Most of us know that sunscreen is important for protecting our skin. The sun’s rays can have a MAJOR effect on your skin’s health and the way it looks. So here is my advice on sunscreen… You should wear sunscreen on your face, neck and chest MOST days to protect your skin from premature aging. As far as the body is concerned, wear sunscreen if you are outside on a sunny day more than twenty minutes. Occasional sun exposure allows for a healthy absorption of Vitamin D. Look at your skin type and follow what dermatologists recommend.
When deciding on sunscreens, look for the word BROAD-SPECTRUM . This means is protects from both UVA and UVB rays. UV light comes in two types: UVA or UVB light. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis layer of the skin and can cause premature aging and wrinkles, while UVB rays interact with the surface of the skin to cause sunburns. UVB rays also play a primary role in the development of skin cancer. Sunscreens offer a different mix of protection from these two types of rays. While some brands defend against one type, if it says “broad spectrum”, it protects you against both UVA and UVB rays.
There are two main types of protecting ingredients in every sunscreen: physical and/or chemical protectants. Physical protectants act like physical barriers for your skin. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the two most common physical protectants. These ingredients give sunscreen that characteristic white color. Look for these! Chemical protectants, although effective, can be trickier. These protect us by absorbing the sun’s rays and breaking them down so that they’re harmless to the skin. The chemical protectant itself breaks down during this process. There is growing concern that some of these chemicals could cause damage in a variety of ways. Chemical protectants are constantly tested to ensure they’re safe. I’d recommend staying away from retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. There is concern about retinal palmitate (a form of vitamin A), in that it can cause skin tumors and lesions on animals. And Oxybenzone is a known hormone disruptor and allergen. These two chemicals are still in many over the counter sunscreens. Many other chemical protectants, although effective, can also be irritating to the skin, so consider testing the product on a small patch of skin on your forearm before applying to your face.
I’d also advise wearing a sunscreen formulated for facial skin. Unlike the body, your face is exposed to the elements all day every day. It’s also where some of the most delicate skin – like the area under your eyes – is found. The best facial sunscreens are formulated to the same high standards as skincare products. They’re designed to be comfortable to wear on your face, with textures that are lighter and more easily-absorbed than sunscreens for the body. Many good-quality face sunscreens are lighter in texture than body sunscreens, non-greasy, designed not to clog pores, non-perfumed and formulated especially for different skin types – dry, oily or combination.
Lastly, protect your lips! They need protection from the sun as well.
Hope you learned a few nuggets with this blog, let me know your thoughts!
Have a great week,