Hello, beautiful people and welcome back! Today’s post is all about keeping you beautiful – and preventing the sun from taking it’s toll. At this point, most of us know that sun protection is an essential part of our skincare regime . . . but is it as easy as buying moisturiser with SPF in it? Well, let’s try and find out. But firstly:
DISCLAIMER: I’ve linked to some studies and medical claims. As always, I’ve tried to make sure these are coming from medical studies, official government or authoritative websites.
(Pin this image for me, lovers!)
Why is sun protection in skincare so important?
If you haven’t had this driven home yet, sun protection should be the most important part of your skincare routine. There are multiple reasons for this, but the two biggies (in my opinion) are:
Skin cancer and anti-ageing.
1. Skin Cancer
The first reason sun cream is essential is one we’re all aware of – UV rays cause skin cancer. In fact, UV radiation accounts for 95% of melanoma – which is the most deadly form of skin cancer.
“Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning can still cause damage to skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Evidence suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.” – CancerCouncil Australia
I used to fundraise for CancerCouncil NSW (a part of Cancer Council Australia) and that honestly freaked me out enough into wearing sun cream on the daily. (In fact, I may write another few posts around it if anyone’s interested about the health effects?)
This is actually tied to first point – UV rays damage skin cells, which causes skin cancer but is also a prime cause of premature ageing. It’s actually estimated that 80-90% of facial aging is caused by sun exposure.
I won’t go too in depth on the science behind this in this post . . . largely due to the fact I don’t fully understand it myself. But also because this isn’t a science lesson – this post is just discussing the merits of SPF in moisturiser.
So we know a bit of background around why sun protection is important. Now to discuss the big topic . . . is wearing moisturiser with SPF in it enough?
The short version: … eh, not really
On one hand, wearing anything with SPF is better than nothing. If the idea of suncream is entirely abhorrent (or, y’know, yours runs out and you just need some form of protection), then sure – a moisturiser with some protection is great. If you’re willing to go for the alternative, though, you’re going to get far superior protection.
There’s a lot of reasons floating around for why this could be. Lot’s of great articles interviewing dermatologists who suggest loads of plausible reasons SPF moisturiser is just . . . inferior to the OG sunscreen. But I prefer real studies and none demonstrate this point quite as well as this one.
Take a look at the image below.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool conducted a study where they used a UV camera to see the coverage of SPF moisturiser compared to normal suncream . . . and I think the results really speak for themselves.
“People don’t apply foundation evenly, they don’t apply it everywhere, and they don’t apply enough for it to be adequate protection on its own,” says says Jeanine Downie, M.D., a dermatologist and an assistant attending physician at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J., and Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. – Source ConsumerReports
Another factor, as evidenced above, is the fact that you’re just not going to use enough moisturiser to get the SPF coverage that will protect you. Cancer Council recommend using a teaspoon’s worth of sunscreen on your face (including ears and neck) for proper coverage and, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t use a teaspoon worth of moisturiser.
And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that the SPF in moisturiser is diluted too! So you’d probably need significantly more than just that teaspoon. And you’d potentially have to reapply more often too.
To conclude . . .
Take the marketing efforts with a bit of salt. Just because that moisturiser has SPF in it, doesn’t mean you should skip out on the suncream. A lot of dermatologists in the articles I’ve read recommend layering SPF (so wearing an SPF lip balm, powder foundation with SPF and suncream) for full protection – so if you’re looking to take your skincare regime to the next level, you could incorporate some SPF makeup products in there too.
If you’re into skincare and beauty, why not stick around and give my Beauty & Skincare Pinterest board a follow?
Alright, lovelies, I hope this post wasn’t too dull for you all! Science teacher, I am not. (Vain girl who refuses to go straight from acne to wrinkles, though, is my jam.) Are you guys avid users of suncream? Or are you an SPF in moisturiser kinda gal? Let me know your thoughts down below!