Our Best Anti-Aging Advice: Put on your sunscreen.

what is spf

Creative Director of Marketing Jenevieve Hubbard discusses sun protection and aging.

I was about 27 years old and not quite thinking about wrinkles yet when my Mom waved me over and pinched a section of the skin on her décolletage together to show me how wrinkly it was; little age spots smiled flashily back up at me. She then pinched together a section of the ‘never sees the light of day’ skin beneath her collar line which turned up amazingly smooth and pristine for a lady nearing 50. I suddenly and very clearly realized what the sun could really do to your future self. Now that I’m nearing 35, I’m beginning to obsess about all those years of skin abuse that may come back to haunt me. While I stealthily research and try anti-aging creams, fine line clearing primers and skin perfecting vitamins, it’s not too often I get back to the basics to remember the one thing every dermatologist and skin expert will tell you: 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime’s exposure to sun rays. What does that mean for your future self? Put on your sunscreen darlings.

There’s a whole lot of information to wade through when it comes to how exactly to protect your pretty face (and everywhere else) from the sun. In the interest of simplicity, here’s a condensed list of things to remember:


SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block the UVB rays that cause sunburn. SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen. So for instance SPF 15 means it would take about 150 minutes to deep-fry that beautiful skin of yours. It does not refer to protecting from UVA rays which are actually linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to your risk of skin cancer. A broad spectrum sunscreen, like Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster will prevent UVA damage along with the more often thought of UVB.


An SPF 15 product blocks about 90% of UVB rays while SPF 30 will block 98%. If you don't sunburn easily, a good SPF 15 will probably do. However if you are fairer skinned or easily burn, opt for 30 or up. Remember, there is no such thing as 100% protection (not even your clothes will do that). So it’s important to remember to take additional measures like hats, sunglasses and just plain going inside during the most intense hours of sunlight.


Most experts agree 30 minutes before you venture outdoors and every two hours after that. Be sure to choose water-resistant sunscreen. This applies all year round…even in the rain and snow so keep a daily moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or above in your beauty supplies and apply it daily.

No matter how high the SPF or how much you slather on, the very best sunscreen (and even your clothes) will never fully protect you. So in addition to a good broad spectrum sunscreen applied liberally every two hours, be sure to take some additional precautions such as staying in the shade whenever possible, wearing sunglasses, going inside when radiation levels are highest (10 am to 4 pm) and wearing a broad-brimmed hat and tightly woven clothing.

In addition to Dermalogica's Solar Defense Booster, here are four more of our favorites in SPF.

Shop SPF


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Posted by Jenevieve Hubbard

Director of Marketing/Creative Genius



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