One of the most crucial components in a straightforward skincare regimen is applying sunscreen. As we’ve learnt, a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen should be part of your regular skincare regimen. Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection is a feature of excellent sunscreens. Sunburns and cellular damage caused by UVB radiation raise your chance of developing skin cancer. Sunscreens used to simply block UVB rays until recently. While UVA rays don’t damage your skin, they do deeply enter it to develop fine lines and wrinkles. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of the skin changes associated with aging are brought on by lifelong UVA radiation. Broad-spectrum sunscreens that shield your skin from both harmful kinds of UV radiation are now widely available from several businesses. Apply sunscreen every day if you want skin that is healthy and young-looking. This post will discuss the many kinds of sunscreen and how to choose the best one for your skin type.
Sunscreen comes in two basic varieties, but they offer very different skin protection.
Physical sunscreens work by forming a barrier over the skin to block UV rays, preventing the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are frequent components in physical sunscreens.
A physical sunscreen’s ingredients are frequently less irritating for those with sensitive skin, but they may not be suitable for those with darker skin tones because they can leave a white cast.
Chemical sunscreens work by chemically converting the sun’s UV rays to heat, then releasing the heat from the skin without burning it. This prevents the skin from being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Avobenzone, octinoxate, cinnamate, and benzophenone are frequently found components in chemical sunscreen products.
Compared to physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens contain smaller molecules. You don’t need to use as much to protect your skin because they are frequently thinner. However, those with sensitive skin can experience irritation from the chemicals.
Because your skin doesn’t absorb the ingredients, a physical sunscreen is probably better for you if you have sensitive skin or a condition like eczema. Children’s sunscreens are a good alternative as well because of how delicately they are formulated for baby skin.
How to Apply Sunscreen?
Unbelievably, most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, which prevents them from receiving the full SPF protection that is advertised on a sunscreen bottle. Use one ounce of sunscreen to thoroughly cover your whole body. That is around the size of a regular shot glass for comparison.
Physical sunscreens start working as soon as they are applied. Plan ahead however, since chemical sunscreens take 15 to 30 minutes to activate before providing protection.
There is no justification to omit this crucial step since many sunscreens look gorgeous under makeup. Continue looking for a sunscreen that works well with your makeup if your present one causes your foundation to split or to pill beneath your makeup. Using a moisturizer with sunscreen built in can simplify your morning skincare regimen.
Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. You’ll need to apply it more often if you’re swimming or perspiring. In water, “water-resistant” sunscreens keep their SPF intact for 40 minutes, while “extremely water-resistant” sunscreens keep their SPF intact for 80 minutes, according to the FDA.
Use lip balms with SPF to increase your degree of sun protection. Your head and ears are protected if you wear hats with wide brims. You might want to think about wearing specialized UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) clothing for long days outside because regular clothing does not provide sun protection.
When to Apply Sunscreen?
However, sunscreen must be applied properly, and there are incorrect ways to do so. This is particularly valid when taking into account when to apply sunscreen during your daily skincare regimen.
Let’s clear up some of the most prevalent misconceptions about SPF and address some frequently asked questions about wearing sunscreen.
How much sunscreen should I use?
Less is more for a lot of items. But that’s not precisely true in the case of sunscreen. In addition to the face, you should apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, including the shoulders, chest, forearms, and legs. Never underestimate the reach of the sun!
A shot glass should be used to cover the entire body, while about half a teaspoon should be applied to the face.
Is it necessary to reapply sunscreen if I wash my face?
Depending on the time of day, you should reapply sunscreen if you will be in the sun at any point after washing your face. An illustration would be washing your face before going to the gym in the middle of the day. However, there is no need if you are washing your face because it is the end of the day. Just go about your evening routine as usual.
If you use chemical or physical sunscreen, you should think about when to apply it throughout your skin care regimen.
Because their natural, mineral-based compositions are better for our skin and the environment, we personally favor physical sunscreens. On the other side, chemical sunscreens include dangerous substances like oxybenzone. These substances may have a negative impact on health and contribute to coral bleaching in our seas, which is a serious concern for aquatic life.
Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, have a simple application guideline that should always be followed whenever feasible, unlike chemical sunscreens which might be challenging to apply.
Although it may be used under makeup, sunscreen should be the absolute last step in your skin care process. Another crucial point to remember is that after sunscreen has been applied, you should avoid disturbing it as much as possible.
Your whole routine will function better over time if you apply sunscreen correctly. The greatest part is that your skin will appreciate the protection whether it’s in 10 or 20 years.
Top 5 Sunscreens we recommend you try:
Dermatologists favor EltaMD UV Clear above all other products. Marnie Nussbaum wears it daily because she loves it so much. We adore it because, unlike conventional sunscreen, it doesn’t feel greasy. EltaMD’s sunscreen is particularly effective because it is loaded with antioxidants that help guard against skin-damaging free radicals in addition to being fragrance-free and noncomedogenic. Niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative with anti-inflammatory properties that can treat breakouts, is a component of the product. The formula contains lactic acid, which will gently exfoliate the skin and regulate sebum buildup, preventing breakouts. We also like that it’s lightweight and oil-free so it won’t clog pores.
The texture of Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 is lovely and full. It has a light scent that is somewhat reminiscent of traditional sunscreen—the kind you can smell as kids walk by at the beach—but it isn’t overpowering. This sunscreen takes some work to fully absorb into the skin after application; the white formula needs to be worked into the skin. Furthermore, it leaves a dewy finish that the majority of our testers liked, though some felt it made them look oily.
We like the lightweight texture of this sunscreen because it leaves users’ skin feeling weightless. One test subject said, “It feels nicely hydrating… with a pleasant dewiness.” One tester who typically uses a separate moisturizer claimed they were able to forgo it because this sunscreen feels so hydrating.
Despite its name, a variety of people will find this sunscreen appealing. You might find this one to be a good fit if your skin is prone to dryness.
The peachy-orange tint of Murad’s City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 blended admirably well with the skin of almost all of our testers. The smooth texture, unobtrusive scent (one tester compared the scent to beeswax, which they didn’t mind), and moisturizing feel were most frequently cited by reviewers with different skin tones and levels of facial hair as the reasons why this physical sunscreen was their favorite overall.
This sunscreen is thicker than any of the chemical formulations we provide, similar to the majority of physical sunscreens. Despite this, we discovered that Murad’s City Skin Age Defense applied well and didn’t feel overly thick. Additionally, unlike some formulas we tried and rejected, it didn’t become caked in the testers’ facial hair or turn into a chalky powder near their hairlines. One reviewer commented on the product’s “soft dry finish.” Another claimed it adhered to their skin like an occlusive, which, depending on your skin type, can be advantageous or disadvantageous.
Our testers found that Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30 moisturizing more than most other formulas we’ve tried. The Olay moisturizer has a mildly sunscreen-like scent and is a combination formula with both chemical and physical active ingredients. The tiny pump bottle has a classy, understated appearance. With each pump, a respectable amount is released.
Compared to CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30, this sunscreen-moisturizer has a thicker consistency, but it is neither too heavy nor streaky. This formulation includes the same skin-calming niacinamide as CeraVe. The Olay lotion spread and absorbed into the skin quickly, which impressed us.
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 can help you completely avoid any white cast. This gel-like chemical sunscreen is transparent. Compared to pretty much everything else we tested, it distributes onto skin far more easily: One tester remarked that it “instantly absorbed” and had a primer-like feel. Dimethicone crosspolymer, a key component of this composition, is really a component found in several primers. As a result, it produces a smooth, albeit somewhat oily, surface. The formula itself is completely transparent and leaves no aftertaste. It’s “the only sunscreen that’s genuinely undetectable,” according to Wirecutter writer Hunter Harris, on her skin.
A long-term test subject said that the Unseen sunscreen “stays on nicely under makeup or may be reapplied throughout the day on top of makeup without appearing greasy or sticky.” The squeeze bottle fits neatly into a bag or handbag.
In comparison to the majority of the sunscreens we tried, this formula’s smell is mild. Some testers even said they smelled nothing at all, while others thought it smelled like “butterscotch” and “yeast.”