To help you keep your skin protected this season, Inspirations & Celebrations’ Beauty Contributor, Alana Mitchell (a licensed esthetician and skincare expert), shares her expertise on how to find the best type of sunscreen for your skin. In today’s Summer skincare guide, learn about different types of sun protection, ranging from traditional sunscreen to SPF-infused makeup.
Ah, sweet summertime! By the time the warmest weather of the year arrives, most of us are beyond ready to soak up the sunshine. It’s an instant mood-booster, and it’s practically impossible not to enjoy a beautiful, sunny, summer day, right? That being said, I can’t recommend using sunscreen strongly enough all year round, but especially this time of year when we spend a large portion of our time outdoors.
How To Find The Best Sunscreen For Your Skin
Sunscreen allows us to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays without sacrificing the health of our skin. It offers protection from the harmful damage of UVA and UVB rays that come along with sun exposure. Applying sunscreen liberally and often can help prevent sun spots, signs of premature aging, and, of course: skin cancer. It’s especially important to protect your skin this time of year because the sun is actually more intense. If you’re “feeling it” a little stronger in the summertime, this is why.
The Skin Cancer Foundation states approximately 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater every day will show 24 percent less skin aging than those who don’t use sunscreen regularly at all. Even more startling – one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime. I personally recommend using a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
When we think of sunscreen, most of us immediately picture the thick, white globs that come out of the bottles and tubes at the local drugstore. The same stuff we’ve been using our whole lives, ever since we were kids. While those are indeed effective and will probably always stand the test of time, there are so many products that contain sunscreen you can use that fit perfectly into your regular skincare and beauty routine!
Fast Facts About Sunscreen
First things first: SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor.” According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, these numbers reflect how well the sunscreen protects against UVB radiation, which causes sunburn and many types of skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and cause premature wrinkling, age spots, and can increase your risk of certain skin cancers.
- UVB rays don’t penetrate as deeply as UVA, they do cause reactions in the outer layer of your skin that damages your DNA.
- Most medical professionals and organizations recommend using sunscreen that contains an SPF between 15 and 50.
- Anything less than SPF 15 or more than SPF 50 has not been proven to be effective when it comes to absorbing or deflecting harmful rays.
- There is also no SPF that can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays, so it’s no use doubling up on SPF numbers.
Different Types of Sunscreens For Your Skin
Whether you amp up the glamour and put on a full face of makeup everyday, or keep it simple and hassle-free, there are plenty of SPF-friendly products for your daily routine.
Who doesn’t love a good BB Cream? They provide anti-aging, skin-brightening, skin-correcting goodness in many different brands and formulas. The best ones, in my opinion, include an SPF. BB creams can act as a foundation, moisturizer, concealer, and sunscreen all in one!
Did you know that there is such a thing as SPF powder? SPF powders go on over your makeup. How convenient is that? SPF powder looks and feels just like any loose powder you’d put on as part of your makeup routine, but it also protects your skin from the aging and dangerous effects of the sun.
SPF-Friendly Tinted Moisturizers
Tinted moisturizers are great because they provide a light layer of coverage and offer your skin a sun-kissed glow without ever having to expose it to the sun’s rays. Finding one with an SPF of 15 or 30 isn’t hard; there are plenty of brands and shades to choose from! Most of them contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to add a layer of nutrients as well as protection from the sun. I personally love this one by Image Skincare.
I love a good organic sunscreen. Natural, mineral-based sunscreens help reflect light away from our skin. This means it works differently than many chemical sunscreens, as it blocks and deflects light rather than potentially absorbing it. Zinc Oxide sunblocks are the perfect way to protect yourself from harmful UVA and UVB rays without worrying about chemicals as well. I am a huge fan of Epicuren’s sunscreen.
Water Resistant Sunscreens
In order to be deemed “water resistant” by the FDA, a sunscreen must retain their marketed SPF value after a certain allotted time (typically 40-80 minutes, depending on the brand). These water-resistant sport sunscreens are perfect for anyone who sweat or swim, or just anyone who is generally very active. You can find plenty of water-resistant options at most places that sell sunscreen.
7 Sunscreen Tips To Keep In Mind
- Apply sunscreen to dry skin 20 minutes before sun exposure.
- Skin cancer can also form on the lips. Use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- When you or your little ones are swimming outside, reapply your sunscreen every hour, after swimming or sweating.
- Sunscreen should be reapplied every hour when you’re in direct sunlight, whether you’re being active or not. It should also be reapplied every two hours even when you’re hanging out in the shade.
- The FDA requires that all sunscreen products retain their effectiveness for three years, so last year’s leftovers should be safe to use!
- Using sunscreen can affect your body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re concerned that you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, discuss it with your doctor.
- Use sunscreen anytime you’re going outdoors, even when it’s cloudy. Your skin still absorbs UVA and UVB rays during daylight hours, no matter what the weather is like.
For more must-read skincare tips, head over to the Skincare section on Inspirations & Celebrations.
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BEAUTY CONTRIBUTOR: Alana Mitchell
For over 14 years, Alana Mitchell (a licensed esthetician, beauty & skincare blogger, and mother of two), has sold over 300 lines of the highest of quality skincare lines through her store skincarebyalana.com. As a beauty contributor to Inspirations & Celebrations, Alana shares her insight and knowledge about skincare, personal care, and body treatments.
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