Dermatologists and skin experts share everything to know about SPF 10007/30/2020
For years we’ve been told the importance of protecting our skin from the sun.
Not only to stop the harmful UV rays which can cause skin cancer and sunburn, but also for more cosmetic reasons – such as preventing sun spots, pigmentation and fine lines.
For this reason, SPF has become a staple in beauty routines – found in moisturisers, foundations and more.
But there’s a new type on the market which appears to be bigger and better than the ones that have gone before.
Some brands have brought out products with SPF 100 – but does it really offer maximum protection?
We’ve asked dermatologists and skincare experts to share their thoughts…
Is SPF 100 more effective?
Dr Sophie Shotter explains the research that has been carried out into the effectiveness of SPF 100 looks promising.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Recent studies have shown that SPF 100 is 11 times more effective at preventing sunburn than SPF 50.
‘This was determined by dermatologists conducting a split face study where people applied one tube of SPF to the left and one to the right, without knowing that one contained SPF 50 and the other SPF 100.
‘Whilst in the UK most people are unlikely to need an SPF 100, there are people with sun sensitivities who require very high protection and for whom this would be useful.’
Dr Sophie explains that SPF 100 could be a good choice for people with Fitzpatrick 1-3 skin types – which refers to the three lightest skin types (usually fair and with freckles).
SPF 100 products would therefore extend the amount of time these people could stay in the sunshine – but reapplication would still be required.
Does SPF 100 need to be applied less?
While a higher SPF might mean more protection, it doesn’t mean that it protects all day.
Harley Street skin repair expert Lorena Oberg tells Metro.co.uk: ‘The SFP 100 that is available does not mean that one application will be fine for the whole day on the beach.
‘You will still need to apply your SFP 100 regularly for it to work.’
There’s a danger that a higher SPF will encourage people to spend longer out in the sun without reapplying.
This is why experts say it’s important to apply suncream every two hours or so, to cover factors such as swimming, sweating and friction (where it could rub off).
Lorena adds: ‘This might appear holiday specific but I advise all of my patients to incorporate SPF into their daily skincare regime.’
The sun comes out all-year-round – even in the cooler and colder months – which means SPF should be applied throughout the year, too.
Is SPF 100 practical?
Lorena Oberg adds: ‘ I would say it is all about your specific skin type, don’t just buy SPF 100 if you don’t feel comfortable with the application.
‘The application is thick and will leave a while creamy appearance on your skin, so some would say it could be less practical.
‘I would say SPF 100 is aimed at people with extremely pale skin and those who do not tan and burn very easily. It will be more beneficial for skiers and people sunbathing in very hot climates with more vulnerable skin tones.’
Is it worth it?
Dermatology and Aesthetic RGN Emma Coleman says while SPF 100 might seem very appealing, it’s worth considering a few things.
She says: ‘In my view, SPF 100 products have been launched to set brands apart from competitors in a very crowded marketplace.
‘It is aimed at consumers who are always looking for the latest thing – and this is a rapidly growing market.
‘The reason I say this, is because it may seem like an SPF 100 sunscreen would give you double the protection of an SPF 50 sunscreen.
‘But the truth is that higher-SPF products are only marginally better at shielding you from UVB, according to both the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Skin Cancer Foundation.
‘SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of UVB radiation, SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 blocks about 99%. Several studies have compared SPF 50 to SPF 100 products; the people who used the SPF 100 had slightly lower rates of sunburn, but both groups had participants who got burned.’
Emma stresses that whatever the factor – SPF 100 or not – it’s important to check the label and choose a product which offers broad spectrum protection.
She adds: ‘This means the sunscreen will protect from both UVA/B light, as even a high factor won’t protect from skin aging if it doesn’t have a broad spectrum quality.
‘From my research, SPF 100 products vary in price quite dramatically, from around the £10 mark to £50.’
So, depending on your skin type, it might not be worth paying any extra for it.
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