Skin health articles

The importance of wearing face cream with SPF all year round

Regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light has many effects on our health – some are positive and some can be damaging.

A small amount of UV radiation is essential in the production of vitamin D in our bodies; however, too much can have serious effects on your eye and skin health.

There are two main types of UV light which can lead to sun damaged skin, and both are linked to skin cancer:

UVB light causes sunburn – a clear sign that your skin cells have been damaged by too much UV radiation. Sometimes people assume they can’t burn on a cloudy day.  But clouds only absorb some UV light, so there is still a risk of sunburn. The SPF value we see on sun creams and skincare products corresponds to how much protection from UVB light the product provides.  

UVA light penetrates deeper into the skin. It ages the skin prematurely, which can be seen as wrinkles and sagging. Products which meet EU recommendations for UVA protection carry this symbol in addition to the SPF number.

Sunscreen-containing products offering both UVA and UVB protection are sometimes referred to as ‘broad spectrum’. Protecting your skin from the effects of UV light is not just a concern for the summer. UV light reaches us all year round – even on cold or cloudy days in winter.

UV light can penetrate through clouds and it can also reflect off surfaces, increasing its power; snow reflects about 85% of the sun’s UV light, while sand or water at the beach and even concrete in our urban environments can reflect some amount of UV light. Damaging UVA rays can also pass through the glass in some windows.

While the advice about sun protection applies to everyone, some people need to be especially more careful about daily sun exposure because they may have increased skin sensitivity to sunlight. This includes those with very fair skin, certain skin conditions, or those who are taking certain medications.

The current sunscreen recommendation is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 30. It is still advisable to limit your skin’s exposure to sunlight with clothing, hats and seeking shade.

To find out more about our range of products to suit your individual skin type visit our product page.