My absolute favourite skincare product is, you guessed it, SUNSCREEN. I can not stress enough how much adding sunscreen to your skincare routine will transform your skin. To convince you here’s a list of 5 sunscreen facts you probably didn’t know – Trust me after reading this you’ll want to add sunscreen to your everyday routine.
The job of your sunscreen is to PROTECT you from the SUN; specifically, protect you from UVA and UVB rays!
UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays PENETRATE DEEP into your skin and cause LONG-TERM SKIN DAMAGE, AGEING, AND WRINKLES! Eeeek.
UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays affect the top layer of your skin and cause SUNBURN! Ouch.
Also, note that UVA rays can reach you through WINDOWS but UVB rays can not.
So it’s pretty obvious why sunscreen is important for good skin. It protects you from the harmful UV rays which cause all of the above skincare problems & also cause CANCER.
UV rays also react with Melanin in our skin which causes PIGMENTATION and makes ACNE SCARS DARKER!
Now that you know why you need sunscreen let’s get into it.
Here are the 5 facts about sunscreen:
1) There are 2 types of sunscreen CHEMICAL & MINERAL
Yup, there are two different types of sunscreens. Chemical and Mineral each of which react differently with your skin to protect you from the SUN.
Chemical sunscreens allow UV light to penetrate your skin and then the chemicals cause a CHEMICAL REACTION to convert the UV light into heat and the heat dissipates from your skin.
Chemical sunscreens ingredients can also potentially irritate your skin. Chemical sunscreens are good for when you’re swimming or outdoors for an extended period of time and sweat a lot!
For chemical sunscreens look for the following active ingredients avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone.
Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, forms a protective shield on your skin and REFLECT UV rays from your skin.
So mineral sunscreens are also known as PHYSICAL sunscreens because the ingredients physically form a shield and protect your skin.
The active ingredients to look for in mineral sunscreens are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide
Mineral sunscreen is better for people with sensitive skin, however, it can leave a WHITE CAST.
I personally prefer a mineral sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen. BUT there is one more option as well – there are some sunscreens which have both chemical and mineral active ingredients (COMBINATION OF CHEMICAL AND MINERAL).
But I believe using a mineral sunscreen is definitely better – I will be doing a blog post on the pros and cons of chemical and mineral sunscreens so keep an eye out for that!
Here’s a list of the top mineral sunscreens by harper’s bazaar- The best mineral and natural sunscreens
My personal favourite mineral sunscreen is the ELTA MD UV CLEAR – Broad Spectrum SPF 46
2) You have to wear SPF EVERY DAY- even on CLOUDY days
You have to wear SPF every single day. It’s a 365 days a year, every day of your life kind of product.
You should wear sunscreen even if you plan to spend your entire day at HOME because remember, UVA rays can penetrate through windows & cause long term skin problems and ageing!
Some people think they can get away with not wearing sunscreen on CLOUDY days, but that’s not true.
Sunlight still comes through the clouds, without sunlight it would be really really dark. SO IF YOU CAN SEE YOU SHOULD BE WEARING SUNSCREEN.
Also, there’s a phenomenon known as Cloud enhancement of UV – so clouds can actually enhance the power of UV rays.
In conclusion, you should be wearing sunscreen every single day. Even if there is no other skincare product you want to use at least use sunscreen.
3) SPF 30-50 is enough for your face – Anything above SPF 50 doesn’t add much extra protection
You’re probably wondering what SPF you should be using for your face. Well, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor so the higher the SPF the higher the protection should be right?
So why is SPF 30 – 50 enough? Why not higher or lower?
The minimum recommended SPF by dermatologists is SPF 30 (this means 1 in every 30 UVB rays can get through to your skin!)
SPF 30 also means that your skin is protected for 30 times longer than it would be if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. It gives your skin 97% protection!
Similarly, SPF 50 means that your skin is protected for 50 times longer than it would be if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. It gives your skin 98% protection!
So it’s not a big jump from 97% to 98% protection. Thus, anything above SPF 50 won’t really give you much more protection.
You should be good with a facial sunscreen ranging from SPF 30-50, this gives you more than enough protection. Make sure that you DON”T forget to RE-APPLY your sunscreen through the day.
FYI: Over make-up, you can use a mineral sunscreen powder or a light sunscreen spray!
4) Mixing sunscreen with a moisturizer before applying it makes it less effective
A lot of people mix their sunscreen with the moisturizer to make the formula lighter. BUT sunscreen is not foundation!
When you mix your sunscreen with your moisturizer you’re diluting the formula so you will need to USE MORE SUNSCREEN to compensate for the dilution.
So you should actually be layering your sunscreen on top of your moisturizer.
You can also opt to get a moisturizer which has an SPF 30 in it. This is a better option than mixing the two products.
5) Sunscreen is the best anti-ageing skincare product
Last but not least, sunscreen is your best friend when it comes to anti-ageing.
It’s a simple step that you can add to your skincare routine and it will save you from all the wrinkles and ageing skin in the future!
Like I mentioned, in the beginning, you want protection from the nasty UVA rays which cause long term skin damage.
Be religious with your sunscreen and your skin will thank you later.
I hope that these sunscreen facts have helped you understand why sunscreen is absolutely essential when it comes to your skincare routine. Tell everyone who approaches you about skincare to put sunscreen EVERY DAY! I gave this simple tip to a few of my cousins and they have seen a significant improvement in their skin in just 2 months!
If you have any questions at all please feel free to sound off in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about skincare check out my blog post on the Easy 5 Step Skin Care Routine.
Here’s to the start of your self-care journey!