SUNSCREEN. SPF. Demystified.
What should everyone be wearing EVERYDAY of course? Sunscreen. I honestly cannot stress this enough. You need sunscreen! Sun damage doesn't discriminate. Sun cancer is NO JOKE.
Sunscreen is the most important step in your routine. Period.
Even if your skincare regimen is 1 step or 100 steps, it will go to waste if you're not applying sunscreen before you go out. Wearing sunscreen can and will protect your skin from sun damage and essentially, your life.
This is the number 1 topic I love to discuss when it comes to skincare. I've gone through so many bottles of sunscreen, I honestly wouldn't leave the house without slathering some on. UV rays are extremely damaging to your skin, which is basically the biggest organ on your body. If you're taking care of your body internally, even externally, don't forget your skin. Although, it's not immediate damage that you can see, it is measurable and only gets worse as you get older.
So, what is SPF? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.
Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how well your sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays. This radiation can cause sunburn, damage skin, and contribute to skin cancer.
UVB Rays: The reason why you get sunburn. Also contributes to skin cancer.
UVA Rays: These rays penetrate the skin more deeply. The main reason your skin sags, causer of wrinkles, and over time will give your skin a leathery feel with over-exposure in the sun.
Both can work together to give you skin cancer.
How does SPF work?
Here's an example: if it takes 10 minutes for your skin to burn/turn red in the sun. When you apply on a sunscreen with SPF 15, this means your skin will take 15 times longer to burn. 10 min x spf 15 equals 150 minutes in the sun without burning. This is a rough estimate depending on your skin type, texture, and amount of application from sunscreen.
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
I always recommend spf 50 when choosing types of sunscreen. These percentages may seem small, but if you're light sensitive or already have sun damage, 1-2% can make a difference. With these percentages, keep in mind there is currently no sunscreen that can protect you from all UV rays.
Who should be wearing sunscreen?
In conclusion, EVERYONE. If you want to get technical, everyone over the age of 6 months should be wearing sunscreen. Children under the age of 6 months should not be exposed because their skin is much more sensitive to the sun. Even if you work inside, you should also be wearing sunscreen at least once a day. UVA rays are still able to penetrate through windows which usually only filter out UVB rays.
How often should you apply it?
Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours. If you're going outdoors (swimming, hiking, etc.) anything that involves getting in the water or sweating, it should be applied immediately after you leave the water or drying off.
Common myths about sunscreen:
"The higher the SPF, the better the protection."
Sort of false. Yes this is true, but the protection plateaus around spf 50. Anything higher than that are usually marketing tactics to get you to buy misleading products thinking you'll get a higher protection. No studies have proven that spf 100 works better than spf 50.
"If it's cold or cloudy, you don't need sunscreen."
False. UV rays also penetrate through the clouds, regardless of weather.
"You can't get Vitamin D wearing sunscreen."
False. Sunscreen will block out the UV rays, not Vitamin D. You can get your daily dose of vitamin D just fine by wearing sunscreen.
My recommended sunscreens:
NEOGEN Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50/PA+++ ($30)
You can also purchase it on Sephora for $30!
This one is my holy grail sunscreen! Perfect for dry and/or sensitive skin. I've gone through 3 bottles already and I'm not stopping any time soon. It contains rose and raspberry extract for ultimate hydration. It also doesn't leave any white cast!
Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF 50+/PA+++ ($14)
This is for the oily guys and gals! Also one of my favorites, this sunscreen contains no pore-clogging oils and gives you a semi-matte look! This is perfect for oily skin that doesn't need more oils from sunscreen. It leaves no grease or fragrance behind.
The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Super White Sun Cream SPF 50+/PA+++
This currently isn't sold anywhere online at the moment. (Only sold in physical stores and in S. Korea) This was one of the first sunscreens that I've tried that suited my skin. It was lightweight, non-irritating, and didn't clog my pores.
Tony Moly BCDation Multi Use Sun Oil SPF 50+/PA++++ ($28.50)
This one might be the most unique one of all! It's a "sun oil" with spf 50. You can add a few drops into your moisturizer and skip the step of moisturizing then applying on sunscreen. This one is my go to when I'm applying makeup and I want protection along with my BB cream.
In conclusion, sun damage is scary so don't forget to protect yourself! Your skin will thank you later. Always remember to wear sunscreen before leaving the house. Also, don't forget to reapply once in awhile.
I am not sponsored by any of the brands nor am I affiliated with any of the brands listed above. Thank you for reading & take care! – xoxo, Annie