The Importance of Sunscreen

The Importance of Sunscreen

May 28 , 2021

The Wellness Philosophy

SPF is the world’s best anti-ageing ingredient. If your skincare routine doesn’t include a sunscreen, I highly suggest it’s time to invest in one! Finding a sunscreen for your face can be confusing as you can be overwhelmed by choice and cosmetic industry lingo. What factor? What brand? What on earth is broad spectrum?!   

Let me explain... 

Firstly, why do you need sunscreen? 

To protect your skin from UV. UV radiation comes from natural sources, such as sunlight, as well as artificial sources, such as sunbeds. 

The sun consists of UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and is responsible for skin ageing by destroying the skin’s elasticity. UVA can penetrate through windows and glass, and is around every day, whatever the weather. Even when the sky is full of clouds UV still comes through. UVB is the ray that causes your skin to burn and changes the cell structure which could potentially lead to melanoma. UVC doesn’t actually penetrate the atmosphere so you won’t see that ray mentioned in skincare too often.

When purchasing a sunscreen, it’s important to choose a product that is “broad spectrum”. This means it will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB. The SPF (sun protection factor) in your sunscreen product should be at least a SPF 30 or above, even for darker skins with more melanin. Melanin is the natural skin pigment made by skin cells called melanocytes. Darker skins produce more melanin which gives them a naturally higher tolerance to UV but that far from means they are exempt from the damaging effects. Darker skin can be more prone to pigmentation, so I still recommend a SPF of at least 30. 

What type of sunscreen is best for you?

There are two types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. 

Key points about chemical and physical sunscreen:


  • Absorbs UV into the skin similar to the way melanin does
  • Converts UV to heat
  • No white cast
  • More likely to irritate sensitive skins 


  • Commonly referred to as “natural” or “mineral”
  • Reflects UV light like a mirror
  • Sits on top of the skin
  • Works immediately
  • Prone to wearing off
  • Can leave a white cast on the skin. 

If your preference is for a “natural” sunscreen you should aim for non-nano. Look for the following physical filter:

  • Non nano zinc oxide
  • Non nano titanium dioxide

Non-nano means that the particles are too big to penetrate the skin, therefore do not enter the bloodstream. But keep in mind that even non-nano is still a chemical. The term “natural” really is just a marketing technique. 

 Does sunscreen expire?

SPF expiry date

Simply put, Yes. The preservatives in products only last for a while once opened, and the active ingredients have a shelf life as well. Sunscreen is a particularly important product to keep an eye on as you want to be confident that you are getting full protection. 

The symbol on the back of your product will look like an open jar, with a number and “M” (this stands for months) next to it. The number is the amount of months that the product can be used for, before it loses effectiveness. So that sunscreen you have in your bathroom cupboard from last year... bin it!  

Skincare Myths 

“You only need A sunscreen in the summer months.” No, 80% of UV comes through the clouds.

“I’m indoors, why would I wear sunscreen?” Do you sit by a window in your office? Or drive a car? Well 75% of UV comes through glass.

“My sunscreen is waterproof!” Unfortunately it’s not. Sunscreen can only be listed as water resistant. This does not mean that it will still give you the same protection after you have been for a swim. You should re-apply every 2 hours, especially if you are sitting in direct sunlight.

“Layering a factor 30 with a factor 20 gives me a SPF of 50.” Not true. Your protection will only ever be as high as your highest factor. In this case, you will have a SPF of 30.

So which SPF does a skincare specialist recommend, and why?

I personally and professionally use Medik8 and recommend their SPF to my clients. Why?

  • Medik8 only use photostable filters, avoiding the use of non-photostable avobenzone
  •  Their advanced sunscreens protect against UVA/UVB, is anti-glycation, anti-pollution, anti-infrared and anti-blue light
  • They incorporate their superior sunscreen filters into elegant formulations; lightweight and non-greasy that fit into an everyday morning routine
  • Medik8 use filters which are kind to both the skin and environment, coral-reef friendly, non-nano physical filters.

Visit for more on Medik8 skincare products and treatments.


Written by skincare specialist, Faye Marriott 

Faye Marriott is a skin therapist with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. After studying a 2-year BTEC National Diploma in Beauty therapy Sciences, Faye has continued to learn and gain a wealth of knowledge. At, Faye combines a holistic and scientific approach to take care of what the skin needs, as well as ensuring her clients can relax and unwind. 

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