The Importance Of Using SPF

The importance of using SPF

Sun Safety Advice From Sparx Skin Clinic in Winchester

We all enjoy sunny days, but with summer here, we also need to make sure we protect our skin and stay safe in the sun.

This article sets out some sun safety suggestions, including explaining important differences between the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and their effects.  We also recommend some of the best SPF products, all available at our Winchester salon and online shop. 

Not sure about the benefits of SPF?  The image above shows what happened when we covered half of Liv’s face in Dibi Milano Solarium Sunstick SPF50.   The Skin Analysers shows very clearly how effective the sunscreen is at protecting your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.   Please make sure you are protected – even on cloudy days!

For more information, call us on 01962 878979.

Summer Skin Care Advice


Colden Common




Chandler's Ford

What is the difference between the sun’s UVA and UVB rays?

The sun gives off two types of damaging ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB.  Short-term sun damage presents as sunburn, which is caused by UVB rays.  The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) shown on sun screens measures our protection against this type of ray. 

Using a product with a high SPF can lull into a false sense of security however, as we should also be concerned about damaging UVA rays, exposure to which is a leading cause of melanoma.    UVA rays do not make our skin red so quickly, but pass through the epidermis into the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin, causing long-term damage to the skin cells and DNA.  

Importantly, note that UVA rays can pass through window glass and clouds, meaning regular protection against them is vital.

What type of SPF should I use?

Best SPF products Sparx winchesterThe most important thing to look for on a sunscreen label is the term “broad spectrum” which means the product will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.   Products containing antioxidants will also provide protection against damaging free radicals caused by UV rays.

Another important distinction is between chemical and physical sun filters.  Chemical filters absorb into the skin and usually protect only against UVB rays.  They are known to have poor photo-stability, which means they break down in the sun so must be reapplied regularly.   Physical filters such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide do not break down in the sun however, and offer superior, broad spectrum protection.

Do I need to wear SPF every day?

Yes!  We often only think about applying SPF during the summer months, but in fact exposure to the sun’s rays is damaging all year round.

In addition to the risk of skin cancer, the sun causes and accelerates the signs of skin aging.   These include fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, photo damage and dry skin.

Sun safety tips

The importance of SPF Here are some suggestions to help you protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin cancer:

  • Cover up :  wear clothing made out of natural fibres such as cotton as these give you the best protection from the sun as well as being cooler.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat : this gives the best protection for your face and neck.
  • Always wear sunglasses in strong sunlight : make sure your sunglasses also offer UVA and UVB protection.
  • Limit your sun exposure : stay out of the sun when it is strongest, between 11am and 4 pm.
  • Use sunscreen with a high SPF : choose one with a sun protection factor of at least 30, with protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use your sunscreen correctly: make sure you follow the directions on the bottle and use enough for proper coverage.  Experts say an average sized adult will need at least 6 to 8 teaspoons worth for full coverage  Reapply after swimming or if you are outside for long periods. 
  • Wear sunscreen everyday.

SPF products at Sparx

SPF Advice from Sparx Winchester Skin Clinic At our Winchester salon we stock a full range of products from Italian skin care brand Dibi Milano.  For day to day protection we recommend Daily UV protection SPF 30.   We also stock the Solarium Sun Good range, including spray sunscreens and an SPF for tattoo protection.  Head across to our online shop to find out more. 

Speak to one of our skin care specialist and we will be happy to recommend the best products for your needs.  Call us now on 01962 878979 for more information.