Watch: What is SPF and why is it important?
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Looking young is a big business. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2027, the global anti-ageing market will reach a staggering $83.2 billion! It’s not hard to see why – not only does looking younger never go out of fashion, but anti-ageing products are often very expensive.
However, skincare blogger Lateef Saka, doesn’t believe you have to spend loads of money to protect your skin and keeping it looking its best.
His secret? Sunscreen!
“UVA rays actually affect your dermis - this refers to the lower levels of your skin,” explains Saka.
“UVB, rays do their damage and that's what we see with burning, but with UVA rays and UV rays in general, we tend to see that they actually speed up the process of ageing… Fine lines, your wrinkles, discoloration, dark spots, hyperpigmentation.”
Despite a sunscreen – or products that contain SPF – being a crucial element in all skincare routines, it seems us Brits are a bit confused about what SPF really is.
A survey by Mintel found that under half of women use facial skincare products containing SPF, with 40% of those surveyed finding it difficult to know which levels of sun protection to use on a daily basis.
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Thankfully Saka says there is a simple calculation you can use to determine which SPF you need on a daily basis.
“SPF is actually a theoretical calculation,” he explains. “It helps you determine how long you can stay under sun without getting burnt.”
He continues: “If I decided to use an SPF 20, the theoretical assumption there is that I can stay out for 20 times as long.”
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So, if you burn after sitting in the sun without protection for 10 minutes, wearing SPF 20 means you can actually enjoy the sun safely for 200 minutes.
According to Saka, another thing we get wrong is how much - and how often - we should be applying sunscreen.
“You want to make sure that you're putting on at least two fingers worth of SPF and reapplying every single two hours,” he states.
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He also advises wearing some sort of sunscreen on your face or exposed body every day - even when it’s not sunny.
He says: “What a lot of people don't know is that even when it's not hot and even when it's not sunny, you should be wearing SPF on a daily basis”
Watch: Top tips for an everyday skincare routine