this is when it is at its strongest. That said, some sun exposure is recommended on a daily basis in order for us to synthesise the health and wellbeing hormone known as Vitamin D which has many health benefits. But always be sensible. So get out there early in the morning and get some sun. It’s ok to wear sunscreen all year round, but do ensure that your skin does get some exposure. I recommend exposing the skin to the sun without SPF as often as you can just for about 10-20 minutes in the mornings. Checking your skin for unusual changes is crucial too.

vitamin d

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