May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and here at Colorescience we're shedding light on the importance of shopping for SPF based on your skin type.
Acne, sensitive and dry are just a few of the common skin types with plenty of treatment options available. However, you may have noticed the lack of SPFs designed with skin type in mind. So, why is it so important to get the right SPF formula for you?
We interviewed our in-house skin care expert, Sandra Toccalino, to find out more about Skin Cancer Awareness Month and why shopping SPF by your skin type is an absolute must.
Sandra Toccalino, Skin Care Expert.
What causes skin cancer and what are the main signs to look for?
In short, skin cancer is damaged DNA cells that can't repair themselves. The damage can be caused by genetic cell mutation, sun exposure, sunburn history and prolonged UV light exposure.
There are two types to look for:
Symptoms can be shown as a changes in moles size, shape or colour. A normal mole is rounded and the texture is even and flat with the edges being quite smooth. Anything around the mole that has changed is a sign. Changes can happen quickly, so it is always best to check with your doctor as soon as you spot them.
Defined as a lump or ulcer that doesn't go away within a few weeks.
Which factor SPF should I be choosing, what determines this?
As a general rule no less than 30! However, skin type is a big factor here. For instance, fair skin should always be using 50+ as this type is the most susceptible to sunburns. People who suffer with moles or those who have had skin cancer should use no less than SPF 50.
How often should I reapply SPF?
The general rule is every 2 hours but more often if in water or sweating even if the product is water-resistant. As any SPF needs time to bind to your skin, apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure and apply again just before going out. Always follow the recommended instructions.
How much SPF do I need?
I recommend 6-8 tsps for the body of an average adult (155cm - under 11st). For the face, 1 tsp will provide enough cover. Don't forget to cover your ears and neck too!
Why does shopping for SPF for your skin type matter?
Products that irritate the skin or sweat off could be less effective, and perhaps you're less likely to use an SPF that doesn't cater to your skin. Choosing a product that not only protects against UVA/ UVB light but caters to your skin, can prove more effective in preventing sunburn.
Tips for dry skin
As SPF is often applied as a 'base product', choosing one that doesn't dry the skin out is a must. Otherwise products applied after will cling to pores and create a flakey/ patchy effect. Choosing a mineral SPF is a must as they are far more hydrating and nourishing to skin than any chemical-based product.
Tips for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin needs products that work to protect the skin barriers health. Chemical based products can be irritating and damage the health of the skin, meaning the purpose of the SPF product is compromised. Just like with dry skin, choosing a mineral based SPF that will help to heal not damage the barrier health is a must.
Tips for oily skin
A person with acne prone/ oily skin will understand the challenges of choosing products that don't move about throughout the day. Choosing a product tailored for normal skin could mean that the SPF 'bunches' or 'sweats-off' in certain areas of the face, such as the nose and cheeks. If the SPF isn't covering the whole face, burns can easily occur in hotter climates. Alongside picking up a matte finish product, choosing a powder SPF brush is also something to consider for acne-prone skin types. These work as a 'double solution' for oily skin, as the SPF brushes work to remove sebum from pores whilst providing mineral protection.
Tips for skin with pigmentation issues
Skin with hyperpigmentation should always use a high factor SPF, as the sun is a big contributor to dark spots on the face. I recommend using no less than factor 50+ to ensure full protection against pigmentation issues.
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