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Should You Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Most of us slather it on when we’re on holiday, but is sunscreen a regular part of your at-home skincare routine? A survey from charity Melanoma Focus found that just 11% of British adults report using it every day in the UK. But the sun’s UV radiation can still get through to your skin on grey and drizzly days, leading to painful burns, premature ageing, and even skin cancer.

The solution? A skin-friendly, everyday SPF – or Sun Protection Factor. That little SPF number you see on sunscreen products tells you how long your skin will be protected from UV rays. Here’s why you should wear SPF every day, rain or shine!

Debunking SPF myths

First, let’s clear up a few common misconceptions about sun protection.

Myth #1: You only need SPF on sunny days.

When the sun is hiding behind a cloud, it won’t damage your skin, right? Wrong. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of UV rays still reach the earth (and your skin) on cloudy days.

Myth #2: SPF is only for fair-skinned individuals.

If you tan easily, should you wear sunscreen every day? Yes! Whether you’re fair or dark-skinned, you can still suffer the damaging effects of UV radiation. Individuals with darker skin have more melanin, which helps resist the sun for longer. But contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t completely protect against sunburn. You’ll still need to use everyday SPF.

Myth #3: Makeup with SPF is enough.

Lots of today’s foundations and skincare products come packed with built-in SPF, but this doesn’t offer the full level of protection you receive from a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

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What does sunscreen do and why is it important?

The active ingredients in your sunscreen either reflect or absorb UV rays, protecting your skin from damage.

● Mineral sunscreens include ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically block UV rays before they can penetrate your skin.

● Chemical sunscreens include ingredients like avobenzone, which work like a sponge to absorb UV rays before they cause any damage.

So, why are these UV rays so bad for us? UV stands for ultraviolet radiation, which damages the DNA in your skin’s cells. Without the protection of sunscreen, this radiation not only can cause a nasty sunburn, but can also lead to premature ageing and an increase in skin cancer risk. One of the effects of not wearing sunscreen can include looking older than you are.

The benefits of sunscreen include:

● Decreases the risk of skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma

● Prevent visible signs of ageing, including wrinkles, sunspots, and sagging

● Protection against incidental sun exposure during everyday activities

How to choose the right SPF products

From ultra-sheer serums to lightweight sprays, there are plenty of products that give the benefits of sunscreen.

The first thing to consider is the SPF rating. At minimum, it’s recommended to use SPF 30 to fully protect your face from sun damage. If you’re going to be outdoors in sunny conditions, the higher the better – opt for SPF 50 at minimum.

The next thing to think about is your exposure risk. Water sports and sweating in the sun call for highly protective, waterproof formulas. But if you’re just going to work during the winter months, you can get away with a lightweight formula.

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You’ll also want to consider your skin type.

● Sensitive skin: protect delicate skin from damage with a minimum SPF of 50. Look for gentle, unscented formulas like Ambre Solaire SPF50+ Sensitive Advanced Dry Mist Sun Spray

● Oily skin: choose an oil-free, mattifying formula like Ambre Solaire Super UV Niacinamide SPF50+ Fluid to keep shine in check.

● Mature skin: as skin becomes more fragile over time, higher-level protection is best. Try Ambre Solaire Anti-Age Super UV Protection Cream SPF50 to tackle the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.

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Want a great all-round solution that's suitable for all skin types? Our Vitamin C Daily UV SPF 50 is the perfect solution. It's designed to be gentle and effective for all skin types, providing a radiant complexion while offering essential sun protection and available in Invisible and Glow formats.

An easy way to get started is to use the Garnier Skincoach to understand your skin type and its needs.

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Incorporating SPF into your daily routine

Now you know why you should wear SPF every day here, so here’s how to make the most of it.

● Apply SPF as the final step in your skincare routine, after moisturising and before applying makeup.

● Some formulas are made to spray over makeup, perfect for touch-ups.

● Use at least two fingers of product to cover your full face and neck.

● In case of direct sun exposure, reapply frequently and generously to maintain protection.

● If you’re spending time swimming or sweating, reapply more frequently according to the bottle’s instructions.

● Always check the expiration date on your bottle as sunscreen loses effectiveness over time.

For more inspiration, check out our full sun protection range.