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Make SPF your BFF.

I talk about SPF all day every day, I like to think of it as your trusty sidekick always there to protect you when you need it. However, it saddens me to hear that people are still not wearing SPF daily, or even worse they are having sunbeds and allowing their children to bask in the sunshine without any protection!

Skin cancer is the 5th most common form, and wearing the correct SPF daily can significantly reduce the risk of developing it.

So I want to share the reasons why SPF must become your best friend for life, not just when you go on holiday.

Did you know the sun is the largest object in the solar system?

Classed as a star it's core temperature is 15 million degrees, a temperature impossible to house life. But with temperatures soaring around the world, we all know our planet is getting hotter and the danger of UV comes with this so SPF is more important now in your daily routine than it has ever been.

SPF stands for sun protection factor and these little bottles of liquid protection will defend your skin against UVA and UVB rays. UVB is the ray we all know about, the burning ray. We see the effects of this ray on our skin when the sun shines, we tan. But did you know a tan is actually a scar? It's your skin's way of protecting itself from this harmful ray by producing a little brown jacket to cover your delicate skin.

We all love a tan because it makes us feel healthy to have a glow but if you burn your skin it can increase the rates of you developing skin cancer in later life. The more often you burn the greater your risk.

UVA is the silent but deadly ray, the one we don't see on a daily basis but the one that is present all year round. It is impossible to tell if we have been exposed to too much UVA until it is too late. UVA rays will penetrate into your dermis, what I like to call the root of your skin, and cause destruction. Your dermis houses some of the most important cells including our collagen and elastin. When collagen and elastin cells are broken down our skin simply falls in on itself and we get lines and wrinkles. UVA will also cause pigmentation patches to appear over time and this is where the DNA of the skin is damaged.

If we ignore redness and pigmentation on our skin we are simply ignoring the warning signs that we have spent too much time in the sun. This is where SPF must come into play.

Finding the right formula of SPF is like finding your future partner, you need to go through some you don't like to get to the one you love. From creams to lotions, powders to sticks there is honestly an SPF out there for you. But we do not want to block 100% of UV rays because we must make vitamin D to stay healthy, it's also not just about the number it's about the ingredients. A lot of SPF contains a high chemical content so we must be aware of what we are applying to our skin, the higher the factor is not always the best option.

As an example, SPF 15 will give you 93.3% protection from UVB rays whereas an SPF of 50 will only give you an additional 4.7% protection at 98% but with a potentially higher chemical content.

Chemical SPF such as Oxybenzone will work by absorbing the UV rays and dispersing them as heat on the skin. Whereas a physical SPF such as Titanium Dioxide forms a barrier on the skin to reflect the UV rays. There is also a hybrid option that will do both but you need to look out for a broad spectrum to protect you from both rays. I would also favour physical forms as the ingredients are a lot better for our health.

Antioxidants are also vital ingredients you need to look out for in SPF products because they aid in more protection, particularly from UVA rays. Vitamin C, E and Betacarotene will protect but also work to reduce the skin's sensitivity. The sun can cause our skin to become very sensitive over time and by applying the correct SPF with the correct ingredients that will actually treat the skin at the same time we have a win-win situation.

Always re-apply your SPF throughout the day, every 2 hours or 90 minutes if you are prone to burn.

The key message is to apply SPF daily, 365 days a year come rain or shine. If you want young-looking skin don't expose yourself to the sun because it currently makes up 80% of advanced ageing.

You have a choice, make the right one for you and your family.

For more help on SPF and finding the right formula for you and your family contact us at Glow Naturally.

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