SPF | The importance of Suncream and Applying it Correctly.

Is she rather late to the party? Yes that would be correct. Does the subject still rile her up the wall? Absolutely. That ‘she’ we are talking about is me of course. The topic of SPF has sparked many a debate over the past month, when Caroline Hirons rightfully called out Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and owner of Goop, when she stated that SPF should be placed only on the high points of your face like highlighter.

The fact is, such an influential and high profile individual like Gwyneth Paltrow should not be giving out information that is scientifically incorrect without the right amount of research. Not only is this misinformed but also dangerous; if you use SPF/Suncream correctly you can decrease the chance of getting skin cancer by 50% (for melanoma) and 40% for squamous cell carcinoma (find out more here). Furthermore it also helps decrease the signs of ageing and is just an all around great protector for your skin.

You might be asking why a 21 year old is jumping on the SPF bandwagon when she isn’t a dermatologist and has no background in skincare, which I understand is pretty ironic considering the above information. Well, it is because I know a large part of my audience live in the north of Scotland and from conversations with friends I can guarantee you that the vast majority of them (those in the North of Scotland) don’t wear SPF regularly or know near enough about it. So rather than spouting uneducated information I am sharing information from qualified sources so you can be more educated on matters surrounding your skin.

Up until around 2 years ago I never understood or knew about the importance of regularly wearing SPF, of course we mainly acknowledge it as important for wearing when out in the sun (in the scorching heat), which is not that often for us in the North of Scotland. However, I know understand that SPF should be worn every day, no matter what the weather is like. We are all subject to the sun even when it is gloomy outside.

Not only is using SPF necessary, so is using the right suncream. It should always be above SPF 15, I always go for SPF 30 or above. I am currently using La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios SPF 50 + Fluid and have been really impressed with its ability to sink into my skin and not leave any white residue on my face. Furthermore I highly recommend staying clear of just wearing SPF found in moisturisers or BB creams. If it is mixed it is probably diluted/you won’t be putting the right quantity on. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, in conversation with a dermatologist, wearing say an SPF 30 means you are 30 times less likely to get burnt by the sun.

Regardless of the SPF, though, it’s important to apply one ounce (two tablespoons) 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

‘Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better?’ – Skin Cancer Foundation

Although I know my audience is predominantly female I also want to highlight the shocking statistics of skin cancer in men. Men’s Health have stated that men are 60% more likely to be killed by the skin cancer Melanoma. I must add that exposure to the sun isn’t the only cause of skin cancer but it is a prevalent one and something that we can easily implement measures to prevent. To find out the signs of skin cancer look here. Thus, the importance of using SPF is paramount.

Now back to the disastrous misinformation provided by Gwyneth. She appeared in Vogue’s video interview whereby they invite celebrities to go through their skincare/makeup routine (video embedded). Which is great in the sense it is a platform for celebrities to share their favourite brands and give a platform to them. However, it shouldn’t be a platform for them to share misinformed information to a rather large audience.

I highly recommend reading Caroline’s blog post on the whole interview, it is highly entertaining and dispels a lot of the rubbish Gwyneth talks about (not only included to her placement of SPF).

Basically what I am trying to say is, when you see a celebrity bang on about their love of something (for example ‘clean’ products which don’t exist) take it with a pinch of salt. I’d never want to see someone use their information as gospel, especially when it can have disastrous effects. Even when Paltrow has created a brand that has cultivated an audience who want to hang on to every word she says we can acknowledge that not everyone is always right. And if you do want to take on that information why not do your own research first. I implore you to research SPF once you’re finished reading this, at least that way your decision is on your own terms with your own information.

I watched a video about a year ago where InTheFrow compared her skincare results a few months/a year (unfortunately I cannot find the video) apart. She did actually have a visit from La Roche-Posay in her most recent video where they use the exact same machine I am referring to. In the images you can see when she was not wearing SPF rigorously and when she was. The change in her sun damage was immense. Therefore I want to reassure you that it is never too late to add SPF into your skincare regime. You simply need to add it on top of your moisturiser and before your makeup, making sure to leave a few minutes before each step to let the product soak in. I might also add that SPF is not just for the super pale among us, absolutely everyone should be wearing it on the daily. If you don’t wear SPF you might find that you’ll age a lot quicker or more prominently when you’re older because of the sun damage.

I’ve linked here Stylist Magazine’s Beauty section as they have covered a wide range of topics surrounding SPF. Including what suncreams to use, how to apply it and what is best for your skin type/colour.

Let me know your thoughts below!

And remember SPF is not just for Summer but for all year round.

Sending lots of love,

Sophie x

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