Today I am going to deep dive into the importance of wearing face sunscreen EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Growing up in Australia, the importance of being sun safe is drilled into us from a very young age. However, it is only recently that I have learned more about the importance of wearing face sunscreen all year round, regardless of the weather conditions.
Given that I am not an expert in this field, I reached out to the gorgeous Dr Mafalda who specializes in facial aesthetics, to gain her insights on the importance of wearing face sunscreen. Here is what she had to say …
Hi Dr Maflada, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. So, we all know about the importance of being sun safe. But can you please help explain to me why face sunscreen is particularly important?
It is well known that sun’s ultraviolet UV radiation causes skin cancer, premature skin ageing as well as other skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation.
Recent studies show that daily use of sunscreen reduces the melanoma risk (a type of skin cancer) by 50% and reduces the SC carcinomas risk (the second most common form of skin cancer) by 39%.
Besides, we know that 90% of skin ageing is caused by photo damage so the importance of sun protection is indisputable.
That makes a lot of sense. So, do I have to wear face sunscreen everyday? Or is it just when I’m outside and its hot and sunny?
You should be wearing face sunscreen every day of the year. A small amount (approx. 1 teaspoon) should be applied evenly over the entire face every morning, and ideally reapplied every 2 hours thereafter.
You can still be exposed to the harmful UV from the sun even if you are not outside. For example, if you are working from your desk which might be next to a window or driving in your car. Therefore, it is really important to apply sunscreen daily.
My foundation has SPF in it, is that sufficient?
No, I’m afraid that is not enough! You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect you against UVA and UVB. You usually don’t find these properties in foundation makeup. I recommend using a specially formulated face sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.
And how about our lips – should we be applying an SPF product daily also? Why is it so important?
Absolutely – yes you should! For the exact same reasons as you should apply face sunscreen. Lips are often forgotten and can really age the look of your face if they become more wrinkled and tired. Not to mention that without the proper protection, it can also put you at risk of oral cancers. Therefore it is paramount to reapply SPF to the lips during the day.
In your opinion, what is the best face sunscreen? Or can you recommend some key ingredients / things to look out for?
Mineral sunscreens are usually the best. Zinc oxide, for example, is a safe, gentle and mineral agent that blocks both UVA and UVB that are associated with photo ageing and cancer. Also, zinc oxide just sits on the skin to provide sun protection (as opposed to some sunscreens which are absorbed into the skin), making it comfortable and non-irritating.
Should we be applying face sunscreen to our kids on a daily basis too?
Yes, you should be applying face sunscreen to your kids on a daily basis, for the exact same reasons as you should apply it to yourself. Face sunscreen will help to reduce photo ageing and prevent against skin cancer.
Do you have any other top tips when it comes to sun safety for your face, and how to keep that sought after youthful complexion?
Make sure you use an adequate SPF all year around, regardless of the weather or your skin type! It is also important to ensure that you look after your skin from an early age with a dedicated skin care routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated, however setting good habits early will ensure you reap the rewards of beautiful skin later in life.
Dr Mafalda, thank you for your time and excellent insights. Before we go, where can readers find out more information about the facial aesthetics services you offer?
They can visit my Instagram, @drmafalda_face, for lots of useful insights and to see the varied treatments I offer on a daily basis. Please feel free to drop me a DM and I can see how I can help you.