Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Looking after your face and skin in the sun

We all know our face is important to our appearance and many of us spend a lot of time on looking good before we go out, but are we taking the right actions in very sunny weather?
Many moisturisers have a SPF (sun protection factor), often about 15. However, if you are out and about you should not rely on one of these instead of sun cream on your face. Which have recently conducted a survey on these and found that of the 15 products they tested 3 did not come up to their stated SPF in the Which tests. They also found that the best moisturisers with an SPF factor were not the most expensive.
We all know that suntan creams have an SPF factor and that the higher the number the better. But, other than that do you know what the SPF tells you? The SPF factor gives you an indication of how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning. As a rough guide SPF 15 means 15 times longer and SPF 50 means 50 times longer – but see later!
If you are using a sunscreen then look for one with both UVA and UVB protection. Even if the sun does not feel strong using a broad spectrum sunscreen between M arch and September will help give protection against premature skin ageing and skin cancer.
The effectiveness of the SPF depends on you, where in the world you are, the time of day, the weather conditions and how long you are in the sun as well as how long the active ingredients in the sun cream take to degrade.
Although the skin does a great job for us, the sun does cause damage. Protecting the skin, particularly the face from the sun’s powerful rays makes sense, not just for now but for the future. Learning more about SPF, UVA and UVB makes great sense.
If you rely on the SPF of your moisturiser or foundation to give you protection over the summer then it’s worth reading more about these by following this link: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2008/05/three-lotions-fail-the-which-sunscreen-test-144100