Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen isn't just for summer. Here's why you should be wearing SPF all year round.
Many people believe that because we rarely get the sun here in Ireland we only need to wear SPF about two weeks of the year but this is not the case.
Although we don't see visible sunrays very often, ultraviolet rays are invisible and can penetrate through clouds meaning if you're not wearing SPF on a daily basis you're causing damage to your skin.
How does ultraviolet(UV) light damage the skin?
Ultraviolet light comes from the sun and there are three types of it: Ultraviolet A, B, and C. However, we only need to be concerned about two.
UVB can cause sunburn and skin cancer while UVA causes skin ageing.
How can wearing SPF help?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. The factor number stands for how long you can spend in the sun before your skin will start to get damaged.
So if your skin starts to burn after 15 minutes in the sun then wearing SPF 30 will increase that time by 30 meaning your skin will be protected from damage for about 450 minutes or seven and a half hours.
When looking for an SPF make sure you get one that is labelled as 'broad-spectrum'.
This means it will protect against both UVA and UVB.
SPF 30 is the minimum factor recommended for everyone however if you have very fair skin I'd go for SPF 50 instead.
How to incorporate SPF into your routine
Adding SPF into your daily routine isn't as difficult as you might think.
Firstly, I'd recommend getting a separate face and body SPF as using a body SPF on the face may clog your pores and cause unnecessary skin problems.
The easiest way to start incorporating SPF into your routine is to start with the face.
Face SPF can be applied after moisturiser in the morning before you apply makeup and you should apply it to the face and neck area.
Once you've established this as part of your routine you can then move on to applying body SPF.
To be completely honest with you most of us are fairly covered up for 10 months of the year, especially in winter.
So if you ask me body SPF isn't an essential step until it gets warmer.
What are your favourite SPF's to use?