Do I really need SPF ??

To put it shortly, yes you do!

The sun (whether you can see it or not) emits UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVA rays are associated with ageing, wrinkles, pigmentation and age spots. UVB rays are the rays that cause sunburn and are directly correlated with skin cancers including basal cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Sunbeds also emit the same UV rays as the sun, causing long-term, irreversible damage to the skin. There is a massive misconception that sunbed use prior to going abroad builds a natural resilience/defence to the sun rays. UV damage is cumulative, how you treat your skin in your 20’s is going to show on the skin in your 30’s and so on.

*Dont confuse light therapy such as our Healite machine used to treat skin conditions, with sunbeds! The wavelengths of light emitted from the Healite are completely different to sunbeds and actually help with slowing down the ageing process!

A broad spectrum SPF protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays by absorbing the rays or reflecting them away from the skin. In order for a sunscreen to be effective, you must reapply it liberally at least every 2 hours. The Irish Skin Cancer recommends a full teaspoon of SPF for you face, neck and ears to receive the adequate protection. Holy moly thats a lot! Many cosmetic moisturisers and foundations state that they contain SPF, however they usually only protect against UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate far deeper into the skin, resulting in premature ageing of the skin, so it is imperative to have a broad spectrum SPF. It would take quite a lot of foundation on the skin in order to get the right SPF coverage! Preferably your make up should just give a boost of added SPF protection.

If you still aren’t convinced that you need an SPF daily, google ‘William the truck driver’, you’re welcome!

My favourite SPF of all time is Environ’s RAD SPF 15. This is a mineral based, broad spectrum SPF that excludes all the nasty extras that you usually find in generic SPF’s, such as tonnes of unnecessary chemicals, fragrances, colourings and preservatives. Environ argue that there is very little difference in the amount of protection given between an SPF 15 and SPF 50, so why bother slapping even more chemicals onto your face? Its also packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals (bad guys that make your skin cell age quicker). Note, if your breakout-prone, I would opt for the Alpha Day Lotion which has all the goodness of the RAD, with added lactic acid to aid in breakout prevention.

If you’re looking for a super light-weight, fast-absorbing SPF then check out the Ultra UV PDM SPF 30 Hydrating from the Ultraceutical‘s range. This daily moisturiser helps to protect the skin from harmful UVA & UVB rays and is packed with antioxidants, alongside shea butter for added comfort for those who experience dry skin. We also stock their Ultra UV PDM SPF 30 Mattifying moisturiser, which is an ideal alternative for clients who would have oily/break-out prone skin types as it packs all the same protection against UVA & UVB rays but leaves the skin with a matte finish. It also contains Silica to mop up excess oil and sebum.

Another all time favourite SPF in Urba is the IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ range. Their Daily Matte Moisturiser acts as a mineral-based SPF and antioxidant moisturiser all in one and smells divine! Its also super if you are on the oily side and find your make up sliding off by 12pm as it is oil free and is the perfect primer.

For most clients, skincare is all about trial and error. Something that suits me may send your skin into a tizzy and vice versa! Your skin therapist should be able to help point you in the right direction based on your skin needs and lifestyle.

Ailbhe Gullane

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