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Are You Using The Correct Sun Cream? Here’s How To Up Your SPF Game

15th September 2021

15th September 2021

By Beth Shelper

You may be thinking… it’s September. Why are you talking about SPF, Innermost? Well, what you might not know, is that you should be using and applying SPF every single day. Not just in the summer months! Yes, really.

That means that we need to make sure that you’re using the correct SPF when it comes to key ingredients and ratings so that you know which sun cream is best for your skin, what SPF is best, and how to apply sun cream effectively to keep your skin’s health in tip-top condition (and stop the aging process where we can).

Psst… another way you can do this is by integrating The Recover Capsules into your daily routine due to it’s Vitamin D content, but that’s a whole different story.

Back to sun cream…

What do the SPF numbers mean?

Sun Protection Factor (more commonly referred to as SPF), refers to the protection that a sun cream or skincare product offers against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, with the aim of preventing skin damage such as aging and sunburn.

SPF numbers such as SPF 5, SPF10, SPF 30 and so on, instruct customers in a number of ways. Whilst when shopping for an SPF before your holiday, you may always opt for a certain SPF based on the belief that if you burn ‘easier’ you need a higher SPF, or that a lower SPF will offer you a lower level of protection, this isn’t strictly the case, and definitely isn’t what SPF numbers refer to.

Quite simply, SPF numbers tell you how long the product will offer you protection from the sun’s UV rays for. For example, if you are sitting out in the midday sun on your latest getaway with SPF 30 protection on your skin, it will take the sun thirty minutes to redden (or damage) your skin vs no SPF protection at all.

Whilst of course, this isn’t on a timer, SPF numbers offer approximate timings that allow users to monitor their sun exposure, sun cream application and potential exposure to skin damage caused by UVA and UVB rays.

UVA vs UVB rays

We mentioned UVA and UVB rays a couple of times above, so it’s probably important that we clarify the difference.

UVA rays refer to Ultra Violet-A rays, which are longer in their wavelength in comparison to UVB rays. Prolonged exposure to UVA rays can lead to skin damage that relates to aging, including wrinkles. And nobody wants those.

UVB rays, on the other hand, refer to Ultraviolet-B rays. These rays are much shorter in wavelength and prolonged exposure to these rays can lead to skin damage such as burning, and more seriously, skin cancers.

So, it goes without saying that it’s important to take adequate care and precautions against these. It’s all about finding the correct balance between getting enough sun due to the benefits of Vitamin D such as increased mood, better skin and energy boosts, and avoiding sun damage as much as possible.

That’s where a quality SPF comes in handy… but you must ensure you’re applying it correctly. And often. That’s non-negotiable.

How to apply sun cream effectively

It’s all well and good applying your sun cream at the start of the day, but that’s not quite going to cut it. You need to ensure that you’re applying your skincare every two hours or after perspiring and/or swimming.

Does sun cream expire?

Yes! Just like all beauty and wellness products, sun creams do expire. So, if you can’t remember the last time you picked up a new SPF, it’s probably a good sign to chuck your current one in the bin and get to the shops. As if you needed another excuse to go shopping, right?

Sun cream ingredients to avoid

When you’re on the hunt for your next sun cream favourite, take a look at the ingredients and ensure your next pick doesn’t include any of the below…

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Nanoparticles
  • Homosalate

Innermost’s SPF favourites


When it comes to staying healthy, skincare is absolutely a part of that. Make sure to include an SPF into your daily skincare routine, whether that is one of the above recommended products or otherwise.

It’s always a good idea to take a look at your current skincare products, too! Many include their own SPF, which is always a bonus.

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