Sunscreen is a vital part of any skincare routine. While we largely focus on covering our arms and legs in the summer months, facial sunscreen is important to ensure your skin does not experience damage that can be difficult to repair. There are several options available, which can make the sunscreen aisle difficult to navigate. Here are our top five tips for picking the best sunscreen for your skin.
Choose an SPF and Broad Spectrum Protection
All sunscreens protect against UVB rays, which is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer. However, only the ones labelled broad-spectrum also protect against UVA rays, which can contribute to premature aging. Next time you are shopping, ensure you check the label for this specification.
SPF informs you of the level of protection against UVB rays. The higher it is, the more protection you get. However, the difference between SPF 15 and 30 is not as drastic as it might seem to be. No sunscreen completely protects you from the sun, so it is important to reapply every two hours, as well as after sweating or swimming.
Avoid Dangerous Ingredients
Dangerous ingredients in sunscreen are not only harmful to people, but also to the ocean and may have far-reaching effects on the environment. Some experts believe that products with oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor that can also trigger allergic reactions, should be avoided, while others are still looking into the research. Other harmful chemicals including parabens, fragrances, and sodium laureth sulphate can also linger in the ingredients list, so ensure you thoroughly read the product labels.
Decide on a Type
There are four main options available when it comes to sunscreen: lotion, spray, stick, or gel. While lotions are soothing to the skin depending on the ingredients, some individuals may appreciate the convenience of a spray or gel. After choosing the right one for you, you should ensure that you apply an ounce of it to the entirety of your exposed skin approximately 30 minutes before heading outside.
Use a Separate Sunscreen for Your Face
Not all parts of our bodies are equally exposed to the sun. Similarly, the skin on our arms should have a different sunscreen than the skin on our faces. A facial sunscreen can sit below makeup and still be as effective without a greasy feel. Chapsticks with SPF are also available to keep lips moisturized and protected.
Consider Your Skin Type
Oily, dry, and/or sensitive skin can react to products in different ways. Sunscreen is no different, and if you are protecting yourself from the sun, your skin should also be protected, not irritated. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, a non-comedogenic sunscreen will not block your pores. Those who tend to be on the dryer side can use a nourishing product with ceramides or hyaluronic acid. Sensitive skin can be difficult to contend with, but mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide don’t burn or sting and have anti-inflammatory properties. These effectively sit on top of the skin rather than sinking into it.
Sunscreen is only effective if used correctly. In addition to applying it, you might also consider donning a wide-brimmed hat, wearing loose-fitting clothes, and donning a pair of broad-spectrum sunglasses. At the Ottawa Skin Clinic, we see the positive effects that proper sunscreen application can have on the skin. Our technicians are happy to help when it comes to deciding on a brand that will work best for your skin. Shop our skincare options for sunny days, or reach out to us to learn more about our skin rejuvenation services!