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The importance of using Sun Protective Factor (SPF)

Updated: Nov 16, 2023


What is SPF?

Everyone loves that summer feeling, don’t they? Being able to soak in as much sunshine as possible is vital to some people (especially if you live in the UK). However, we often forget the impact the sun can have on our skin - especially once burnt!

SPF stands for Sun Protective Factor and refers to the measure of how much UV radiation is required to produce sunburn on protected/sun-creamed skin, relative to the amount of sun required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin. Essentially, as the SPF value increases, the likelihood of sunburn decreases.

Why do you need to wear SPF daily?

Overexposure to the sun carries serious consequences for your skin. SPF is something that you need to wear daily (even on cloudy but warm days). After undergoing any aesthetic treatments such as dermal filler/anti-wrinkle injections, it is highly recommended to use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). Aesthetic treatments can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, therefore SPF helps provide an additional layer of defence.

Here are some of the benefits of using SPF:

1. Protection against UV radiation: One of the primary benefits of SPF is its ability to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays can cause skin damage, premature ageing, pigmentation issues, and even increase the risk of skin cancer.

2. Overall skin health: Sun damage is a leading cause of various skin concerns, including premature ageing, sunspots, and skin cancer. By incorporating SPF into your daily skincare routine, you establish good habits that contribute to long-term skin health and minimise the cumulative effects of UV exposure.

3. Preventing hyperpigmentation: Many aesthetic treatments, such as chemical peels or laser procedures, can increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight, which may lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Regular use of SPF helps prevent the darkening of the skin and minimises the risk of developing uneven pigmentation.

4. Preventing collagen degradation: Sun exposure can accelerate collagen breakdown in the skin, leading to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. SPF acts as a barrier against harmful UV rays, preventing collagen degradation and helping to preserve the skin's elasticity and firmness.

5. Enhancing and maintaining treatment results: Aesthetic treatments often aim to improve the skin's texture, tone, and overall appearance. By using SPF consistently, you can protect your skin from environmental aggressors like UV radiation and free radicals, which can counteract the positive effects of the treatment. SPF helps maintain the results achieved by aesthetic procedures and prolong the benefits.

Remember that SPF should be used daily, regardless of whether you've had an aesthetic treatment or not. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously to all exposed areas of the skin, including the face, neck, and hands.

Here at The MediClinic, our clients’ wellbeing is extremely important. Therefore we ensure you will always receive an aftercare follow-up message via WhatsApp so we can see how you are doing and to answer any follow up questions you may have.

To learn more about SPF and sun safety, click the button below to read guidance from the NHS.

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