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I would say that SPF is the baseline and the cornerstone in a skincare routine. Most skin concerns such as pigmentation, melasma, ageing, laxity, skin cancer and even acne flare up are caused by unprotected sun exposure. And the main "job" of skincare products is prevention - slow down the ageing process and make your skin cells work properly. SPF is the basic of basic to prevent ageing and sun damage. You may be able to skip your Retinol and AHA's products but you should never skip SPF.
Most people know about the importance of SPF but thinks the makeup with SPF15 is enough, and on cloudy days or if you're staying inside you don't need SPF. Or even thinks the SPF is too greasy and makes them breakout. There is also a misinformation about the SPF and Vitamin D synthesis.
As much as we speak about SPF and prevention, unfortunately, people only learn about SPF when the sun damage starts to show up in their late 20's early 30's. What they don't understand is that the damage of the "sun bake" you had in your teens will only show up years later. Educating people since they are little to create the habit of applying and reapplying SPF everyday is the way to go. SPF should be considered as an essential everyday task such as brushing your teeth and taking shower.
In the past 10 years working in the beauty industry I have worked with so many cosmeceutical brands and I guess science and the world has changed the way we see skincare nowadays. Today I look for brands with principles and for formulations with non synthetic ingredients, no nasties, not tested in animals and sustainable. The skin is the largest organ in our body and we need to choose carefully what we are applying on it, and we also need to care about the environment.
Thankfully, today we are able to combine science based, results driven and natural ingredients in skincare products. Saying that, I would always prefer mineral SPF such as zinc oxide because it is natural, it is a physical protector which means it reflects the sunlight instead of absorbing. I also like hydrating SPF because you optimise the morning skincare with less products to layer. And a broad spectrum SPF50 that protect against UVA UVB and blue light.
I also like to have a mineral powder with SPF in my bag so I can reapply the SPF protection throughout the day, just an extra skincare tip!
When we talk about acne, rosacea and sensitive skin types it is important to prepare your skin before applying SPF with other skincare products that will target and treat your concerns. But some SPF ingredients are very irritating for acne and sensitive skin such as; benzophenones (like oxybenzone), cinnamates, octocrylene, certain preservatives like quaternium-15 and fragrance.
I have clients that think the same. I reckon it is because they had a bad experience with some greasy SPF brands that clog your pores and they generalise to all SPF, but it is not true. It all depends on the formulation and some ingredients can irritate and cause a chemical reaction on the skin that leads to breakout. My favourite SPF ingredient for acne is zinc because it also controls oil, is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Also, just be aware that when you change actives ingredients or brands in your skincare routine, your skin can breakout for the first 1-2 weeks and it is normal.
Find Bossa SkinSpa.
1/126 Avoca St, Randwick NSW 2031
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