Sunscreen is one of the most important anti-aging tools that should be in every girl’s beauty arsenal. And now that the summer weather is in full swing, I think that there is no better time than now to talk about protecting your skin from the sun.
In this post, I’ll be talking about why we should shield our skin from the sun every day, the types of sunscreens available, and some of my favorite facial sunscreens I’ve been currently loving.
Our Skin is the Largest Organ of the Human Body
We only have one chance to treat our skin right and that starts with protecting ourselves from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. The sun’s rays are only getting more powerful and deadly, which means a lot more sun damage to our skin and a higher possibility of skin cancer if we don’t shield it adequately.
From a vanity standpoint, we should protect our skin so that we don’t become wrinkly and leathery before our time. Sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin are all things we want to avoid! And if you do like the effects of tanning but want to avoid the wrinkles and leathery skin that comes with it, you might want to check out some healthier tanning alternatives.
The best way to be proactive in protecting your skin is to find a good sunscreen and stick to using it daily. That means wearing sunscreen every day even when it’s raining or overcast on your face, chest, and body if it’s exposed.
Protecting your skin now before it starts to show signs of premature aging and damage is much easier than having to correct these problems later.
Even if you already have some skin damage from the sun, you can still protect it from further damage by wearing sunscreen daily. It’s also best to avoid the sun when the UV rays are at its strongest, which is from 10 am to 4 pm. Your skin will thank you!
For those who use anti-aging products, such as Retin A, alpha hydroxy products, and exfoliants, it is very important to use sunscreen and to cover up your face with a hat. Using these products will cause your skin to be much more sensitive to the sun. Without the use of sunscreen, using these products will only further damage your skin when exposed to sunlight.
Now let’s go talk about the 2 different types of sunscreens.
Physical sunscreens block the UV rays from penetrating your skin so that the suns’ rays bounce off your skin instead of being absorbed. This is best used when you are out in the sun for a long period of time and need good protection, such as going to the beach.
Usually, this kind of sunscreen contains a high amount of zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide. The higher the amount of zinc oxide and titanium oxide, the better protected your skin is from the sun.
This is my preferred kind of sunblock that I use on a daily basis.
The Disadvantage of Physical Sunblock
Unfortunately, physical sunscreens feel heavier on the skin and leave a greasy feeling due to the high percentage of active ingredients.
The level of greasiness that you may experience will depend on the level of SPF contained in the product. The higher the SPF, the more greasy it will feel on your skin. You can minimize this greasy feeling by choosing a product with less SPF. Just remember to always choose a level that is SPF 25 or higher!
Many people also complain that this kind of sunblock leaves a white cast that doesn’t go away after applying to the skin. If you are taking pictures for special occasions that may require flash, it may be best to switch to either a chemical sunscreen that matches your face color or even just skipping sunscreen entirely.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, which absorb UV rays instead of blocking them off. They need to be applied 15 minutes prior to sun exposure.
If you don’t like adding an extra step into your skin care routine, many moisturizers and makeup products incorporate chemical sunscreen ingredients into their products, which is great if you don’t want to apply sunscreen separately.
Although it’s more convenient because there’s one less step required in your skin care and makeup routine, I generally avoid chemical sunscreens because they are more known to cause toxicity to the body by disrupting the hormones in the body, so I mostly use physical sunscreens (I’ll get more in depth with my favorites below!).
My Favorite Physical Sunscreens
Because I stay away from chemical sunscreens and most physical sunscreens are thick, greasy, and leave a white cast, I’ve tried dozens of physical sunscreens that just didn’t perform very well. It took me a long time to figure out which sunscreens fit my requirements. Luckily after much searching, I found 2 awesome products that I use every day and totally recommend.
1. Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25
My holy grail physical sunscreen that I absolutely love and will continue repurchasing forever and ever is the Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25.
- Titanium Oxide: 7.3%
- Zinc Oxide: 6.9%
I’ve tried so many physical sunscreens in the past that I didn’t like because they reminded me of body sunscreens. They left a greasy, heavy feeling on the skin and smelled strongly of sunblock but this one doesn’t.
This is light and airy tinted cream that disappears into the skin after applying. I really love that this doesn’t leave a noticeable white cast on my face which is a prevalent issue present in physical sunscreens. Even if I do not wear any makeup on top, it doesn’t look or feel like I’m wearing anything.
I also find that this is moisturizing enough for me to wear under my foundation so that I don’t need to put another layer of moisturizer during the summer. For the winter time, I will wear it on top of my moisturizer as a primer under my foundation.
If you like to wear sunscreens with higher SPF, Clinique also has an SPF 40 version.
- Titanium Dioxide: 3.36%
- Zinc Oxide: 4.13%
This product sits well under my makeup and feels light on my skin. It doesn’t have as much of a mattifying effect as the Clinique City Block SPF 25 because I do find that I start to get oily much faster during the day so it may be perfect for those with drier skin.
Sunscreen is such an important step in your skincare routine that you can’t skip. Prevention is key as you can only treat skin damage up to a certain point. So don’t forget to wear sunscreen every day, wear a hat if you’re going to be out in the sun, and stay out of the sun when the UV index is the highest. It’s never too late to start protecting your skin and it will thank you down the road!
If you love being tan but don’t like the consequences of sun tanning or tanning beds, take a look at my list of self tanners I’ve been loving for the perfect summer glow!
What are some of your favorite sunscreens to help protect you from the sun? Feel free to share!