Skincare is a tricky game, we lay down all of our cards hoping for the infamous Royal Flush, in an effort to come out the other side with the best skincare routine for our individual needs. The part that makes this an ever-changing game with unpredictable outcomes is all the external factors we don’t consider on a day-to-day basis, one of the biggest curveballs being the sun. Sunshine is a soul warming, mind & body healing element that has so many exceptional benefits but can also have some detrimental ones if we don’t proceed with caution.
Sunlight is essential for human health and well-being, the health benefits of sunlight include generating the production of Vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, promoting good mental health, and much more. But as we all know we wouldn’t be able to safely reap the benefits of the sun if it wasn’t for SPF. Without SPF, UVA/UVB rays will penetrate our skin creating irreversible damage. UVA rays are the longest wavelength reaching deep into the layers of our skin causing premature aging/wrinkling. UVB rays have the largest effect on the top layer of our skin resulting in sunburn, redness, irritation, and in some cases cancer. All of this damage can lead to common skin conditions that we experience every day such as uneven skin tone, dry flaky skin, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, redness, etc. So, the real question is how do we protect our skin but also correct any pre-existing damage? It starts with identifying your skin type and skin tone and finding the correct type of SPF with benefits your skin the most.
SPF falls into two categories: chemical and physical/mineral. Chemical SPF contains ingredients that may absorb into your skin while mineral sunscreen sits on top of your skin to create an impenetrable barrier. Knowing the difference between these two categories is the first step in deciding which product is best suited to help with your skincare needs. If you fall into the category of someone with sensitive skin, you could be at risk of having adverse reactions to certain ingredients in many SPF/sunscreen products. In this case it’s better to choose a physical/mineral blocker, these will be products that have titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide in the ingredient list. A perfect option in this case would be ATZEN Natural Face Protection SPF 30. It’s specifically made for ultra-sensitive & allergy prone skin, formulated with all natural and organic ingredients and zinc oxide for Broad Spectrum Protection from UVA, UVB, UVC.
Those that have dry, dehydrated skin search for skincare products that are going to actively hydrate their skin all day long without clogging their pores due to excess oils. This can be a challenge within itself, and due to these already existing obstacles finding a good SPF product that fits into your everyday skincare routine could seem nearly impossible. The key is finding a moisturizing sunscreen that has both hydrating and protecting ingredients so that you are able to improve the skin’s natural barrier functions that can lead to dry skin when not functioning normally. Some ingredients to look out for are glycerin, ceramides, fatty acids, and hyaluronic acid – these are all active ingredients that will repair your skin barrier while actively protecting it through the added chemical SPF ingredients. A great hydrating, antiaging, and protecting chemical sunscreen option is the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Broad-Spectrum SPF 20. Specifically made for dry skin, it’s active SPF ingredients of avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene absorb into your skin to provide UVA/UVB protection while the hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and glycerin will penetrate the skin barrier to provide moisture from the inside out. Due to its hydrating benefits this broad-spectrum SPF can be used as a daily moisturizer so you can assure your skin is hydrated and protected every day...in fact askderm's Chief Revenue Officer Josh Carter uses this product as his daily moisturizer and base sun protectant.
Another common skincare issue that we have all fallen victim to is oily skin. Oily skin can be a product of multiple internal and external factors such as stress, humidity, genetics, and/or fluctuating hormones. Over production of the sebaceous glands can clog our pores which can lead to an increase in acne breakouts. Luckily, most SPF products are non-comedogenic, meaning they don't cause blockages in the pores. Sounds simple, right? Well, that’s because it is! All you have to do is look for any sunscreen that says “non-comedogenic”, and any other beneficial ingredients that you search for in your daily skincare. An example of a non-comedogenic sunscreen that pairs well with other skincare is the VivierSkin Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. This pharmaceutical grade water-based facial sunscreen lotion is optimal for all skin types, especially oily and/or acne prone skin, providing true broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection with a light, sheer formulation that absorbs quickly into the skin.
Although those with mature skin may also experience similar struggles as those with dry, oily, or sensitive skin, they also have to focus on fine lines, wrinkles, and texture. Luckily, there will always be skincare options for all skin types, especially mature skin, meaning that there are multiple options for mature skin compatible sunscreen. Mature skin has damaged collagen and elastin, resulting in lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. In this case you would want to look for sunscreens that have added anti-aging benefits to repair damage, brighten, and protect. The Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 encompasses all of these benefits with Kombucha Collagen Defense. Kombucha Collagen Defense to stimulate collagen production and inhibit the breakdown and loss of collagen, your skin’s natural support structure. Kombucha also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles by restoring adipocyte cells (fat cells-the good kind) beneath your skin to plump it up. Rich moisturizers keep skin hydrated and radiant for a more youthful appearance. The PA ++ refers to the protection rating against UVA rays since SPF ratings are only for UVB rays. The more + symbols, the better the protection will be for your skin.
When it comes to darker and lighter skin tones, tones across the Fitzpatrick Scale spectrum, the bottom line is the same – we all need sunscreen. Whether you are susceptible to burning or not, SPF is always necessary. According to the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) they recommend using a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection to protect against UVA/UVB rays, SPF 30 or higher, and water resistance properties. They also state that you need to apply SPF products every day if you are going to be outside because the sun emits harmful UV rays year-round, even on cloudy days. So, you need to apply enough sunscreen to cover all of your skin that clothing will not cover, reapplying approximately every two hours.
If you have naturally fair skin, you always need to go for the higher SPF number. Although there is little benefit past SPF 30, we don’t apply nor re-apply as much as we should so starting off with a higher SPF number acts as a safety net so we can assure the longest, highest quality protection possible. For deeper complexions, you’re not off the hook. Although you may not burn easily, you can still burn making you more susceptible to skin disease. Finding a chemical sunscreen that absorbs and blends into the skin so that you’re not left with a white/pasty complexion is the perfect way to protect your skin.
The moral of the story is everyone deserves to bask in the sunshine. To be able to go outside breath in the fresh air and feel the sun on our faces without worrying if we’re damaging our skin. There is a wide range of sunscreens that will allow us to live our lives the way we were meant to because no one is supposed to stay indoors all the time and the world is only experienced fully when you step outside. So, shop our full range of SPF skin care products on askderm.com so you too can step outside and bask in the sun.
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