Netdoctor & Patient Info

Does SPF moisturiser give you enough sun protection?

We all know that sunscreen is a must on a sunny day. Although the kind you need will depend on the weather conditions and your skin type, only the most foolhardy of us would skimp on sun protection.

The one exception to the rule might be if you’re already wearing an SPF moisturiser. In this case, it may seem futile to double up on protection and add a sunscreen on top. In fact, out of the two, SPF moisturisers might seem like the better bet – protecting you from harmful UV rays and hydrating your skin to boot.

Unfortunately, new research has cast doubt on this wisdom, suggesting that an SPF moisturiser isn’t as effective as it might seem.

SPF moisturiser vs sunscreen

In a recent study, the University of Liverpool used UV photography to assess how well sunscreen was being applied. The darker the resulting image, the more UV rays had been blocked and the better the sun protection.

The volunteers were imaged on two separate occasions – one time after applying SPF30 moisturiser, one time after applying SPF30 sunscreen. Theoretically, these two products should offer the same protection. However, the images were much darker with sunscreen than with SPF moisturiser – suggesting that, in real world scenarios, people don’t apply enough moisturiser to have the full effect.

Read the rest of this article at Patient

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