Stay skin safe 12 months of the year with SPF

By Geraldine Fitzgerald

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of the importance of wearing SPF year-round to guard your skin. Although if you are living under a rock, you’re probably ok.

Choosing the right SPF goes far beyond our obsession with getting a tan. UV rays from the sun come in 2 forms - UVA rays which cause ageing and UVB rays which cause burning.

Recent research suggests high-energy visible blue light (HEV) can cause oxidative effects, which can lead to premature skin ageing and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Broad Spectrum means protection against UVA and UVB light and in newer products, may protect against HEV.

The number next to the SPF indicates how much longer it will take skin to redden with the sunscreen, versus how long it would take to redden without it.

In the case of fair Celtic skin, factor 50 is always recommended for the face (and kid’s whole bodies) to offer maximum protection. Once you have the broadest range of protection there’s a slew of options on the actual products that contain it. From dry sprays to emollient lotions, to waterproof formulas and tinted moisturisers, there’s a ton of ways to stay safe without feeling sticky.

Products with SPF do have a shelf life, so don’t reuse that giant bottle you bought before the pandemic.

You’ll find SPF products run the gamut from value pricing to seriously expensive – it’s worth spending a bit to get high SPF in a texture you’re happy to wear. Tinted facial fluids with an SPF50 will give you a healthy glow and usually have a flattering, blurring effect so can even be worn in place of foundation.

To see the effects of sun exposure try comparing an area that’s usually exposed like your arm, to the skin that’s usually covered like your buttock. Enough said!