It is no secret that SPF is a must-have for the warm, summer months. For most, it would be unthinkable not to have a trusty sunscreen within arms reach when lounging on a sun-soaked beach, or aimlessly wandering the city’s streets during summer break. In those moments when the sun’s rays are almost impossible to ignore, the heat of summer acts as a perfect reminder to reapply a much-needed layer of sun cream.
Yet, even in the weeks when Manchester lives up to its reputation as the “rainy city”, SPF should still be a part of your daily skincare routine.
As we begin the journey into those infamously wet, cold and drab -ober and -ember months, it may feel that applying any sort of sun protection would be a futile and unnecessary act. Yet, ask any dermatologist, and they will confirm that SPF should be utilised in every season for long term protection against sun damage.
Just because the sun is not beaming down on your skin, it doesn’t mean that you’re protected from its damaging effects. Cloud coverage, fog, and rain block out the sun’s light, but cannot protect you from the true enemy: ultraviolet rays. Around 80% of UV rays can penetrate through such weather conditions.
Unlike beach towels and bikinis, UV rays aren’t tucked away during these winter months. They are present all year round and have an accumulative effect that leads to an increased rate of photoaging. This premature ageing leads to pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin.
Incidental exposure to UV rays, which racks up even while you are studying by the library window, depletes your natural levels of collagen, the key protein for skin elasticity, which reduces wrinkles and increases skin hydration.
Global warming has also made protection from the sun an increasingly modern issue. As a result of the depletion of the ozone layer, we are more at risk to sun damage than ever before. The World Health Organization predicts a 10% increase in skin cancer incidence by 2050 among the US population.
Due to the global nature of climate change, we can be certain that the damaging effects of the reduced ozone layer will not bypass Manchester – the British Skin Foundation warns that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. For years, one of sunscreen’s main selling points has been its ability to protect from melanoma, and now, more than ever, this is necessary all-year-round.
Luckily, implementing SPF into your daily skincare routine has never easier. If slathering a layer of sun cream on while the rain chucks down feels uncomfortable, many skincare and beauty products now have built-in sun protection.
Blushes, foundations, moisturisers and even setting sprays can be found with a label declaring they contain SPF. So, next time you’re at the local Boots, do yourself a favour and grab yourself a haul of SPF-loaded products, or even better, a specific SPF product that you can apply as the last step in your skincare routine and/or before your make-up.