Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, Consultant Dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic reviewed some of the latest SPF products in the Daily Mail to educate readers about the efficacy of the products and what to look for when choosing. With skin cancer rates rapidly increasing in the UK, it’s imperative that individuals are educated about the importance of sun protection products to help protect against harmful UV rays and reduce the risk.
Dr Borysiewicz reviewed a range of products comprising tinted moisturisers, sprays, long-lasting creams, scalp protection, gels, SPF makeup, lip balm and even an SPF pill (which Dr Borysiewicz stresses the need to use SPF in combination with taking this as studies are ongoing).
Regardless of the particular brand of sunscreen used, Dr Borysiewicz advises everybody to apply the following principals to give the very best protection:
Apply SPF 50+ sunscreen- the higher SPF the better, as studies have shown that on average people will apply less than half the amount of sunscreen required to provide the level of protection on the packaging
Don’t forget to apply to commonly missed sites- back, neck ears and feet.
Reapply regularly throughout the day and do not trust claims of ‘once a day application’ products
Limit your exposure to UV by avoiding 11am-3pm peak hours of the day.
Be aware that even under shade you will be exposed to 15% of ambient UV.
Dr Borysiewicz also stresses the importance of understanding sunscreen labels:
Sunscreens with a high sun protection factor (SPF) help to block UVB and prevent burning of the skin and UV damage. UVA protection is also important, as UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and has been shown to also cause damage- look for a UVA shield or 5* protection. Modern sunscreens are sleek multi-tasking products and a world away from their sticky unpleasant precursors. There are two modes of action of sunscreens:
Firstly, chemical or ‘absorber’ sunscreens - chemicals contained within the cream ‘absorb’ harmful UV radiation like a sponge.
Secondly reflective sunscreens - these contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which work by reflecting back the UV from the surface of the skin like a mirror. Newer reflective sunscreens have used nano-particle technology to make the reflective agents smaller and easier to apply to the skin and less likely to leave white streaks.
Sunscreen is the cheapest and most effective anti-ageing products on the market, so it is an essential step in the daily beauty regime to preserve and protect the skin.