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Busting Myths About SPF

Family sitting on a sandy beach by the sea in the sunshine

We’re all told to remember our sunscreen and make sure to protect our skin - but why is SPF so important?

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) helps to protect the skin against harmful UV rays which can damage our skin.

What are UV rays and how do they affect the skin?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. There are two types on UV rays which are known to affect skin – UVA and UVB.

UVA rays have a lower amount of energy and can cause indirect damage to cell’s DNA. They are also linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, fine lines and signs of premature aging.

UVB have a higher level of energy and are the rays which are responsible for skin burn. They can damage the skin cells directly and are responsible for most types of skin damage and cancer.

Busting myths about SPF

We’re usually reminded about wearing sunscreen in the summer months or have it drawn to our attention by the travel aisles in the shops. This may lead you to believe you only need SPF in hot weather. False! A facial sunscreen should be a staple in your everyday routine. This is because UVA rays are a threat all year round, rain or shine. They can also penetrate glass, so even if you’re sat indoors on a rainy day, it is always important to remember your SPF. 

 How can I protect my skin?
 There are two types of protection. Physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients which work by sitting on top of the skin (often giving the skin a white appearance) to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are effective at protecting against UVB rays however, they can not protect against the full spectrum of rays.


Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays (and converting them to heat) and offer full protection against the whole spectrum of damaging UVA and UVB rays. They tend to be lighter in texture than physical SPF products, and do not block pores or cause breakouts, so are often preferred as an everyday solution.

Experts suggest wearing SPF 30 as this protects skin against 97% of rays and offers the optimum protection. However, no sunscreen can protect the skin entirely so it is always important to remember to be sensible and shield your skin in other ways such as clothing and keeping to the shade when it is particularly hot.

The performance of your SPF also depends on how you apply it to the skin and what you are doing throughout the day.  If you are swimming or taking part in high-intensity exercise where SPF may be compromised, it is always a good idea to reapply. Make sure to use a generous amount to ensure skin is properly covered. 

ARK Skincare’s SPF 30 Primer

ARK Skincare's Skin Essential Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer suitable for sensitive skin

ARK Skincare’s Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer is one of our hero products. Labelled as a favourite by many of our customers, this award winning formulation is perfect for everyone. It can also be used as a beautifully light daily moisturiser, make-up primer and a facial sunscreen all in one, making it ideal for anyone looking for a simple yet effective skincare routine.

Our SPF 30 Primer is classified as a chemical SPF. We chose this route as we believe it is important to offer a product with broad spectrum protection. This means that skin is shielded against both UVA and UVB rays and is given the utmost protection.

Whilst the formulation contains the necessary compounds to offer effective protection, it is still 65% natural as it contains active natural ingredients to hydrate, offer antioxidant protection, and provide a silky smooth luminous finish to the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid optimises the circulation of water throughout all layers of the skin leaving it hydrated with a youthful radiant glow whilst Shea Butter works as a natural UV filter and helps to regenerates skin cells . Sunflower soothes calms and heals, making it ideal for those who suffer with sensitive skin, rosacea or eczema. Vitamin E protects skin with anti-oxidant properties.

Do you suffer from sensitive skin? Exposure to the sun is a common sensitivity trigger, especially for those with rosacea, but unfortunately many SPF products irritate sensitive skin. You are in safe hands with our SPF30 Primer though, which has been dermatologically tested and approved for sensitive skin.

How & When

Apply your SPF to cleansed skin as the last part of your daily skincare routine. Apply alone or before make-up application to create a smooth, flawless base ready for make-up. Re-apply throughout the day if required.

ARK Skincare's Skin Essential Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer suitable for sensitive skin

Reviews

“I was looking for a great vegan cruelty free moisturiser suitable for my very sensitive skin. I bought the moisturiser and this primer following the great reviews in the media and on this website. I have not been disappointed. I have not used primer for many years but this is lovely my skin is soft and glowing - my foundation looks so much better. I was thinking of changing my foundation but now don’t need to. Highly recommend.” –Janine E, Verified Buyer

 “At last! An spf moisturiser I can use! As a 40 something lady who has skin than has never been settled (rosacea, acne and now wrinkles!) I have struggled to find an spf moisturiser that doesn’t either sting or break me out until now. This skin protector is the best I’ve ever found! It goes on smoothly, feels silky and leaves no sticky residue. Most importantly it doesn’t upset my skin. Thank you!!” – Gemma, Verified Buyer

“ Love love love. This product was recommended to me by Rosie in your customer service department, and.....OMG I LOVE IT! It soaks in really quickly, my skin feels great and it leaves a lovely light sheen to my skin. So much so, I've stopped wearing a skin brightening make up product I've always used. Big thumbs up from me.” – Judy E

To learn more about ARK Skincare’s SPF 30 Primer and read some more of our fantastic reviews, click here to head over to our website! For more product information and helpful skincare tips you can also find us on Instagram and Pinterest! @arkskincare

The facts about SPF, UVA & UVB - get sun protection savvy

From a young age, we’re all told to ‘remember your sunscreen!’ - but what does it do and why is protecting ourselves so important?

