SUNSCREEN… Winter may be approaching, but protecting your skin should still be a top priority.
Why is sunscreen so important?
Applying sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do daily. Andyour foundation or moisturizer with 15 spfis not even close to enough! No matter your skin color or tone, wearing sunscreen should be a crucial part of your skincare routine that should be maintained all year (yes, your skin can be damaged year round)! We don’t think about the effects the sun can have on our skin and health when we’re younger and unfortunately many regret not protecting themselves sooner.
A good sunscreen prevents and protects your skin from being damaged by UV rays. UV rays can wreak havoc on your skin causing aging/dark spots, wrinkles, sagging skin and even worse skin cancer.
You may understand why we should wear sunscreen, however choosing the right one may be a different story. Below, we dive in to some of the main topics regarding sunscreen.
Which sunscreen is right for you?
Understanding SPF. This is the first ingredient you want to check when choosing your sunscreen. SPF stands for sun protection factor. SPF is a relative measure of how long your skin will be protected from ultraviolet (UV) B rays. In general, the higher the SPF, the longer you can wait before reapplying. We have found that using an SPF level around SPF 50 is the sweet spot that allows you to maximize your UVB protection, but also the formulations are easier to rub in.
Broad Spectrum. While UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns, we also have to protect ourselves from UVA ray. UVA rays penetrate the skin on a deeper level and are the cause of aging, wrinkling, sagging, and pigmentation. Opt forproducts that advertise broad spectrum protection, this refers to a formula that protects your skin against both UVA and UVB light.
Mineral vs Chemical. In the most simple breakdown, the biggest difference between mineral and chemical, is that mineral formulas sit on top of the skin to deflect and scatter rays, while chemical formulas absorb UV rays and release them from the skin (the absorption is the issue, as these chemicals can circulate in our bloodstream). Mineral formulas usually consist of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide and are generally less irritating chemicals, which are great for sensitive or acne prone skin types. On the other hand, many chemical sunscreens have been under scrutiny over the past few years with research appearing that shows certain ingredients could compromise your health. Your cheat sheet of ingredients to avoid: Oxybenzone and octinoxate (which have been shown to cause hormone disruption), Avobenzone (can cause intense irritation) and Retinyl Palmitate (a form of Vitamin A, which is normally a beneficial ingredient, but when exposed to the sun, it can form free radicals). The first two have even beenbanned from sale in Hawaii, as these chemicals have been found to potentially harm marine life. While it continues to be debated whether they are harmful to humans, it’s always important to be educated on any chemicals that are being absorbed into the skin.
Other Considerations. There are many more terms found on sunscreen bottles and we’ll quickly address those. “Water-resistant” is beneficial for those applying before swimming or sweating, as it can provide longer protection. However, it is not full protection and will still need to be reapplied. When determining whether you should purchase a face or body sunscreen, know that the products are formulated based on the targeted area. Face formulas are usually more sensitive so that they don’t clog pores and cause acne breakouts and have been designed to work with makeup. While body formulas are usually thicker and are better for sweating. There are so many makeup brands that have created foundations and products that work as a multi-purpose product. When looking at the label, as you do with your other organic skincare, choose products that are oil-free, fragrance-free, and paraben free.
Hopefully, we have shed some light on the importance and issues surrounding sunscreen and you are now able to navigate this extensive market to find what’s right for you! Sun damage is something we have control over. By wearing sunscreen (and reapplying) we can help keep our skin healthy and looking younger.