Hello beauties and welcome (back).
Today we’re discussing sunscreen and why it’s absolutely crucial to use one at all times.
It is mindblowing how many people skip this step, when the dangers of UV rays are so well known. Keep reading to find out all about sunscreen, which I think is the most important step in a skincare routine.
Why is sun protection important?
For starters, to slim down the chances of getting skin cancer. It’s a well known fact that UV rays damage skin cells and many cases of skin cancer could have been prevented by enjoying the sun responsibly and staying well protected. Sun damage is caused by UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause skin burns and are the strongest when the sun is brightly shining. UVA rays, however are always present during daylight. Whether it’s a cloudy winter day or a warm sunny day, they are there. UVA is what causes skin aging, wrinkles and sun spots. While you cannot feel UVA, it’s way more damaging than UVB for the skin and why you should wear sunscreen at all times. If you are working indoors and there are windows present, you’re also constantly exposed to UVA rays, because these penetrate glass.
If that was not bad enough, newer research has found that blue light (from your laptop/cell phone and other electric devices!) are at least as damaging to your skin as the sun! Seeing as we are always looking at some sort of screen, you can imagine the damage being done to our skin.
Now that we have covered why it’s crucial that you wear sunscreen, let’s move on to the types of sunscreen!
Different types of sunscreens
There are mineral sunscreens and synthetic sunscreens. You may also know these as physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. I don’t prefer to use these terms, as they are misleading. All ingredients are chemical and naming synthetic sunscreens ‘chemical sunscreens’ also gives it a negative annotation (that it shouldn’t have). So what’s the difference?
Mineral sunscreens contain the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens work by reflecting UV rays.
- Work best on sensitive skin, so if you are suffering from redness, irritation or you just have acne prone skin, I recommend a mineral sunscreen.
- Sunscreens that leave a white cast on your face are almost always mineral sunscreens. Nowadays there is better technology, so mineral sunscreens don’t always equal a white cast. Tip: look for the word ‘nano’ behind the ingredients zinc oxide/ titanium dioxide. These will minimize/prevent the white cast effect.
- You need to apply liberally. Since they work by reflecting UV rays, it’s easy to miss spots if you’re not careful.
Seeing as I have pretty sensitive and reactive skin, I often try out mineral sunscreens. A favorite of mine is the Calm Redness Relief sunscreen by Paula’s choice. If you have oily and sensitive skin, try their Calm Redness relief sunscreen for oily skin.
Synthetic ingredients in sunscreens include oxybenzone, avobenzone and octinoxate, however there are many, many more. Synthetic sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays.
- Often more lightweight than mineral ones. They apply very smoothly, which is why many brands have these type of sunscreens.
- If you have sensitive, reactive skin, this might leave your skin irritated, whereas mineral ones almost never irritate sensitive skin.
- They don’t leave a white cast
My mom is very fond of the Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer by PC’s. It has SPF 50 and it’s an anti-aging product as well.
There are also sunscreens that are a combination and have both mineral and synthetic ingredients, which also minimizes white cast. Currently I’m using the daily face shield by Laura Mercier and I’ve been loving it. It has SPF 40 and a nice, thin consistency that leaves my skin very soft. The sales lady recommended it, because I mentioned that my skin is pretty easily irritated and so far it has been great. It leaves my skin so smooth that it doubles as a primer as well : )
Laura Mercier Face Shield bottle and consistency:
Which factor should you be using?
I recommend that you use SPF 30, as these protect your skin well and easier to find. This is an overview I made of how well your skin is protected against UVB rays for different factors:
As you can see, there is almost no difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50. An SPF higher than 50 barely offers better protection and is therefore not worth paying extra for (in my humble opinion). You should always use a sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB (often this is indicated by “broad spectrum”).
Touching up your sunscreen every few hours is important, you’ve probably heard this a lot. Applying your sunscreen over your makeup is a no-go, so you can use a setting spray with SPF to touch up or a SPF powder. Personally I’ve used both, but I’m currently looking for a spray without alcohol (no such luck yet). So I recommend using a translucent powder one, the Tarteguard by Tarte has SPF 30 and is good for sensitive skin as well. A lot of people touch up their powder throughout the day anyway, so why not use one with SPF? 🙂 If you have acne, try the Peter Thomas Roth one. It contains salicylic acid to battle acne and it has a matte finish, so if you have oily skin this may be the right one for you.
I hope this clarified a lot for you! How do you protect your skin? And what’s your favourite sunscreen if you have any? Leave a comment below!