 

Image showing a field full of flowers during the sunset with warm sunlight shining over them.

What types of sunlight rays are there and how can they affect my skin?

UVA Rays
UVA rays are associated with skin ageing. 95% of these rays reach the earth's surface, causing short-term effects such as immediate tanning and possible sunburn. They affect the inner cells in the top layer of skin and are responsible for causing premature ageing, pigmentation, and are even linked to some types of skin cancer. 
UVA rays present themselves all day long, all year round. They can penetrate through clouds and windows too, so even on the cloudy days that you spend indoors, you’re still exposed and should always remember your SPF!
UVB Rays
UVB rays have shorter wavelengths, so only 5% of these reach the earth’s surface. However, they have a considerably higher energy level meaning their damage can be a lot more severe. Overexposure to UVB rays is what can cause your skin to blister and burn. It is also the cause for most skin cancers, so it is essential to protect your skin and ensure you aren’t putting yourself at risk. 
 
Image showing rose-gold sunglasses resting on a sun bed with the ocean in the background

How does SPF work?

A sunscreen acts as a filter, reducing how much UV radiation we’re exposed to. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the measure of a sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from harmful UVB rays.
 There are two main parts to all sun protection. The active ingredient and the emulsion. The active ingredient does the sun protection work and either absorbs or reflects the UV rays. 
 The sun protection factor is calculated by how much of the UVB gets through the screen.  The British Association of Dermatologists recommend SPF 30 is a good level to use to keep skin protected. 

What makes ARK Skincare's Skin Protecting SPF 30 Primer so special?

Product Image of ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer on a cream background next to a sunflower and vibrant yellow petals.
Our Skin protecting SPF 30 Primer is the ultimate multi-tasker - Award winning make up primer; sunscreen; and light weight moisturiser in one. It offers 'broad-spectrum’ UV protection which means unlike many products, it protects from both UVA & UVB rays.
By making this part of your daily skincare routine, you’ll keep your skin protected without even having to think about it!

You can find out more about this product here.

References:

NHS - Sunscreen & Sun Safety

ColorScience -  How Does Sunscreen Work To Protect Your Skin?

The Explainer - What Does SPF Mean & How Is It Measured

ALL THE BEST PRIMERS - Ayelined

Trona from Ayelined wrote a blog post all about her favourite primers. "I previously wasn’t a huge fan of primer. I never liked the slippery silicone feel on my skin. But recently primers have got much better. They don’t feel as heavy or slippy anymore. I especially appreciate them a bit more now I’m getting older. A good primer can help makeup look smoother and last longer. I’m reviewing a selection of some of my recent favourite primers."

This included our ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF30 Primer ! "If you’re looking for a natural, high end primer that is super multi-tasking ARK Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer* is the one for you! This award-winning primer feels luxurious and is definitely a more refined, sophisticated formula than the previous primers I’ve mentioned (which is reflected in its price tag). My skin feels smoother, brighter and hydrated after applying this primer SPF.

Makeup goes on easily over the top and lasts a bit longer than usual. What I like most about ARK Skin Protector though is how fresh my skin looks after application plus the SPF protection is a winner for me. "

 

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Read the full blog post HERE
Shop our SPF30 Primer HERE

Vegan Skincare - ARK Skincare by Opposable Thumbs

Joanne from Opposable Thumbs wrote a blog post all about our vegan skincare and our SPF30 Primer.
"This multi tasker is a good bridge to see you through into winter, as it does SPF, primer and moisturising duties at once."
ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer

"I think you have to be careful with multi tasking products because there’s always the danger that the whole will add up to less than the sum of its parts. But this one has won awards for both Best Primer and Best Facial Sunscreen, and my experience is that it does the task well on both fronts. I was wearing this during the recent hot spell and my face didn’t suffer in the sun at all."

"It’s also very moisturising and gives quite a glowy finish, to the point where you can get away without using a separate moisturiser. I took it on a weekend away and it was very handy to only have to pack one product instead of three."
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Shop our SPF30 Primer HERE

Read the full blog post HERE

10 Things You May Not Know About Sunscreen

Woman applying sunscreen to her face

We all know that suncream is a must-pack holiday item, but not everyone knows how to use it properly. Poor or infrequent application can easily lead to burning and long-term skin damage - or even cancer, which is why we've put together this guide of often-overlooked sun protection essential facts.

For an easy way to incorporate suncream into your daily skincare routine all year round, try our award-winning SPF 30 Moisturising Primer.

ARK Skincare SPF 30 Primer

10 Things You May Not Know About Sunscreen

1. You need a suncream which has both UVA and UVB protection. 

The SPF value we are used to seeing on sun cream packaging only refers to the amount of protection against the sun's burning rays know as UVB rays, and does not explain the level of protection against the very damaging and ageing rays called UVA. You need a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection known as broad spectrum protection since both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer. Look for details of broad spectrum protection on packaging rather than relying on the SPF value alone.

