Do you remember when your mum would tell you to put your sunscreen on? Well, you should have listened, because she was right!
While it's always been important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, today, it's more important than ever because the ozone layer that protects us from the sun is becoming thinner and thinner, making our skin more vulnerable to damage.
Sunscreen is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for women. Why? Because we have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
But sunscreen isn’t just about protecting against skin cancer. It also helps prevent premature aging and sun damage, both of which can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging.
Picking a daily sunscreen can be confusing but we are here to help!
Let's deep dive into everything you need to know. We'll explore everything from how to measure SPF or sun protection factors, ways you can protect yourself, what ingredients to look for if you should be wearing it on top of or under make-up and will wrap it up with our top 3 picks & natural alternatives.
How to Measure SPF or Sun Protection Factors
There are two main ways to measure SPF: the UVB protection percentage and the UVA protection.
UVB Protection Percentage
The UVB protection percentage is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects your skin from UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the better the protection. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays. An SPF of 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays. And an SPF of 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays.
The UVA protection is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects your skin from UVA rays. There are no official guidelines for measuring UVA protection, but most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher offer good UVA protection.
So, when choosing sunscreen, look for one that offers both UVB and UVA protection.
The higher the SPF, the better the protection!
The Best Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun
In addition to sunscreen, there are several other ways to protect your skin from the sun. Wearing clothes with SPF protection is a great way to protect your skin even further, however regular long-sleeved shirts and hats can help shield your skin as well.
Eye protection is just as important. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can damage your eyes and lead to several eye problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and pinguecula.
Wearing sunglasses or a hat with a brim can help protect your eyes from UV radiation. And when choosing sunglasses make sure you pick ones that block both UVA and UVB rays for the best protection!
And don't forget good old fashion shade.
They also help prevent premature aging
What to Look for When Buying a Sunscreen
1. Make Sure it Has an SPF of 30 or Higher
Did you know that the SPF, or sun protection factor, is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the right sunscreen? The higher the SPF, the more protection your skin will have from the sun.
There are a few reasons you should use sunscreen with a higher SPF.
One reason is that it will help to prevent sunburn. No one wants to be dealing with the pain and discomfort of a sunburn! A higher SPF sunscreen will also help to reduce the risk of skin cancer. And it will also help to keep your skin looking younger and healthier by preventing premature aging
2. Make Sure the Sunscreen is Broad-Spectrum
Broad Spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
These two types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation: UVA and UVB can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer.
UVA rays are cause of premature skin aging, such as wrinkles, and can also contribute to skin cancer. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and are also linked to skin cancer.
You need both UVA and UVB protection from sunscreen.
However, not all sunscreens are created equal.
Some sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, while others protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The type of sunscreen you need depends on your skin type and the amount of time you plan to spend in the sun.
3. Make Sure the Sunscreen is Water-Resistant
Water-resistant sunscreens are important because they offer protection even when you're sweating or swimming. This is especially important if you're going to be spending a lot of time in the water, as UV rays can penetrate the water's surface and cause damage to your skin.
Water-resistant sunscreens are also a good choice if you have oily skin, as they won't run or drip into your eyes.
And finally, water-resistant sunscreens are a good choice for people who are active and need a sunscreen that will stay put no matter what.
4. Look for an Expiration Date
It is important to get a sunscreen with an expiration date because the sunscreen may not be effective after that date. The ingredients in sunscreen can degrade over time, making it less effective. If you are using expired sunscreen, you may not be getting the full SPF protection that you expect, and you could be at risk of sunburn or skin damage. It is always best to check the expiration date on your sunscreen before using it and buy new sunscreen if needed.
Picking the right sunscreen is vital and so it knwoing what it does
Should I Wear Sunscreen Under Or On Top Of My Makeup?
There is no right or wrong answer - it depends on your personal preference and what works best for you.
Some people prefer to apply sunscreen under their makeup because they feel it provides a better base and helps their makeup go on more smoothly. Others prefer to apply sunscreen on top of their makeup because it provides an extra layer of protection.
