One of my most frequently asked questions is what’s the best anti-aging product(s) I can buy for my skin? The answer I give might be really surprising to you because spoiler alert it’s not actually an anti-aging product at all – it’s SPF! Sunscreen is an absolute essential for your routine if you’re planning on reducing the impact that the sun’s harmful rays can have on your skin. There are two main concerns as a result of sun exposure: skin-aging and skin cancer. Whilst that sounds alarming it’s absolutely true, the UV light in the sun’s rays causes sun burn and sun damage by altering our cellular DNA. These rays are made up of long-wave UVA (causing aging) and short-wave UVA (causing the burning and in extreme cases cancer). Unfortunately, the World Health Organisation as identified UV rays are a proven carcinogen so there really is no such thing as a ‘safe’ tan.
Coupled with the fact that more of us are taking steps to take better care of our skin than ever before, this can, in some cases, be a recipe for disaster. Products that promote cell turnover to reveal wonderfully fresh skin cells aren’t receiving any daily broad spectrum (protecting from both UVA and UVB rays) SPF protection increasing the likelihood of more damage being done that can ever be undone with anti-aging products.
There’s no doubt that applying SPF is essential and there are many different types and formulas to choose from, mainly physical, (more commonly referred to as ‘natural’ or ‘mineral’) or chemical. Understandably though, many of us assume that wearing an SPF is reserved for sweltering summer heatwaves or days spent on holiday by the beach or the pool but, even the cloudiest of climates can be causing damage to your skin. In fact, approximately 80% of UV rays still penetrate through clouds so its absolutely vital to apply an SPF all year round.
The easiest way I have found to make sure to include this step each and every day is to make it the final step in my morning skincare routine. Thankfully, formulations have come a long way since the greasy, pore-blocking creams of our childhoods which make it really easy to incorporate. Whether it’s a spray or a super-lightweight fluid many come with added skincare benefits. “But Weiwei, what factor should I be using, they’re all so confusing” – I hear you cry? A common misconception is that the higher the factor you choose the more protected you are. You’ve guessed it, sadly that’s not the case – it’s all about reapplication! As a rule, everyone should be applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a least SPF 30 on all exposed areas regularly throughout the day.
All this being said it’s important not to forget the crucial need for our bodies to get enough Vitamin D from the sun. I would say that an absolute maximum of 20 minutes of sun exposure without SPF protection is enough to meet this as many of us, particularly in the UK, are deficient. When your 20 minutes are up then cover up with light clothing and hats where possible whilst applying SPF and your (older) skin will thank you. You can even go one step further and look for skincare that incorporates plant oils that have natural UV protection. Medowfoam seed oil, sesame seed oil, olive sequalane and red raspberry seed oil all can provided added protection. Our Superfruit Daily Vitamin Boost Oil (which by the way has recently received silver in a national skincare awards!) contains a generous amount of red raspberry seed oil to allow you to top up your natural UV protection levels. This is absolutely NOT a substitute for a broad spectrum SPF but it certainly makes a lovely addition to your daily UV protection routine!
Founder of BEMORA Skincare
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