Yes, to the much needed glorious sunshine, throwing some serious shade with killer sunglasses, the spontaneous BBQs and after work drinks. Wait, can I get an even bigger YES to the happier faces on my morning commute into London? YES, I’m talking about all the things that make SUMMER my favourite season for just having even more of a reason to love life.
There’s ONE majorly BIG thing we all have in common that needs even more attention as the nights get longer, drinks get colder and music gets louder in the summer months. SKIN, yes SKIN.
I’ll be the first to admit that, for one of the Myths I’m going to share with you, I had previously been borderline ignorant when it came to paying attention to the effect of the sun on my skin. I was totally all about the summer FGF (Feel Good Factors) as opposed to SPF (Sun Protection Factor).
Well, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, it’s time to step up what you know and think about SPF. So whether you think you’re all clued up about SPF or literally see it on product packaging and think you’re all ‘protected’.
Here are the Top 3 Myths about SPF that you definitely NEED to know.
Myth #1: The higher the SPF number, the more time I can spend protected in the sun.
NO MATTER the SPF number you need to reapply every 2 hours. Without getting too scientific, there is actually a tiny difference between the level of protection you get from the different SPFs. A SPF15 blocks about 93% of UV radiation (specifically UVB, the little devils that play a role in skin cancer), SPF30 blocks 97% and SPF50, blocks an estimated 98%. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, anything labelled higher than SPF50 has got to be the best, right? Well, it’s not that simple. The downside of thinking this way is that most people think this means you can stay out much longer in the sun
but the second type of UV radiation, UVA, which is the other rascal that causes the premature aging effects from the sun is actually NOT measured by SPF. The important men and women in white coats have actually made sure that all brands retailing SPF products across Europe and Australia go no higher than SPF50 as SPF should not be the only preventive precaution taken to protect us from both UVB and UVA radiation. Your skin will thank you for breaking up your time in the sun with time out in the shade and maybe accessorising with a hat.
So, whether you’re wearing SPF15 or SPF50 you still need to reapply every 2 hours, although SPF30-SPF50 is what’s recommended by most dermatologists. Don’t worry keep reading if you’re thinking how the hell are you going to do this with a full face of make-up.
Myth #2: My makeup has SPF in it so I’m good thanks.
Wearing make up with SPF in it unfortunately does not act as a good enough barrier for UV rays. It definitely is a nice to have, but not enough to adequately protect your skin. One good way to make sure that your protected, is by using a moisturiser with at least an SPF30 under your makeup. Make sure to give the moisturizer enough time to soak in to your skin before applying make-up and less is more (half a teaspoon). My ultimate go to is…
Aēsop Protective Body Lotion SPF50 (£27).
I love the fact that it’s super light, protects against both UVB and UVA rays and smells delish. Don’t you just hate when something is good for you and smells like crap, so when I found this Aēsop moisturiser I did a little happy dance.
So what if your Primer and / or foundation already has SPF in it? What you need to remember is, SPF is secondary in terms of all the other ingredients in our makeup, so therefore the level of SPF in our make-up is nowhere near enough. Also, because SPF does NOT add up, you can’t use a primer with SPF15 in and a foundation with SPF20 in and get a total of SPF35. Your protection is only as strong as your highest SPF, so in this case it's still SPF20.
Even with your face contoured to the gods and the glow of your highlighter bright enough to nearly blind someone, there are ways to make sure you get that extra protection you need every 2 hours when you’re out in the sun. For me it’s either a SPF mist spray or lightly dusting a powder with SPF in, every 2 hours. I’ll have to admit I tend to reach for the mist spray as I usually don’t like adding powder on my face when I feel a bit hot and bothered from the sun.
The Pixi Sun Mist (SPF30) is my favourite. This mist is the answer for all us who worry about keeping our make-up in check. I know the main thing we’re talking about is the SPF but this mist is a total beaut for cooling you down, doesn’t leave you oily and definitely does not move my makeup. If I’m the reason you buy this summer I’ll be so happy, I don’t care if this sounds like a product plug (which it really isn't) but this actually is a game changer when it comes to something quick and easy to make sure you have that protection even with your make up on. It’s literally a quick spritz 15 minutes before you soak up those rays and you’re good to go.
Guys I’ve got news for you but...
Yes, it's true that those of us with dark skin won’t burn as easy as those with a lighter skin tone. This is the Myth that I mentioned earlier I stupidly used to think was true. Even though black skin has a natural SPF of about 13.4 and pale white skin 3.4, it is 100% not enough to protect against the effects of sun damage. All this means is that, although the melanin in our skin DOES give a slightly higher level of natural protection and may take a bit longer to burn compared to fairer skin, If SPF30 is the minimum level of protection recommended by dermatologists the natural levels of SPF don’t even begin to scratch the surface
The main concerns for dark skin tones usually include hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone, which can all be caused by not paying enough attention to protecting our skin from the harmful sun rays. We’ve all heard the saying ‘Black don’t crack’. I guess we also have to remember that everything has a breaking point. The effect of sun damage adds up under the surface of ALL skin tones and all things beneath the surface although can take time, will eventually show up on the surface. You only get one SKIN so do yourself favour and love the skin you’re in.
I hope you’ve learn’t a thing or two about SPF because I have really enjoyed writing this. It’s something I really believe not enough of us pay attention to, or talk about with friends and family the same way we would do if we found a new bad ass make up product.
Sharing is definitely caring in this case.
Post Cover Picture courtesy of @islandboiphotography, Makeup by @moshoodat, Model @melaniin.goddess (Khoudia Diop)