2. Higher SPF is not necessarily better.

Studies show that using SPF15 filters 93% of damaging sun rays. SPF30 filters 97% and SPF50 filters 98%. You do not therefore get double the protection if use SPF30 rather than SPF15. Using SPF30 is considered the optimum level of protection since it gives you extremely high shielding without the additional disadvantages of thicker high factor creams. Using SPF30 also ensures you are not lulled into the false sense of security that you are protected for longer. Liberal and regular application of SPF30 is recommended by experts. 

3. Sunscreen is not the only protection you need.

We should not rely entirely on sun creams to shield ourselves from the sun. Protection against the sun is the single most important thing you should do to ensure healthy skin and prevent premature ageing. Use sunscreen, but also seek out shade, cover up with loose natural fibre clothing, and wear a hat. 

4. Sunscreen isn't just for outdoor use.

Glass effectively blocks UVB rays but it still allows UVA rays to penetrate. Damaging rays can therefore reach your skin if you sit near a window, are in a car, or on a train. UV exposure is cumulative, and research shows that skin exposed to UV through office or car windows can cause long term significant skin damage.

5. Sunscreen expires.

Sunscreen products expire and the effectiveness of them reduces over time, or if stored in extreme heat or damp environments. Ensure the product you use is within its recommended shelf life. If in doubt, re stock regularly. 

6. No sunscreen is totally waterproof or sweat proof.

Sunscreen which claims to be water resistant still needs to be reapplied after swimming or after excessive sweating. There is no product which is entirely waterproof. Reapply liberally after swimming or exercising. 

7. If sunscreen is not applied correctly it is no use.

Suncream must be applied as directed. Use liberally and often. Patchy or sporadic application will not offer the protection you need. Always apply your product at least 20 minutes before going outside. 

8. Even the darkest skin tone needs to use Sunscreen.

All skin, irrespective of tone, needs to be protected from damaging UV rays. Skin with high pigmentation does offer more natural protection against UV but all skin is vulnerable to skin cancers and to premature ageing effects of the sun. 

9. You need to use sun screen all year round.

The sun's UV rays can cause damage to your skin all year round. Sunscreen should be applied to exposed skin, and especially the face, 365 days of the year. 

10. Supplements are not enough protection. You still need sunscreen. 

Small studies have suggested taking supplements or having a diet rich in beta-carotene, cocoa, vitamin C, and/or vitamin E may provide modest protection from sun damage to the skin. It has also been reported in the Daily Mail that there may be a pill to stop skin cancer see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-47937/The-pill-end-sunburn.html However, the advice still remains to use sunscreen in addition to supplements. 
Remember. The single most important thing you can do to protect your skin from skin cancers and from premature ageing is to protect it from the sun. 
Learn more about our SPF 30 Primer here.
ARK Skincare SPF 30 Primer

 

"I don't need SPF any more - the sun has gone"

ARK skincare's SPF 30 Primer laid next to a sunflower

So, the sun was short-lived! Time to put the flip flops and sunscreen away again? Wrong! Keep that SPF protection to hand. You still need it.

UV rays can be damaging all year round and can actually even be stronger when it is cloudy. According to studies in the USA and Australia, UV rays can be strengthened by clouds as rays may bounce off them, or be redirected and scattered causing a higher, amplified UV threat to us on the ground. So do not be fooled - keep wearing that SPF protection!

What is SPF Protection? We are all constantly told to use it. But why do we need it and how does it work?

We are all aware that over exposure to the sun can be harmful. Skin diseases, cancers, and photo-ageing are increasing around the world, and we need to protect against the sun's damaging rays which cause this with broad spectrum protection. Having broad spectrum protection means we are protected against both UVB (burning) and UVA (ageing) rays. Did you know, UVA rays are not susceptible to seasonal variations and are a threat all year round? They can even penetrate glass, so skin should still be protected when indoors near a window or in the car, or on a train.

What is the best way to protect ourselves? There are two types of protection. Physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients which work by sitting on top of the skin (often giving the skin a white appearance) to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are effective at protecting against UVB rays however, they can not protect against the full spectrum of rays.

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays (and converting them to heat) and offer full protection against the whole spectrum of damaging UVA and UVB rays. They tend to be lighter in texture than physical SPF products, and do not block pores or cause breakouts, so are often preferred as an everyday solution.

Which approach does ARK Skincare take?

ARK Skincare's Skin Protector SPF30 Primer is classified as a chemical SPF. We chose this route as we believe it is very important to offer a product with broad spectrum protection. The award winning formula contains protection against sun damage and associated premature ageing. It is a beautifully light weight moisturiser which offers a great base for make up and is easily adapted to your everyday routine. Whilst the formulation contains the necessary chemical compounds to offer effective protection, it is still 64.84% natural as it contains active naturals to hydrate, offer antioxidant protection, and provide a silky smooth luminous finish to the skin.

There are a lot of skin protection options available, and you can read more on the pros and cons of different sunscreens here. The choice is yours. But whatever you decide, make sure you use a broad spectrum SPF daily, whatever the weather.
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Shop our SPF30Primer now:
 
ARK Skincare's SPF 30 Primer