In the UK, it’s not unusual to have a yearning to finally catch that rare sunshine when it does finally arrive. Of course, whilst a sun-kissed glow can be desirable, it’s extremely important to consider the dangers that can come along with sun exposure.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with at least 1000,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main preventable cause of skin cancer and experiencing sunburn, particularly in childhood, increases your risk of developing the disease later in life. It’s extremely important to protect yourself and your family everyday as you can still be exposed to these harmful UV rays even on grey and cloudy days. So, here is our sunscreen guide to answer all the questions you might have!
Who needs sunscreen?
Everyone should wear sunscreen daily. Not only can this protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, preventing skin cancer, but it can also slow down signs of aging. Regardless of age, gender or race sunscreen is essential for everyone.
Which sunscreen should I use? What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
It is always recommended to use a minimum of SPF30 sunscreen or higher, and one that is water-resistant. Broad spectrum sunscreens - such as all offerings from We Are Feel Good Inc. - are the best option to protect against both types of harmful rays from the sun. Whilst both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer, here’s the difference between these two types of rays:
- UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots. These rays pass through window glass meaning you should still be applying your sunscreen even when sat indoors.
- UVB rays are those harmful rays which can cause sunburn, they are blocked by window glass.
Unfortunately there is no safe way to tan, and we should remember that everytime you tan you are damaging your skin.
How much sunscreen should I use?
Most people only actually apply up to 30% of the recommended amount of sunscreen - it’s important to ensure that you cover all areas of your skin that clothing will not cover. For adults a minimum of enough to fill a shot glass (that’s two tablespoons) is needed to cover the body, not forgetting those pesky areas such as the tops of your feet and back of the neck. This should be applied at least 15 minutes before going outdoors.
How much sunscreen to use on my face?
Whilst plenty of moisturisers and foundations claim to contain SPF, the amount you would need to use of these in order to achieve this level of protection is almost impossible! Your best option is to always apply a dedicated sunscreen as the last step of your skincare routine.
If you’re anything like us and have been stuck on skincare TikTok for the past few weeks, you’ll already know the simple two finger trick for SPF application on your face. This is when you squeeze out two strips of sunscreen from the base to the tip of the index and middle fingers - this amount should be applied to your face, including your eyelids, lips, and ears and brought down onto your neck and chest. As a general rule, the more the better!
How to apply sunscreen on the face and body?
Simply slap it on! Don’t be shy, apply thoroughly, ensuring every area of skin which will be exposed to sunlight has been covered. For those with darker skin tones, opt for a sheer sunscreen (such as the selection by We Are Feel Good Inc) in order to avoid those pesky white casts we often think of from old-school sunscreens - a la Mark Zukerberg in Hawaii.
How often should you reapply sunscreen?
Ideally sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating heavily. This is even the case for SPF50! The best time to apply is just before you go outside, not only will you have fewer distractions meaning your application will be more thorough but it means you will be ready for any sun exposure.