Summer is finally upon us, say hello to that bronzed, sun-kissed skin we all love! But before you head outside, remember that while a summer tan is temporary, the damage it leaves is permanent. Even if tanning isn’t really your thing, sun damage also happens through glass windows and cloudy skies. So, whether you’re a tanning fanatic or not, you need to understand why and how to use SPF to protect your skin. Look no further, we’re giving you the ultimate SPF guide!
Most people concern themselves with investing in eye creams, face serums and masks, while completely overlooking the importance of making sunscreen an integral part of their daily routine. Sun exposure is one of the primary causes of skin damage, contributing to collagen destruction, wrinkles, dark spots, and pigmentation. This damage is often irreversible, as it happens below the skin’s surface.
What Level of SPF Should You Be Using?
SPF levels range from 2 up to 50+, and many people don’t understand what exactly SPF levels are and how to choose the one that is best suited to their skin. These numbers represent how long the sun’s UV rays will take to redden the skin. For example, SPF 30 filters out 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Generally, deeper skin tones that don’t burn easily don’t require SPF levels as high as those required for fair skin tones. However, it is recommended that even those with richer skin tones use a minimum of SPF 30. Extended sun exposure also calls for broad spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen:
There are two different types of sunscreen: mineral (or physical) and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin and deflects the run’s rays, it contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Chemical sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays, and a chemical reaction takes place, which diffuses them. It may contain a number of active ingredients, including oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.
Sensitive or Acne Prone Skin
Mineral/physical sunscreen is best suited to those with sensitive or acne prone skin. This is because it contains natural ingredients, which are less irritable than chemical ones. Often, the process of absorption that takes place with chemical sunscreens leads to irritation. Instead, mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin, not actually absorbing into it. However, one downside to mineral sunscreens is that they are harder to rub in and often leave a white residue. So, those with darker skin tones may prefer chemical SPF, or tinted mineral SPF.
SPF Application Tips
1 || After skincare, before makeup
SPF should be the final step in your skincare routine, but make sure to apply it before beginning to apply makeup.
2 || Apply it 20 minutes before heading outside
It takes around 20 minutes for sunscreen to fully activate, so you need to give it some time before going outside. You also need to avoid water exposure during this time.
3 || Apply it to all exposed areas of the body and face
While this may seem like an obvious one, you’ll be surprised how often we forget to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas. While protecting the face is important, this does not mean you can neglect other exposed areas.
4 || Reapply, Reapply, Reapply!
It is very important to remember to reapply SPF every two hours and right after you swim or sweat. For extra protection, make sure to look for a water resistant sunscreen.
Other Products With SPF:
Sunscreen is most commonly associated with SPF, but there are other products that also contain SPF. By now, we all know how essential daily moisturizing is. Thankfully, there are many moisturizers that contain SPF, so you can hydrate your skin while protecting it! There are also foundations and tinted creams that will provide you with flawless coverage while also protecting your skin from harmful sun rays. By using these moisturizers and foundations daily, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to apply SPF!