Once-a-day SPF is BS

once-a-day SPF

I don’t think we pay any attention to the promises in beauty advertising anymore, do we? I certainly haven’t been influenced by any in years. The claims are always too over-the-top to pique my interest. They’re so ridiculous that I don’t even get mad at them – ahem, usually.

I start getting fussy with false claims when veer away from cosmetics and towards skin care, specifically SPF products. Because, while being sold a dud mascara might leave me with stubby-looking lashes, an ineffective SPF will literally damage my health. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, and 90% of cases are caused by sun damage.

This bring us to once-a-day SPF. These have been around for ages, but I think more brands are launching sun protection that makes the one-and-done claim lately.

Unfortunately, there’s a basic problem with one-application SPF  – it assumes your initial and only application will be perfect. You’ll coat every bit of skin with as much product as needed. We know that most people don’t get their SPF right – we use too little and don’t get an even spread. It’s the reapplication of SPF that increases our chances of covering more area. Strike one.

Also, while once-a-day SPFs are generally formulated to stay on longer than others, they’re not perfect. Moisture and friction can reduce the level of protection you’re getting. Which? did a study of long-wearing sun screens; some offered as little as 26% of the protection that they promised.

Australia, where skin cancer rates are horribly high, has already banned once-a-day SPF because of the risks associated with relying on it. In fact, an official body that has commented on once-a-day SPFs has not endorsed them, at least that I’ve found.

In short, once-a-day SPF is BS. There are much cheaper options, and the only thing they don’t come with is the wild promises. I say save your cash and stick with them.


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