We are constantly being reminded to use it but most of us don’t really know what it means. SPF is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. So if a suntan lotion is SPF30, your skin will not burn until it has been exposed to 30-times the amount of solar energy that would usually cause the skin to burn… not 30 minutes until you need to add more sun cream which believe it or not is often a common sun lotion misconception.
Today SPF is found in a lot foundations, but I’d suggest using a touch of a separate sun cream first like Paula’s Choice SPF 30 underneath foundation or tinted moisturisers, especially during the sunnier months for full effectiveness. Sun cream with high SPF factor is very important to have in my makeup kit for an outdoor shoot. I remember one shoot in particular, where we spent the entire day in a lavender field up in Norfolk in August. We were shooting in a set up in one direction and some of the crew that didn’t wear any SPF were sun burnt on half of their faces! Luckily, I made sure my model had a good layer of SPF under the makeup and she was ok.
When I was a kid in the 1980s I used to love the Ban De Soleil commercials. A beautiful exotic woman wore a bathing cap and a full piece bathing suit would elegantly tan herself by the side of a pool. A true 80’s icon for any kid craving a touch of Mediterranean Sun cream glamour! I still love Ban de Solei Sun cream. It smells like tropical vacations…
A Bain de Soleil commercial from 1987: