There is nothing better than spending a day outside. Whether it’s a day on the beach or a hike, it’s easy to get uplifted when you’re outside. Bright sunlight makes you feel good, but it is also very dangerous to your skin.
If you plan to go out, find out exactly why it’s important to wear sunscreen and how to pick the right sunscreen
Why we should use sunscreen everyday
UV ray & sunburn protection
While sunlight is beneficial to our health, too much of it can be harmful. Sunburn can occur after only 10 minutes in direct sunlight. The longer you are in the sun, the more severe the effects of sunburn can be. Your skin type and color may also have an impact on your reaction.
This type of skin irritation frequently causes redness, exfoliation, and pain. It is also important to understand that sunburn symptoms usually appear only after a few hours. So you spend a lot of time in the sun and then you feel bad about it until the sun goes down.
Sunscreen is the most effective way to directly protect the skin from damage. Sunscreen is neither uncomfortable nor painful. It can have serious consequences.
Skin cancer prevention
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. The sun’s UV rays are one of the most common causes of it. Having five or more sunburns increases your chances of developing melanomas.
Applying sunscreen every day is the most effective way to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Because it provides the most effective protection against UV radiation from the sun, it is also the best preventative measure.
Slowing down aging
Wrinkles are the most visible sign of aging, and they can be caused by free radicals, collagen loss, and sun damage. Sun damage also causes photoaging of the skin. The breakdown of collagen in your skin results in thick, leathery, and discolored skin. It also contributes to the formation of lines, sagging, and wrinkles.
Applying sunscreen every day reduces the risk of developing aging signs by up to 24%. Aside from the natural aging process of the body, over which we have no control, sunscreen is widely regarded as the most effective anti-aging treatment available.
Prevent dark spots and keep our skin tone even
Sun damage frequently causes skin discoloration. We’re not even talking about a nice tan. Your skin may develop uneven dark patches. The sun causes hyperpigmentation, or uneven melanin production in your skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin its color and is the primary cause of these dark patches.
When going out, always wear sunscreen to avoid pigmentation and to keep your skin tone uniform.
how to pick the right sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection
This label indicates that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
All sunscreens protect against UVB rays, the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancer. However, UVA rays can cause skin cancer and premature aging.
Only products that pass a specific test can bear the “broad spectrum” label. Products that aren’t broad spectrum must include a disclaimer that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or aging.
Make sure your sunscreen has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher
The SPF number indicates how well the sunscreen protects against UVB rays.
Higher SPF numbers provide more protection, but the difference becomes smaller as the number increases. SPF 15 sunscreens block about 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 sunscreens block about 97 percent, SPF 50 sunscreens block about 98 percent, and SPF 100 sunscreens block about 99 percent.
No sunscreen can completely protect you. The FDA requires that any sunscreen with an SPF of less than 15 include a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or aging.
“Water resistant” does not mean “waterproof.”
Manufacturers are not permitted to claim that sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof.”
If a product’s front label claims to be water resistant, it must specify whether the resistance lasts 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating.
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and more frequently if you are swimming or sweating. When you towel yourself dry, sunscreen usually rubs off, so you’ll need to apply more.
Mineral vs Chemical sunscreen – What’s the difference?
Chemical and mineral sunscreens protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays in very different ways.
Mineral sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are small particles that sit on the skin’s surface and physically prevent UV rays from penetrating.
Mineral sunscreens can also be used on top of other skin-care products.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, permit UV light to penetrate the skin. Once the light enters the skin, the chemicals in the sunscreen (the AAD lists oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate) initiate a chemical reaction in which UV light is converted to heat and dissipated from the skin.
The Pros & Cons of Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens are simple to apply and, unlike mineral sunscreens, do not leave a white film on the skin. Furthermore, they perform statistically better in consumer tests that assess how long they protect the skin from UV rays.
Chemical sunscreens can cause skin reactions in some people, such as allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and worsening melasma and rosacea. Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown patches on the face, forearms, and neck, while rosacea causes red patches and small pimples on the cheeks, nose, and forehead, according to the AAD.
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, the two most common ingredients in mineral sunscreens, are the only sunscreen ingredients generally recognized as safe and effective by the FDA. Mineral sunscreens are far safer for people who are concerned about long-term chemical exposure.
They are also suitable for children, those with sensitive skin, and those suffering from melasma.
In addition, unlike chemical sunscreens, which take 20 to 30 minutes to absorb into the skin, mineral sunscreens provide immediate protection — no waiting required. They can also be used to cover up makeup and other skin-care products.
Because mineral sunscreen is thick and sits on top of the skin, it may cause breakouts in acne-prone individuals.
Mineral sunscreens are also more difficult to apply, tend to leave a white film on the skin (due to the presence of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), and require more frequent application than chemical sunscreens.
Nonetheless, this type of sunscreen has advanced significantly over the years, and there are options on the market that will not leave a white cast on your skin.
Dermatologists advice on how to choose sunscreen for each skin type
For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin should be treated with products that contain milder, gentler ingredients. It is recommended that you conduct some research and testing to determine which types of components work best for your skin.
Any harsh ingredients that can cause skin irritation and rashes should be avoided. Also, remember to choose ones with a high SPF. Sensitive skin is more prone to breakouts. Choose sunscreen in the form of a lotion or spray that is lightweight on the skin.
There are many sunscreens designed specifically for acne-prone skin that have a high SPF and natural ingredients that you should consider.
For Oily Skin
For people with oily skin, creamy sunscreens can feel sticky and heavy. A water-based sunscreen, on the other hand, is ideal. If you have oily skin, you can choose a matte finish to hide the stickiness after application.
For Dry Skin
Choose a moisturizing sunscreen lotion or cream with a high SPF for dry, flaky skin. These sunscreens not only keep the skin from drying out, but they also keep it moisturized.
Look for sunscreens with moisturizing ingredients that do not cause sunburn, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera.
For Normal Skin
If you have normal skin, consider yourself extremely fortunate! People with normal skin can use whatever sunscreen they want as long as it protects them from UVA and UVB rays. If you have fair skin, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a higher SPF protection.
For Combination Skin
Choosing sunscreen for this skin type can be difficult because it is oily in the T-zone but dry in the cheeks. As a result, when it comes to sunscreen, opt for a light gel-based formula that does not overpower the oily zone. In short, choose something that is light enough for oily areas while also being smooth enough for dry areas of the face.
How to apply sunscreen properly
While sunscreen is considered essential in many people’s skincare routines, how to apply it correctly is still poorly understood. Most of the time, it is applied insufficiently.
Apply sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or whether you’re staying inside or outside. Because UV rays can pass through clouds, your skin requires protection even when it is not sunny.
The amount of sunscreen required is determined by the area to be covered. We typically recommend an ounce to cover your entire body. However, if you’re only applying sunscreen to your face, two pumps or three finger lengths of product should suffice.
You could also apply a vitamin C serum to your skin to protect it from free radicals. However, skin care products and sunscreen aren’t your only sources of sun protection. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing to boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen.
Buying the best sunscreen for your skin type can be challenging, demanding patience and effort. But once you have found “the one” for you, it’s truly life-saving.
Choosing sunscreen is not just about the level of SPF or the consistency, but it’s important to look out for the active ingredients that your skin actually likes and avoid those that aren’t.
Make sure to apply sunscreen everyday, no matter what the weather looks like. It’s safe to say that if you can only choose one step from your skincare routine, then sunscreen is the best choice.