Sun is out, skin is out , time to get your SPF on

All you need to know about suncreams and what to look out for

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey

Sun is out, skin is out , time to get your SPF on

Sun is out!

There probably isn’t a more confusing topic than that of sunscreens. It’s easy to get lost in the UVA, UVB, SPF (sun protection factor) alphabet soup.

And it doesn't end there - should you go with spray, pump or bottle? How much should you spread and how often? Is the cheap bottle as good as the dear one?

Let's just bypass the fact that we all should be wearing sunscreen EVERY day of the year and deal with the fact that at long last we have sunshine and now we start panic buying sunscreen.

First off know UVA ages the skin while UVB burns the skin.
SPF measures a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging your skin.
If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start going red, an SPF of 15 sunscreen should stop you burning for 15 times 20 minutes. SPFs can also be viewed through a percentage prism. So 15, filters out 93% of UVB, 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98%.
But you cannot stay outside on just one application of sunscreen.

La Roche Posay Anthelois Fresh Mist F50 is perfect for topping up over make up

The higher SPFs block more rays but you must be reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating.
A star rating is used to indicate UVA rates: one-star cream offers “minimum” protection while five-star cream provides “ultra” cover.

Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going into the sun in order for it to bond with the skin.

You should apply a teaspoon for the face, each arm, each leg, the front of the body and the back. You will probably end up using 35ml of sun cream for your whole body.
Research has shown that cost is actually not a factor, the industry is highly regulated so if you have a 30 sunscreen with a 5 star UVA rate then it doesn't matter the brand, it should do what is on the packaging.

Spray/ pump/ gel/ lotion doesn't matter whatever you prefer or whatever works easier to cover slippery kids.

Ladies - moisturiser with SPF built in is NOT enough. You should put suncream on 15 minutes before you apply make up and you need to top up your skin with a spray or cream throughout the day to stay fully protected.

You can use a mineral powder to top up, a gel or a spray to keep your skin protected.
No sunscreen can provide 100% sun protection. Remember – Slip on a t-shirt, Slop on sunscreen factor, Slap on a hat, Slide on sunglasses and Seek shade.