I am one of those people who never used SPF as a teen and I massively regret it now that I know the facts. Whenever I know I am going to be in the sun for longer than 10 minutes I always make sure I have SPF on. Having pretty pale skin means that I am more likely to burn so wearing SPF has become a part of my everyday routine.
I have been switching between these products to protect my face. My skin can be very sensitive and even the slightest sun burn can cause me days of pain. My favourite is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Fluid (full review here), I apply this everyday before my foundation as it has an SPF of 50. I like to apply a much higher SPF to my face than my body as my face is always exposed. This SPF feels very lightweight on the skin and my make up actually applys better if I use this before hand. If I am in a hurry in the morning I will use my Estēe Lauder Double-Wear BB with SPF 30. Not only will this giveyou protection from the sun but it also has amazing coverage. The final facial SPF I have been using lately is the Eucerin Sun Creme for Dry/Sensitive Skin with SPF 30. This one feels a little thicker when applied to the skin which is why I don't use this on a daily basis.
Why is SPF on the daily so important?
I didn't realise that you can actually get sun burn within just 10 minutes, even here in the UK! Getting a sunburn doubles your rick of getting skin cancer and will damage for skin for life. You only get one set of skin so to speak just like your teeth, you look after your teeth so why not your skin? If you are a teenager your skin is at a higher risk of getting damaged, once its damaged there is no way to undo that.
How often should I reapply SPF?
You should be re-applying your SPF at least every 2-3 hours if you are spending a lot of time in the sun. If you are going to be in and out of the pool or sea you will need to reapply your SPF much sooner.
Which SPF should I use?
It is recommended that you use SPF 15 as a minimum with UVA and UVB protection. If you have pale or fair skin, are blonde or a redhead it is recommended that you use a higher SPF, the same if you have a lot of freckles or moles as you are at a higher risk of skin damage.
Protection for your lips
Your lips are extremely sensitive and are much thinner than the rest of your skin. If you have ever forgot to apply SPF on your lips you will know how painful it is to have sunburnt lips, I have made this mistake but never again! I recommend this Piz Buin In Sun Lipstick SPF 30, I have tried many different SPF's for lips and not only does this one have a high SPF but it also lasts the longest on the lips and keeps them feeling moisturised.
How often to replace your SPF?
This will depend on your sunscreen, on the back of the bottle there will be an indication of how long it can be used once opened. If your SPF changes colour, smell or texture chances are it has expired and you should pick up a new one.
If I wear SPF 50 with a foundation with SPF 15 (for example), does that mean I have protection of SPF 65?
There are mixed answers for this question from the research I have done. Some people say that it actually lowers your SPF protection (if you use SPF 50 and then a foundation with SPF 15 it will give you SPF 35). Others say that the higher SPF applied is the one that actually works. All I can recommend is that you apply at least SPF 15 to make sure your skin is protected.
I have pale skin but want a tan
Then fake tan will be your best friend! There is many different shades and brands on the market that you are sure to find something that will help you achieve a sun kissed glow. I personally recommend the St Moriz tans, these are the best ones that I have tried and give the best colour while being pretty inexpensive.
Things to consider:
I didn't realise until watching one of Laura Lee's videos but if you have gel nails done, you actually could be damaging the skin on your hands from the lamp in your salon. Most gel lamps have have UVA rays which is what gives you sunburn, while the risk is still small it is recommended that you consider applying an SPF before use.
If you have any other questions please leave them below, by no means an I am expert. If you are worried or having another questions please speak to your local GP or check the NHS website.