The Importance of SPF: Keeping Your Skin Sun-Safe

by | May 16, 2022

When it comes to healthy skin, protecting it from the effects of sun damage is one of the most important steps you can take.

Despite our country’s cloudy disposition, Ireland has one of the world’s highest detection rates of melanoma and skin cancer with over 13,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Spending any time in the sun, regardless of your skin type, can put you at a higher risk for sun damage. Even in cloudy conditions, harmful UV rays can still penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, causing damage to the skin cells.

This doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid the outdoors though! After all, sun exposure is the best natural source of vitamin D and is also great for your general health.

Looking out for the signs – UVA and UVB Damage

Skin cancer is a disease of skin cells.

More specifically, it’s the abnormal growth of these skin cells as the result of overexposure to the sun and harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. While much of this damage is repaired naturally, some remains which can lead to skin cancer.

Early detection is vital in avoiding skin cancer and melanoma, and, if spotted early, up to 90% of cases are curable.

Any over exposure to UV rays from the sun (or sunbeds) leading to tanning, redness, or burning of the skin, causes damage to skin cells. UVA and UVB are the two forms of UV that cause sun damage and skin cancer.

UVA: These rays are longer and are what causes the skin to tan. These rays also age skin cells and are linked to damage such as wrinkles and some skin cancers.

UVB: These rays are shorter have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They are the rays that cause sunburns and are also thought to cause most skin cancers.

Avoid Sun Damage with SPF

Although Ireland doesn’t receive a whole lot of sun, UV rays can still easily penetrate through clouds (and windows!) to damage your skin. In order to protect your skin from this damage, at skin&bodyworks we recommend wearing a good SPF all year round!

The importance of a good sun cream with a high SPF cannot be understated when talking about UV harm. This SPF – or the ‘Sun Protection Factor’ – measures how well a sun cream protects you from harmful UV rays:

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays

 

Choosing an SPF from 15 to 50+ is an absolute must if you plan on being outside for a prolonged period of time, or if you have particularly fair skin. Reapplying your sun cream frequently is also very important.

Great additional ingredients for these SPF sun creams are Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum, which help to nourish the skin – whilst also offering UV protection.

To learn more about our large skin&bodyworks range of SPF products, simply click here to visit our online store. Alternatively, why not drop into one of our salons, either in Navan or Ratoath, or give us a call 046 902 2773 (Navan) or 01 689 6415 (Ratoath).