So we all know that we should be wearing sunscreen on our face every day (regardless of whether it’s actually sunny or not) to help prevent premature signs of aging but besides that, what do you actually know about sunscreen?
Like do you know how it works? Sunscreen is essentially a barrier that goes on top of your skin and either absorbs or reflects harmful sun rays. It’s made up of a mix of organic (carbon-based) ingredients that absorb the sun’s rays and inorganic ingredients that reflect and scatter rays. Sunscreen needs to be applied before you head out into the sun to give the ingredients time to really bind to your skin.
When applying sunscreen to your whole body, you need roughly a golf-ball or shot glass sized amount. Which seems like a lot, but that’s probably because most people don’t apply enough sunscreen to ensure proper protection. If you’re actually out in the sun, you’re supposed to re-apply every two hours or so.
Here are a few tips for choosing the best sunscreen for your skin.
Look for broadspectrum
Broadspectrum means that you’re protected against both Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays. UVA rays cause premature aging while UVB rays cause burns, both are obviously bad. You want at least SPF 30. SPF or sun protection factor is essentially the ratio between how long it takes skin protected by sunscreen to burn vs skin not protected by sunscreen. Honestly though, just look for 30 and above. SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays, no sunscreen blocks 100%. It’s worth noting that an SPF rating higher than 50 hasn’t actually been proven to be more effective than an SPF 50 rating, so SPF 70 isn’t actually better than SPF 50.
Go for a water-resistant option
Yes, even if you’re not going swimming. Water resistant stays on longer, plain and simple especially if you have an oily face or sweat a lot.
Opt for a lotion over a spray
While there’s no denying that sprays are super easy to use (perfect for lazy beach days) they just don’t provide the same level of protection. The spray can be inconsistent or even blown away by the wind as you’re spraying, it’s harder to see what areas you’ve actually sprayed, all of this means you’re more likely to miss areas. Lotions have the added benefit of being moisturizing and are often less greasy than sprays.
If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to the chemicals in sunscreen, look for one labelled chemical-free. Their main ingredients tend to be titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with reflect rather than absorb the sun’s rays.
Here are some of my top picks, all available at Coquitlam Centre.
COOLA Mineral Face Matte Cucumber SPF 30
Free of skin-irritating chemicals, this lightweight non-greasy sunscreen simultaneously provides physical UV protection while giving skin a matte appearance. Designed for daily use, it won’t clog pores and is packed with 70 percent organic, skin-loving antioxidants, including rose hip oil—rich in free radical fighting vitamin C—and hydrating shea butter to improve elasticity and help skin retain moisture. Suitable for oily skin types, the nourishing cream has a lightweight, silky texture that quickly absorbs into skin, leaving behind no trace of white.
Available at Sephora $48* (50ml)
Neutrogena Clear Face Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen is specially designed to provide superior sun protection without causing breakouts on acne-prone skin. Formulated with Helioplex technology, it provides superior broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Perfect for face, this liquid-lotion has a water light texture that leaves a weightless, matte finish so skin can breathe.
Available at London Drugs $15.99* (88ml)
Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
This ultra-light, matte finish, oil-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free sunscreen is formulated with antioxidant Vitamin E to help prevent free-radical damage and provides SPF 50+ protection that prevents 90% of skin aging. It's also water resistant (up to 80 minutes).
Available at Kiehl's Since 1851 $47* (50ml)
Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen Face Tinted SPF 50
More than just powerful sun protection – it’s gentle care for your skin. This non-chemical sunscreen lotion delivers a refreshingly luxurious, powdery-clean feel, while the subtle tint seamlessly blends into any skin tone yet washes away with water. Specially designed for sensitive facial skin, this lotion won’t clog pores and is fragrance-free. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants from native Australian botanical ingredients, it allows you to enjoy the sun your way, protected from both UVA and UVB rays, and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Available at London Drugs $23.99* (89ml)
Clinique Sun Face Cream SPF 50
In addition to providing skin with a high level of defense from the aging and burning effects of UVA and UVB rays, Clinique's innovative SolarSmart™ complex triggers an anti-aging repair process - so your skin actually heals as you wear this sunscreen! Plus it's gentle enough for sensitive skin and is this water- and sweat-resistant, oil-free, non-acnegenic, and dermatologist tested.
Available at Hudson's Bay $35* (50ml)
*Prices quoted are regular prices, before taxes. Price and availability are subject to change. Please see stores for details.