SPF 101: All you need to know

If you were thinking about it before, this is a sign to wear SPF everyday!

You’ve probably heard every skincare guru, enthusiast and professional tell you to wear SPF as the last if not most essential step in your morning routine. At the The Glow Pot, we are here to tell you that too but here's why (keep reading for our reasons)

The Basics

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor - it is how the amount of protection from the sun’s UVB rays is measured.

  • SPF 15 - blocks around 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 - blocks around 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 - blocks around 98% of UVB rays

Experts recommend wearing between SPF 30 and SPF 50. The sun products you choose to use should be broad spectrum and protect from both UVB and UVA rays .

UVB and UVA are the two types of rays that can damage the DNA in your skin cells which can lead to skin cancer. It is important to protect your skin from both: 

UVA(aging) rays 
  • 95% of UV radiation reaches the earth’s surface
  • Penetrate skin more deeply than UVB
  • Exposure to UVA rays can cause long term skin damage including premature aging and skin cancer
UVB(burning) rays
  • Exposure to UVB rays can cause sunburn and skin reddening
  • Strongest at the height of summer but you can burn all year round
  • Can contribute to the development of skin cancers

The different types of SPF

SPF is the supporting act in your skincare journey and there's two types to choose from: 

Mineral SPF (aka physical SPF)

  •  Made usually with ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide
  • Small particles that sit on the skin's surface and physically prevent the UV rays from penetrating skin

 Chemical SPF

  •  Made usually with ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate etc
  • Allows UV light to penetrate skin and creates a chemical reaction in which the absorbed UV light is converted to heat and evaporates from the skin

SPF is not only for summer, the sun can in fact penetrate through clouds (80% of the rays break through) even if it's cold and grey (and especially if you live in the UK) your skin is actually exposed to damaging sun rays everyday.

SPF is for everyone (there are no exceptions) you should be wearing it! You should wear it on all areas of your body that are exposed and about 2 finger lengths for your face and neck (don’t forget your ears and hands). Apply 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, don’t forget to reapply especially if you are swimming or doing activities that will cause you to sweat. 

Does wearing SPF really help?

The short answer is YES but here’s how:

  • Evens skin tone - sun damage is one of many reasons for uneven skin tones and daily use of SPF can help prevent this
  • Sun protection - it does what it says, protects you from UVB and UVA rays by minimising penetration into skin and triggering skin conditions
  • Helps fight visible signs of premature aging - overexposure to the sun can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and using SPF can help protect against these effects
  • Reduces risk of cancer - SPF is very effective in reducing the risk of developing a variety of skin cancers such as melanoma ( an aggressive cancer that is life threatening for many women especially those in their 20s) consistent use of SPF can help save your life!
  • Healthy skin is the best skin - SPF helps to maintain the overall condition of your skin from how it looks to how it works

How can you protect yourself?

We all know that for healthy glowing skin, you must nourish your body from the inside with what you eat and drink whilst protecting from the outside with how you treat your skin. The aim is to balance between protecting your skin from damaging sun rays whilst getting enough natural vitamin D from sunlight which your skin needs for rejuvenation and protection.

Here are our top tips:

  • Understand the skin you have - it's your biggest organ so take the time to learn what works and what doesn’t 
  • Choose the right products - SPF must have both UVA and UVB protection
  • Remember SPF is for the daytime only
  • Skincare, skincare, SKINCARE - routines don’t have to be complicated, (we even wrote about it here )
  • Wear protective clothing when in the sun (wide brimmed hats and sunglasses are a look)


As you all know we take skincare serious and we only create products that give results so.....we have developed our very own SPF with all the skin goodness and protection you need! We'll be revealing more information very soon so keep a look out. 

Disclaimer: This information is not medical advice but for educational purposes. Please do your own research or consult your dermatologist with any concerns.

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