All you need to know about SPF

Ask anyone about their biggest skin regret and chances are it will have a lot to do with sun and too much of it as Kym Ellery once admitted to TM. We hear a lot about SPF and sunscreen, but often people don’t know the ins and outs of sun protection or why it’s the best anti-ageing step in your routine. The TM has you covered, in more ways than one.

What is SPF?

SPF is short for sun protection factor, the SPF of a sunscreen is a measure of how well it protects the skin from sunburn. Also important to note, not all SPF is created equally—Australia’s standards are much higher than those overseas (thanks, ozone!), so it’s good to bear that in mind when choosing your sunscreen.

Broad-spectrum—what’s the deal?

Broad-spectrum sunscreens filter both UVA and UVB rays. UVB is the main cause of sunburn, while both UVA and UVB contribute to increased skin cancer risk. When it comes to ageing skin, it’s the UVA rays that you’ve got to keep an eye out for; they penetrate deep into the skin, gradually destroying elasticity and causing premature ageing. Nasty.

Why should I wear it every day?

Applying sunscreen should be a habit, just like brushing your teeth in the morning. Protection from sunburn is not the most important reason for wearing sunscreen, it’s about reducing damage from the sun over time. Sunburn is an immediate reaction, but damage from the sun occurs over a lifetime, which is why SPF is the number one anti-ageing step you can incorporate into your routine—prevention is better than cure.

Still not convinced?

Love actives like AHAs and BHAs? They’re fabulous for boosting clarity, tone and brightness but, as with any exfoliant, they’ll leave your complexion more prone to photosensitivity—so get your guard up and future-proof your skin care investments.

How should you apply sunscreen?

A general rule of thumb is to apply your sunscreen liberally every two hours, just be sure to cover all areas exposed to the sun and don’t forget toes, ears and hairline. How much you ask? Aim for ½ teaspoon for face and neck, and about a shotglass amount for your bod. Something else to consider is applying sunscreen on the back of your hands, think of all those hours behind the wheel—hands need protection, too.

What’s a good sunscreen for sensitive skin types?

The most recent addition to the Mecca Cosmetica sunscreen family, To Save Face 30 Mineral Gel Cream is a top pick for those who have some trepidation around how their skin will react to SPF. This bad boy is lightweight and has been developed with the most sensitive skinned beauties in mind—UVA and UVB protection sans parabens, sulphates and fragrance makes it an everyday must. Plus, it absorbs quickly and sits under makeup like a dream.

Why is Mecca Cosmetica sunscreen a cult favourite?

It takes years and tireless rounds of research, trialling and feedback before the formulas of the Mecca Cosmetica sunscreens you know and love are perfected. Non-oily and never appearing ghostly white on the skin, all Mecca Cosmetica face, body, hand and eye sunscreens are made and tested in Australia underneath our sun and to our sun standards.

And lips need some loving as well?

The skin on the lips is super delicate, they’re one of the first places we age and it’s one of the first places we forget to apply protection, making it more prone sun damage. When you’re doing a slip, slop, slap be sure to swipe on a lip balm while you’re at it.

Words by Emily Deacon
January 2019


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