Make sure you’re protecting your skin by applying products in the right order (Picture: Getty)
Finally, the days are getting longer and the sun is rearing its head every once in a while.
But as we step into spring and get ready to bask in the glorious sunshine, we need to keep our skin in mind – particularly having spent so much time inside over the past year.
SPF is a skincare staple we should be wearing all year round. But it’s especially important during the warmer months to provide protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can cause lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone as well as hyperpigmentation and increase the risk of skin cancer.
So we all know SPF is vital, but when exactly should be we applying it during our skincare routines? And what’s the deal if you’re then putting makeup on?
We want to be sure we are putting both moisturiser and SPF on in the right order to keep skin both hydrated and protected and not render either ineffective.
‘The golden rule is that SPF should be the final application of product onto your skin. So cleanse, apply serum and hydrate as usual, then apply your SPF,’ says Diane Ackers, skincare expert for Doctors Formula.
Also, be sure that it’s fully absorbed before you go in with foundation.
Dr Ioannis Liakas, medical director and skin specialist at Vie Aesthetics, stresses to be wary of moisturisers with SPF already in them.
He says: ‘Some moisturisers do already have an SPF in them. But don’t be fooled that this will give you all day protection.
‘The protection with SPF is not about the grade or strength, it has to do with the length of time you are exposed. That means that the lower the number stated on your product, the shorter the duration of protection.
‘Remember that even SPF with high factors should be reapplied and topped up every few hours.’
But the good news is that you don’t need to take off your makeup to reapply it later in the day.
Dr Liakas says: ‘There are many tools and tricks of the trade to stay protected even after you have perfected your makeup look. You can and should aim to top it up during the day.’
There are a plethora of SPF powders and sprays that can go on top of makeup, to both set your face and protect you from sun damage.
He adds: ‘This way you can refresh the face and neck, add a layer of protection, but do not mess up the makeup’
When it comes to applying SPF in your skincare routine, there are some other important things to note.
Dr Liakas adds: ‘Stay away from using retinol, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) in your morning routine.
‘Keep these for your evening regimen only, unless you can be sure you will stay well away from the sun during the day.’
These products make skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight, so are more likely to cause burn.
What does SPF mean?
For those not clued-up, SPF stands for sun protection factor.
‘It refers to protection against Ultraviolet B radiation – the UV most responsible for sunburn. It is a measure of how much longer you can stay in the sun before burning, compared to wearing no SPF,’ explains Dr Fiona Worsnop, a consultant dermatologist at Stratum Clinics.
She adds: ‘The higher the SPF on the label, the better the protection it offers. You should look for a sunscreen product with a minimum of SPF 30, ideally.’
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