SPF (sun protection factor)

An ongoing debate...

Should you use a face cream with a built in SPF??

So there are two main concerns with using a face cream with an SPF built in....

1) Getting the correct concentration of sunscreen.

2) Sunscreen is meant to sit on the skin to act as a defence between your face and the sun. Whereas face cream is the opposite with ingredients wanting to penetrate the skin!

With so many face creams on the market that contain an SPF you'd probably be thinking its the best and easiest way to protect yourself from harmful rays.

UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. On the electromagnetic spectrum, UV light has shorter wavelengths than visible light, so your eyes can’t see UV, but your skin can feel it. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation.

Two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk for skin cancer:

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, and is associated with skin aging.

  • Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning.

While UVA and UVB rays differ in how they affect the skin, they both do harm. Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB damages the DNA in skin cells, producing genetic defects, or mutations, that can lead to skin cancer (as well as premature aging.) These rays can also cause eye damage, including cataracts and eyelid cancers.

(info from Skin Cancer Foundation website)

To achieve the advised level of SPF you need to use two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimetre of skin - which is a rather generous amount of product.

Most combined face creams with SPF just don't contain enough sunscreen to be effective without using so much product that you'd look like you'd fallen face first into a plate of whipped cream!

Plus combining both products can dilute the formulas so if you're using a face cream SPF 30, more often than not it will be less than that!

With the recommendation of reapplying every couple of hours not only do you not want to overuse your face cream its not going to be practical if you're wearing make up.

Sunscreen is not an ingredient and it should be treated as a very important layer in your skincare routine and should always be applied last - but before makeup.

The purpose of sunscreen is to form a protective film on top of the skin to shield it.

SPF is not there to restore moisture balance or deliver ingredients deeper into the skin

Always check the back of the bottle for protection levels ....

Aim for a 5 star rating and a higher SPF.

Sunscreen is its own layer of skin protection and shouldn't be added to a face cream.
Combining both products can dilute the formulas, and by keeping them separate, you'll reap the full benefits of your SPF and face cream.

I really hope this has given you food for thought and would love to know how you apply your SPF!?


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