SPF 101

SPF 101

Protecting your skin as an organ as well as protecting your skincare investment is a top priority for many people. To provide such protection, sunscreen is one product that should be an addition to everyone’s skincare regimen. There are so many factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen: SPF, mineral or chemical based, length of protection, reef-safe, etc. Here is a brief overview to help you understand how to choose a sunscreen that is right for you!

Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreens

It is essential to differentiate between chemical and mineral sunscreens. There are typically three active ingredients in chemical sunscreens: avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. The mechanism of action for chemical sunscreens can be explained by acting like a sponge and allowing these ingredients to absorb the UV rays and convert them into heat. The benefits of chemical sunscreens include leaving minimal to no white cast upon application and offering a more lightweight formula. However, many have concerns about these ingredients not being environmentally friendly to ocean life, as well as concerns for penetration through the skin and into the bloodstream. 

Active ingredients for mineral sunscreen include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Mineral sunscreens sit as a layer on your skin and protect you by blocking the UV rays from penetrating into the skin. You can think of mineral sunscreen as your shield from the sun. While this formula may cause a white cast due to its ingredients, it often comes in tinted versions as a solution to the white cast.

How to Correctly Apply Sunscreen to Your Face

You need at least two teaspoons of at least an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 sunscreen application to ensure your face and neck are protected from harmful UV rays. The rule of thumb is 3 fingers worth of sunscreen for your face and repeat for your neck. This is typically the last step of your morning routine, following your moisturizer. Reapplication is needed after two hours or as needed when you are sweating or swimming.

To enhance the use of sunscreen even further, add a topical antioxidant to your skincare regimen. Glow Vitamin C Serum will boost your sunscreen protection. Sunscreen, still the best way to protect your skin from the sun, only partially guards you against free radicals that are produced by UV rays. Studies show applying vitamin C before sunscreen reduces wrinkles due to its photoprotective properties. Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants which is beneficial to pair with your sunscreen to counterbalance oxidative stress. 

Which sunscreen is right for me?

Sunscreen typically takes trial and experiment to find your favorite to keep in your skincare routine, however The American Academy of Dermatology recommends mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin.  If you experience any stinging with a chemical sunscreen, commonly around the eyes, switching to a mineral sunscreen can usually help. I have linked my favorite sunscreens here, including a mix of chemical and mineral sunscreens! Think of sunscreen as a long-term investment in protecting your skin and your youth. Your skin will thank you years down the road. 

Already sunburnt?

It happens to the best of us. Whether you applied too little sunscreen, didn’t reapply as much as you should have, or didn’t apply any at all, you run the risk of sunburn, which is simply severe sun damage that increases the risk of developing further into cancerous cells, can cause your skin to peel and may be painful until you heal. Topically applied aloe vera gel as well as generous applications of The Healer Balm will decrease the painful burn, hydrate the damaged skin and provide an occlusive layer on the surface of the skin to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The crowd favorite Healer Balm includes skin-loving ingredients such as calendula, chamomile, lavender, and amla oil to aid in the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes. 

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