Planning a beach vacation? Don’t venture out without reading these skin care tips to protect your skin. First up, we’re assuming you’ve packed a moisturiser with SPF along with that sexy bikini. Increasingly, skin care brands are creating moisturisers with SPF so that you can use one product instead of one. Convenience over functionality is not always a good choice. The question is: Should you opt for a sunscreen or moisturizer?
According to a recent study by researchers from the University of Liverpool, using a moisturiser with SPF is not enough to protect your skin from sun damages. Sadly, when it comes to skin care, most beauty tips will suggest that a moisturiser with a strong SPF (30 and above) will help cover your body against sun damages. But it’s not entirely correct. To protect your skin against the harmful rays of sun, you could use a sunscreen, especially when you are spending a lot of time in the sun.
“Prolonged or excessive exposure to sunlight causes skin damage in the form of sunburn, premature ageing and increased risk of skin cancers. For these reasons there is a broad push to use SPF containing creams or sprays to protect ourselves from the worst of this damage,” says the study. Sunscreens have been specially designed formulations, however, more recently, daily moisturisers, makeups and a variety of other skin care products have started to include sun protective elements. Despite the popularity of these products their effectiveness has not been rigorously tested.
SPF 30 sunscreen (left) SPF 30 Moisturiser (right) (University Of Liverpool)
Here’s why a sunscreen is better than a moisturiser with SPF
Moisturiser is not applies as thickly as a sunscreen, which cuts down on its effectiveness. Matthew Gass of the British Association of Dermatologists, says in the report: “Unfortunately, moisturiser with SPF just doesn’t perform particularly well in real world situations compared to sunscreen. Although it may say factor 30 on the box, this study is just further evidence that lab testing conditions for these products don’t reflect how they are used.”
Many moisturisers that claim to protect from sun damage do not contain UVA protection and won’t be able to protect against UV ageing and are less likely to be water resistant.
According to Dr Sushil Tahiliani, consultant dermatologist, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical it is best to use a moisturiser and a sunscreen separately. However, if you do wish to use a moisturiser with an SPF, then keep these tips in mind. “For SPF 15 to be achieved, a person should put 1.2 gm of moisturiser on the face , which is a great quantity as it will give a greasy look. Also if one puts half that quantity of that only an SFF of 4 can be achieved,” he says.
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