Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, skincare expert or aesthetician nor do i play one on this blog. This information was gathered from various sunscreen-related articles. I’ve provided links for reference purposes. Please consult your health care provider and/or dermatologist for the most accurate, up-to-date information.
Now that the hot, hazy, sticky days of summer are here you need to protect your skin from the sun so wearing a sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater should be your #1 priority.
All beauties, no matter what color you are from the palest shade to the deepest darkest hue need to protect their skin from the sun. Women with more melanin in their skin may not burn as easily or quickly but rest assured sun damage can happen whether you see it or not.
It can be difficult, overwhelming and down right daunting to find the right moisturizing sunscreen with the correct SPF because there are so many different products and options on the market.
Which SPF should you choose? Should you choose a High, Low or go Middle of the road protection and what do all these different numbers mean???
So What is Sunscreen??
Sunscreen adds an extra layer of protection over your skin from the elements like a barrier between your skin and the environment. So think of an umbrella that you open on a very hot day to shade you from the hot sun. That is what a good sunscreen does, it shades you from the rays of the sun.
They have ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet rays also known as UV rays from causing damage the skin, premature aging and the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect YOU against UVA and UVB rays.
There are 2 types of UV rays, UVA and UVB,
* UVA penetrates deep into the skin creating wrinkles, leathering, sagging, and other signs of aging (photo aging).
* UVB is the culprit behind sunburn and skin reddening,
A great way to remember what UVA and UVB do, is to think of it like this.
Think of the “A” in UVA as AGING (cancer-causing).
Think of the “B” in UVB as BURNING (sunburn-causing).
So What are SPF’s??
SPF stands for — Sun Protection Factor which means it measures the sunscreens ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin.
Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher protect against UVB very well.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation here’s an example of how it works:
It takes 20 minutes for exposed unprotected skin to start turning red in the sun, so if you use a sunscreen with SPF 15, theoretically the SPF should prevent your skin from turning red 15 times longer than without it. So that’s about five hours.
Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages:
SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays.
SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and
SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent.
Repeated application of your SPF sunscreen every 2hrs is required especially after swimming or sweating. That is the best way to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Keep in mind that a higher SPF number isn’t always better it is best to look for a
“Broad Spectrum” sunscreen not just one with a high SPF rating.
What ingredients should you look for?
Basically you should look for a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. This means that it uses ingredients that cover both UVA and UVB rays.
Here is a list of some of the ingredients that you might want to look for.
* UVB (290-320nm): Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Ensulizole, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate), Oxybenzone, Padimate O, Sulisobenzone, Trolamine Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
* UVA (320-340nm): Dioxybenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Helioplex, Meradimate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
* UVA (340-400nm): Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide
If you have oily or combo skin you know that in the past adding a SPF moisturizer under your foundation felt like you were wearing a heavy oil mask on your face. Now sunscreens come in lighter formulas, and even have mattifiying properties to create a smooth matte finish great for ppl with oily and combo skin.
If you don’t want to apply 2 products on your face, another option is to opt for a foundation with SPF protection instead.
If that’s the case, don’t forget to apply a regular sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater to your neck and the rest of your body.
Experiment to find which sunscreen SPF products work best for you.
Do not rely on your sunscreen alone, ensure that you wear protective clothing like hats, sleeves and cool shades to block out the harmful effects of the sun!
Did you know that if you work inside, especially beside a window you are exposed to UVA rays throughout the day? So even though you’re inside a building, wear your sunscreen everyday because at some point you’ll be exposed to the sun.
How to apply your sunscreen?
Apply your sunscreen by squeezing a nickel-sized dollop into your hand or on your skin and using firm upward strokes, gently press the sunscreen into your skin until it’s been completely absorbed. You can also spray and rub the product onto the skin as well.
Let’s face it, the best thing you can do for your skin is to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays consistently starting from a young age and minimize unnecessary sun exposure.
Hopefully, this information helps you on your search for the sunscreen that best fits you and your sun exposure. Remember to always wear sun protection to help you can lower your risk of sunburn and developing more serious issues like skin cancer, ensuring your skin will look younger, longer.
Over to you. Do you wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun? What are your favorite brands?
Leave your comments down below!