What’s all this fuss about SPF anyway?

Living in sunny southern California, wearing sunscreen was never not an option. Although growing up, I would always neglect the spf when I would spend all day summer-ing around not caring about my skin. I was young and careless, living my life because we all think we know everything when we’re young. I wish I listened to my mama though (mom, if you’re reading this, yes I do admit you are right about everything, sometimes, oops). SPF is so important for cosmetic and non-cosmetic reasons. It protects you from the damaging UV rays that the sun spits out every day. This has to be the most important step in your day-time routine. Let’s get into how SPF can make you age gracefully, just like Audrey Hepburn did.

How can SPF be damaging to your skin? If you are constantly exposed to sunlight, you definitely want to make sure you are protecting your skin from the UV rays. These rays can cause damage to your skin, internally and externally. They can cause diseases such as skin cancer, and they can also be very damaging to your eyes making them ultra sensitive. Excessive tanning or sun exposure causes UV rays to hit your skin directly, and that causes genetic mutations. I mean, it makes sense if you think about it because too much of anything can be harmful (I love me a good cheese dip, but if I ate it every day my stomach would explode, and mount everest will appear on my chin the next day, very sad). ANYTHING THAT GOES ON YOUR SKIN SINKS IN AND GOES INSIDE YOUR SKIN TOO. Remember that line, especially when you’re choosing your spf, or any product in general.

What happens to your skin over time if you ditch the SPF daily? “Eh, my skin is fine I don’t need an spf. I don’t tan.” Well, it won’t be in the long run honey. It can cause dryness, hyper-pigmentation, gradual sagging, sun spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and there goes aging gracefully for you. Just for missing one simple step in my every day routine? Um, no thank you. I always make sure to use spf in my routine every single day. Having everything in moderation is important, and Vitamin D is important for your body’s health. That’s why I have taken it upon myself to take it in supplement form every day to measure out how much my body needs, without having to expose myself to all those aging factors. The sun is your worst enemy if you want to age gracefully. Even on a rainy day, there are still UV rays out there, don’t be fooled by nature.

When is it ever remotely okay to ditch SPF? If I am going to be in an enclosed office with no windows, on a red-eye flight, or just someplace where I absolutely know I will not have the sun rudely attacking my sensitive face, I’ll give my face a breather. It’s important to give your pores a break sometimes because some sunscreens can be heavy on the skin. I try to go for lightweight formulas so that doesn’t happen. If you office has windows, those UV rays can definitely creep through.

What are some good products? A great clean SPF line that I have tried and really loved that I know is great for all skin types is the brand Elta MD. I know GOOP just came out with an awesome spray on SPF I am dying to try. It’s super easy for those who are always on the go. It’s important to go for a product that is best fit for your skin type because you want it to help your skin and not have it break you out. You want to go for a product with SPF of at least around 30-50 for the best protection. Some sunscreens can be very toxic, and can exclude the ingredients you need in order for it to work such as zinc oxide. I would talk more on the ingredients you should look out for, and stay away from, but that’s a whole other post in itself. No, you should not be using SPF as your moisturizer because it is not meant to be one unless it’s a moisturizer than contains SPF, then that’s different. I like to mix mine with my moisturizer for easy application, and that makes for less steps because I’m always in a hurry in the mornings. Ain’t nobody got time for 10 steps! If you don’t already have an SPF in your daily routine, get on it!

You should always have sunglasses on hand to protect your precious eyes from sun damage. Check out my blog post under ‘Style’ coming very soon for the sunglasses I am currently loving and are great to pair with everyday looks.

This photo was taken by my really dope friend (IG handle @j.bishara). He likes to take unexpected shots that come out unexpectedly awesome, so here is a photo of me expectedly protecting my poor eyes from the sun for the sake of a photoshoot. Gotta do what you gotta do right? If you’re in the LA area, he’s your guy! 


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