As we move into the summer season, making sure you're up-to-date on all the best ways to apply your SPF is key to avoiding burning or overexposure, and still ensuring a golden glow ☀️ We've compiled some of the most classic sun cream myths that we hear, as well as what you should be doing for best, more responsible tanning results 💛
"I only need SPF on holiday"
Although it is great that many people use sun cream whilst on holiday, this usage shouldn't end as soon as you get back on the plane. The sun in the UK can be just as strong as it is abroad, and therefore the risk of overexposure and burning can be just as relevant all around the globe.
We recommend applying year-round, but with a clear focus on the warmer months when UVB strength is more powerful. A great way to check this is with the UV index; the higher the index, the more important SPF application is.
"I don’t need SPF I have a darker skin tone"
This is one of the most common misunderstandings surrounding sun cream. Those with more melanin in their skin are less likely to become overexposed, or burnt, by the sun, but there are more reasons for apply SPF than just avoiding sun burn. Sun cream also works to combat the signs of ageing and protect against skin damage. With this in mind, it should be a 'must' in everyone's skincare regime for the best skin condition possible.
It could be argued that it is more important for those with fair skin to wear sun protection to avoid overexposure. However, this doesn't rid those with deeper skin tones of the necessity.
"Body and face SPF are the same"
Although typically many tanners will apply the same SPF for their whole body, some can find that this irritates sensitive skin, such as on the face. With this in mind, we have specific products designed for specific parts of the body:
Face lotions: These are hypoallergenic and fragrance free, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin. These can be applied on their own, or layered on top of your skincare and underneath makeup for a protected look.
Tattoo products: Sun cream will provide a certain level of protection to tattoos when spending time outdoors. However, specifically designed products will help to combat UV's ability to fade tattoos, by providing further hydration and using ingredients which will help boost vibrancy.
"I only need to use SPF when it is sunny"
The sun is a clear indicator that sun cream needs to be worn, however, clouds can be deceptive. UVA is present all year round. This is the ageing ray, which can penetrate clouds and windows. To help protect skin from signs of ageing, SPF should be applied daily.
"I can apply SPF at the beginning of the day, and that’s enough"
Even with sun cream that claims to be "once a day" application, we always recommend following NHS advice:
- Apply 10 - 20 minutes before sun exposure
- Reapply sun cream every two hours as a minimum. This frequency should be increased if swimming, sweating or towel drying.
Not only will applying this regularly offer a lessened risk of burning, but it also feeds and nourishes skin with all of the skincare goodies in our products for soft, touchable, rejuvenated skin.
"All factors basically mean the same thing"
The SPF's number means you can stay out in the sun for up to X times longer than your normal exposure before burning. For example, if you can stay in the sun for 10 minutes without sun protection before burning, you can stay in the sun for 300 minutes (30 x longer) or 5 hours.
Note that this doesn’t mean once you have been in the sun for 5 hours, you can reapply and stay out for another 5 hours. That is the maximum duration for the day before you need to cover up or get out of the sun. Using a lower SPF limits the time spent in the sun. So if using an SPF 6, you could stay in the sun for 6 x longer than if you had not applied sun cream.
This changes depending on skin types. Someone with naturally darker skin tones typically can stay in the sun for longer without burning but should still exercise caution when tanning outdoors. So if they can stay in the sun for 30 minutes before burning without SPF and they use SPF 10 then they can also stay out for 300 minutes or 5 hours.
"I won’t tan if I wear a higher factor"
Sun protection doesn't prevent tanning, it simply protects skin from burning. Tanning is a natural process that takes place when skin is exposed to UVA and UVB. As explained above, the higher a factor does not mean the stronger the protection, just the longer the protection lasts. With this in mind, applying a lower factor to help build a tan has little effect except increase the risk of burning for those with fairer skin types.