Sun Care For The Face

The media are continually telling us that our summers are getting hotter, and lasting a lot longer. So, if we believe what the weather experts are saying, we can expect it to carry on getting hotter and hotter each year, this is why ‘Sun Care For The Face’ is so important.

Rising Temperatures

We as holidaymakers, and no doubt the tourist industry welcome long warm sunny days with prolonged periods of heat, but on the flip side the extreme weather can have serious implications to our well-being. Intense heat brings serious health issues; the air quality deteriorates leading to respiratory problems, heat stroke, and sunburn. The people most vulnerable are the young, elderly and those who have serious medical issues.

Sun Protection All Year Round

Another mistake many people make is thinking they only need to protect their skin in the summer months. Winter is just as dangerous to your facial skin, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the sun isn’t beating down at 35’celcius, it isn’t inflicting damage. Clouds might shade you from direct sunlight, but it cannot stop harmful rays from reaching your delicate skin. You need to apply either sunscreen or a moisturizer with Sun Protection Factor (preferably SPF 30 or above) as part of your daily routine.

*I would urge Everyone to watch the following video, it’s only 3 minutes long, you will be very surprised by what you see!

The Dangers – UVA & UVB:

It is your face that is exposed to harmful sun rays more than any other part of your body. So, this is why sun care, for your face, is so important. The ‘deadly duo’ ready to attack sun worshipers are UVA & UVB rays. It is the UVB rays that have intense heat that causes the skin to burn.

skin cancer

People who are heading for their summer vacation seem more concerned about protecting themselves from UVB rays almost ignoring the sever implications from UVA rays. Sunbathers want to be able to stay out in the sun for hours on end and get a perfect golden suntan! They seem to think the only thing that matters is they buy a sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor, and they can lay on the beach from sun up to sun down!

Listen To Your Body!

UVA warning

Sunburn is the bodies way of alerting people they are getting UVB damage to their skin; if you keep getting sunburn on your face instance, this will lead to actinic keratosis of the skin. You will see dry, rough, scaly patches develop; these appear more often on the lips, ears, forehead, and scalp. It can become inflamed and red and could ultimately lead to skin cancer.

UVA rays have less energy than UVB rays but they do penetrate deeper into the skin and cause more serious skin cancers. UVA rays are a little sneaky as they cause damage to the skin without it getting sunburned. In particular drivers who cover long distances have to be very careful as UVA rays can penetrate glass and be shining of the drivers face for many hours causing untold amount of damage. UVA rays are what makes the skin go brown and with this comes dark facial spots, lines and aging to the skin and ultimately wrinkles.

SPF = Sun Protection Factor:

Sun Protection Factor is a measure of protection you get from UVB rays. The higher the factor number, the better protection you will get when sunscreen is applied to the face and body to try and protect your skin from sunburn. The most commonly used Sun Protection Factor number can range from 15 up to 50.

Read – The Best 5 Sunscreens For The Face

sunscreen face

An SPF of 15 will block approximately 93% of UVB rays from your skin, SPF 30 will block 95%, and an SPF 50 will block 98% of UVB rays. The one flaw with these ratings is that all testing was done in a controlled manner, where the UVB rays that came into contact with the volunteers were consistent, in real life it’s not like that. If you go out in the sun at noon, you will be exposed to much stronger rays than in the early evening, say 5.00pm. So caution is strongly recommended, avoid the hottest part of the day and always listen to what your skin is trying to tell you! You will never get 100% protection from UV rays when you are in the sun!

*Look to the Stars!*

When purchasing your sun protection, as well as looking at the SPF you will also want to look for the number of stars* you will see on the bottle. It is a rating system that tells you how much protection you will get from UVA rays. The star ratings go from 0 up to 5; if you see a bottle with zero or 1 star, it is to be avoided at all cost. Ideally, you will be looking for a high Sun Protection Factor with five stars on your next bottle of sunscreen!

UVA Star Rating

Important UVA clouds Even on a cloudy day, when the sun is not shining or partially hidden behind clouds, UVA rays are still there, they penetrate the clouds causing skin damage, it is essential to apply sunscreen to your face on a cloudy day.

PA rating System:

You may also see the PA rating system telling you how much protection you get against UVA rays. It is a system the Japanese tend to use on their sunscreen products, although we mostly see the stars system now it’s worth knowing just in case you see it on a sunscreen bottle.

PA+ means Low Protection, PA++ Moderate Protection, PA+++ High Protection.

Broad Spectrum:

Another way you might see your sunscreen labeled is with the words ‘Broad Spectrum’ It will have an SPF rating on it, and basically it’s telling you that it also has ingredients in it that protect you from UVA rays as well. It will have at least one of the following active ingredients in it to protect you from UVA rays: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) or Tinosorb.

A lightweight daily sunscreen with SPF50+ specifically formulated for sensitive skin types.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+

Enjoy the Sun – Safely!

Important things to remember when buying your sunscreen are your skin type and skin colour. Pale, sensitive skin will burn a lot quicker than say someone with an olive complexion. Don’t think that if you buy a sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor, it will mean that after two weeks on holiday you will still be going home looking pale, you will get that vital suntan but in a safer more controlled manner.