If you choose to apply sunscreen under your makeup, be sure to use a light, non-greasy formula that won't clog your pores or cause your makeup to slide off.
If you choose to apply sunscreen on top of your makeup, be sure to use a water-resistant formula that will stay put even if you sweat or get wet.
Whichever way you choose to apply sunscreen, be sure to use a broad-spectrum formula with an SPF of 30 or higher. And remember to reapply every two hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
There is no right or wrong answer - it depends on your personal preference and what works best for you
Our Top 3 Picks For Sunscreen To Wear Daily
If you're looking for the best sunscreen to wear on your face everyday we've got you covered.
1. CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
This sunscreen is perfect for those with sensitive or mature skin.
It's non-greasy and won't clog pores, making it ideal for everyday wear.
CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 is a good sunscreen because it contains zinc oxide, which is a physical sunscreen ingredient that provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
It's also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it ideal for swimming or sweating. Additionally, it's free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, and other harmful chemicals often found in sunscreens.
And finally, it's non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.
You can buy it from Amazon from $45
2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60
This sunscreen is great for all skin types.
It is light and refreshing, making it perfect for wearing under makeup.
This sunscreen milk has a unique lightweight texture that melts into the skin for an invisible finish and is ideal for normal to dry skin types.
It is enriched with La Roche-Posay’s exclusive antioxidant Complex of vitamins C and E, which helps protect the skin from free radical damage caused by the sun.
The SPF 60 provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes making it ideal for swimming or sweating.
You can buy this from The Beauty Bar from $52
3. EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41
This sunscreen is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
It is lightweight and oil-free, making it perfect for wearing under makeup. Plus, it provides a high level of protection against the sun's harmful rays.
EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 is a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients work together to provide broad-spectrum protection.
Not only is the formula oil-free, and ideal for those with sensitive skin but it's also non-comedogenic, and Fragrance-free.
Additionally, EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 has a water resistance of 80 minutes, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
You can buy this from The Beauty Bar from $54
Our Top 3 Picks for Natural Alternatives For Sunscreen
If you're concerned about the ingredients in sunscreen, there are natural alternatives available.
These include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which protect by reflecting UV rays away from the skin. You can also find sunscreens that contain minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
When it comes to sunscreen, there are a few natural alternatives that stand out above the rest.
Here are our top three picks:
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an excellent natural sunscreen with SPF properties . A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil was able to effectively protect against UV radiation when applied topically.
The study found that coconut oil was able to provide SPF 8 protection against UVB rays and PA+ protection against UVA rays.
Coconut oil is also a natural moisturizer, so it can help keep your skin hydrated while protecting it from the sun's harmful rays.
When choosing a natural sunscreen, it is important to select one that contains at least SPF 15 for adequate protection. Coconut oil makes an excellent choice for those looking for a natural sunscreen option that is both effective and gentle on the skin.
2. Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is a great natural sunscreen ingredient for several reasons.
- It provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- It is non-irritating, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
- Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen, meaning that it reflects and scatters sunlight away from the skin. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a natural option that is also effective.
- Zinc oxide is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Finally, zinc oxide is water-resistant, making it a good choice for those who are active or spend time in the water.
3. Shea Butter
Shea butter also provides some SPF protection. It's also a good choice for those who want a natural sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer.
Shea butter is a natural plant-based oil that has been used for centuries to protect the skin from the elements. It’s an excellent moisturizer and healer, and it’s also known to be effective at blocking UV rays.
Some studies have shown that shea butter can provide up to SPF 6 protection.
While it’s not as high as some chemical sunscreens, shea butter is a great option for those who are looking for a natural alternative that won’t harm their skin. It’s also a good choice for people with sensitive skin, as it’s unlikely to cause any irritation.
Wearing sunscreen is important for many reasons. It can help protect you from skin cancer, sunburns, and premature aging. It is also important to wear sunscreen when you are outside for extended periods, even on cloudy days. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to select one that has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water-resistant.
Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep your skin healthy and looking its best.
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