Buying the most expensive sunscreen doesn’t automatically mean you are getting the best sun care for the face, buying an expensive brand and using it sparingly because you are trying to make it last is a surefire way to getting sunburned! Some other important things to remember about sunscreen protection:

  • Apply at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun                                                                    sun sand sea
  • Apply Liberally and remember to reapply every 2-3 hours
  • Water resistant means it will last approx’ 40 minutes when you are wet
  • Wear a hat and UV rated sunglasses, these will also protect delicate skin around the eyes
  • Avoid the sun when it’s at it hottest
  • Wear sunscreen all year round!
  • Remember to rehydrate your skin after sunbathing


Which rating system do you follow when buying sunscreen for your face? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.


16 Replies to “Sun Care For The Face”

  1. Hi, I’m finding the article very interesting, I have very sensitive skin and many sunscreens cause irritation. Can you suggest anything?

    1. Hi Beb, I too have light sensitive skin and have to be very careful when in the sun and what face sunscreen that I use. I would suggest that you get a Mineral sunscreen as they contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, these ingredients are suitable for sensitive skin. Clinique have a sunscreen that I use and find it doesn’t irritate my skin, it comes in a 30 or 50 SPF Mineral thats very light and easy to apply and absorbs very well. Hope this helps.

  2. Hi,Thanks for the unique article, very informative and i have learned something new and useful, you made it simple and gave tips to enjoy the sun that was amazing. Thanks again.
    waiting for your next article

    1. Hi Ahmed, thank you for leaving a comment. We all love to get out and enjoy the sun but its so important to do it in safe way and apply plenty of sunscreen! Enjoy the rest of your summer 🙂

  3. Jo,
    “Enjoy the sun safely,” that’s the message here. As a person who lived two blocks from the beach in Margate, New Jersey for 20+ years, I was addicted to the sun, sand and ocean. Plus I was always outside playing tennis or some other sport. Trust me, I’m paying for it now. I always wanted that bronze look and used #8 on my face and #4 on my body. Needless to say, now at the age of 71 I see a dermatologist 2x per year and am being treated for little pre-cancerous spots on my scalp and forehead. Your post should be read by every age especially parents of little children. Terrific job!

    1. Hi Bob, like you, I to am from an ‘older’ generation where the dangers of the sun were thought to be non-existent! it was all about get out there and take as much as you can when you can! Needless to say I’m too am having some repercussions. Only a couple of weeks ago I was on holiday and seen so many people ‘burning’ on the beach in search of the perfect sun tan. In this day and age their is no excuse for not knowing the consequences of to much sun but its plain for all to see the message isn’t getting across clearly yet! I wish you all the best Bob.

  4. Hi, a very informative website, has made me rethink my skincare routine and definitely will use sunscreen more religiously even on a cloudy day! Look forward to your next article. Many thanks.

    1. Hi, Prevention is better than cure! Its a fact now that sunscreen has to be applied 365 days a year, not just the summer months! If you are not comfortable applying a sunscreen on your face many top brand moisturisers have SPF in them. There really is no excuse for not have sun protection.

  5. PREACH!
    I have always been fastidious about using sunscreen (my Mom would say obsessed!). I’m in my mid-30’s now and my partner is 8 years younger than me. Most ppl are shocked to find out that I’m older than him and I swear it’s all down to the sunscreen. It’s so easy to forget the damage the sun does because we can’t see it happening straight away. Thanks for the reminder to stay on top of my sunscreen game! 🙂

    1. Hi, its so good to read that you are such an avid sunscreen user! So many people come to regret not being careful when they are out in the sun, sadly its too late when the damage has been done. Also, people seem to think its only needed when sunbathing on the beach, wrong! It has to be part of your daily routine. I’m sure you are grateful now for applying it as you have your youthful complexion 🙂

  6. Hi I took your advice regarding using sunscreen, making sure to apply it to my face even on cloudy days. I purchased the Cityblock factor 40 that’s so popular on your website, now I wouldn’t be without it, and I’ve also introduced it to members of my family. I now also use the factor 25 for the Autumn and winter. Thanks for your great advice regarding something so important.

  7. Hello Jo that’s a powerful video about the effect the sun has on peoples skin…if that doesn’t make everyone apply sunscreen and how the sun can damage skin more seriously I don’t know what will!.. I will be telling my family/friends to watch it also, and to slap on the sunblock every day!.

    1. Totally agree with you David, seeing those images and what the sun can do to the skin is scary stuff! I really do believe that every health centre should have one of these cameras available for people to see what is happening to their skin, and would certainly bring down the number of people who get skin cancer each year, and it would be a far more cost effective than all the advertising that is paid each year that I don’t believe is getting the message across to people. Good Luck.

  8. Extremely helpful and educational post on the damage that sun can do to to unprotected skin. I can say I never realised just how important sunscreen is, and explaining the impotence of re-applying during the day! Thank you for putting this post together and I hope people think very carefully about protecting their skin this summer.

  9. Hi, we all know using sunscreen protects you from sunburn but many don’t realise the importance of using a higher SPF factor to prevent skin damage in the future. I will be trying the Clinique’s factor 50 especially with our summers getting hotter! I think schools should be educating children more about how important using a high SPF is.

  10. Hi, this has been a very interesting post, the importance of using sun screen just doesn’t seem to register with some young people. I have seen quite a few with severe sunburn. I have been using factor 50 for many years and reapply during the day, especially on delicate face skin.

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