LAST UPDATED: DEC 21, 2022 / By Nura / Sunscreen
You should to never go out into the sun without having sunscreen on your face during mid-day! UV ray might cause damage to your skin on deeper level and causing aging sign such as pigmentation and fine lines that will come to the skin surface years down the line. Effective UV ray defense is important for maintaining your skin smooth and glowing. If you plan on spending a day at the beach or going shopping, remember to apply sunscreen before leaving the house!
A day at the beach can drain your skin of its moisture, leaving it dry and flaky. Putting sunscreen on before going out will help to prevent this from occurring. A lack of vitamin D will also have a negative effect upon your body. Vitamin D is not only essential for protecting your bones, but for creating healthy cells within your skin. Choose a fragrance-free, preservatives-free and oil-free sunscreen to avoid clogging the pores and irritating the skin. Be sure to reapply sunscreen for every two hours, or after swimming or sweating if needed to stay long-hour in the sun.
Factors that Play When it Come to UV-Ray Protection
+ Geographic location
+ Amount of sunscreen used
+ Time of day when skin is exposed
+ Frequency of sunscreen application through-out the day
+ Skin sensitivity and type of ingredients that suit the skin
+ Skin type
Broad spectrum has become a popular term in the beauty world, but many consumers are confused about what it means and how it should be used. The term refers to ingredients that protect against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. These rays are responsible for the sunburn effect and the formation of wrinkles, including melanoma. UVA rays might speed up the signs of aging and UVB rays might lead to sunburns to the skin if the skin exposed to both rays without proper protection.
UVA have the capabilities to penetrates deeper into the skin and trigger sign of photo-aging, break down the collagen and elastin within the skin. UVB have shorter wavelength, and it can cause sunburn. All of these can happen under direct sunlight for long hours and without proper protection. Of course, the effect is not immediate.
Normally, Broad Spectrum sunscreen will have two labelled at same time, SPF and PA.
SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and refers to the protection of a sunscreen against UVB radiation. The SPF value, which is calculated by measuring the time it takes before skin redness appears compared to unprotected skin, offers an indication of how well different sunscreens will protect your skin from burning. However, since not all UV rays can be prevented using sunscreen, the SPF must not be considered as a factor to determine how long you should stay out in the sun.
>>Here is example of SPF calculation
“If it takes 2 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red under direct sun, an SPF 30 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening from occurring for 30 times longer—about 1 hour.”
If you want to protect yourself from UVA rays (which penetrate deeper and can add up over time to cause skin cancer), you need a sunscreen labelled with PA or PPD. Another labelling system, called star ratings, makes it easy to recognize high-quality sunscreens that give broad-spectrum protection.
What does it mean by PA+ vs PA+++ ?
A sunscreen’s Protection Grade, indicated by the + sign, is determined by its level of UVA protection, which measures how much of the sun’s rays fail to penetrate past your skin. For years, this rating system has been known as the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) method, but in June 2011 it was updated with a + sign to better communicate its function.
The new Persistent Pigment Darkening + method is measuring UVA protection based on how much of the sun’s rays fail to penetrate past your skin. With the old method, a sunscreen with 15 PPD would provide identical UVA protection as another with 20 PPD. But with the new + system, this isn’t true: A sunscreen with 20+ offers twice as much UVA protection as one with 10+.
Some people may have a lower or higher number depending on their skin type. In addition, if you have darker skin then you should be mindful of this as well since this could also have an effect on your SPF.
Mineral Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen
+ Chemical sunscreen
The active ingredients in sunscreen usually consist of chemicals. Some of these chemicals can include Avobenzone, Bemotrizinol, Dioxybenzone, Dioxyoctyl, Homosalate, and Octocrylene. These chemicals can be irritating to the skin, but some of them also have health benefits. For example, Dioxybenzone and Dioxyoctyl have a UV absorption capacity that is comparable to that of Octocrylene. Homosalate, on the other hand, is the active ingredient in many insect repellents. Chemical sunscreen work by penetrating the skin’s surface and, absorbing UV rays and through a chemical reaction, it will transform the UV rays into heat, then the heat is released from the skin. However, like many chemicals, they are heavier than water, so they tend to be more difficult to wash off of skin.
In January 2021, Hawaii rule to ban octinoxate and oxybenzone ingredients from any chemical sunscreen on the market. For user with acne-prone and rosacea skin concern, might want to avoid this type of sunscreen as it can trigger flare-up to the skin when converting the UV rays to heat.
+ Mineral sunscreen/Physical Sunscreen
- Texture: Sticky, heavy on the skin.
- Formulation: Lotion, Sticks, Sprays, Brushes
Physical or mineral sunscreen only sit on top of the skin without penetrating it, and it work by reflecting the rays back from the applied area. Mineral sunscreens are naturally broad-spectrum and comprised of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These two minerals create a protective layer on the skin to block UV radiation from the sun. Some of the common sources for these minerals are kaolin or talc, which are often found in many bath and body products. The sunscreen absorbing the energy from the sun to heat the skin and create a warming effect. Titanium dioxide is one of the ingredients that can blocks UVA and UVB rays. Use a cream or tint type of titanium oxide as it gave better safety check compared to spray and powder type. You can apply this type of sunscreen to sensitive skin, acne-prone and children above 2 years old as it offers good safety and efficacy compared to chemical sunscreen.
“For a darker skin user, there are new ingredients that suit the tone such as clear zinc or a flattering tint or blue-light-protective tin oxide. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and do reapply it for every 2 hours for long-lasting protection under direct sunlight. Choose SPF30 or higher since SPF30 is the bare minimum level that can protect the skin from UV-ray. Doubling up on SPFs doesn’t double the protection, means if you wear a two layer of SPF30 cream, it doesn’t produce total of SPF60.”
The skin type will decide what kind of sunscreen you should wear:
- Oily skin – Lightweight texture, Oil-Free formulation, Powder for mattifying effect.
- Dry skin – Mediumweight texture, High level of moisturizing concentration.
- Normal skin – Standard protective with a little bit of glowing effect.
Moisturizer with SPF
This present day, consumers are trying to simplify their skin routines. Moisturizer that come with SPF is one of hybrid skincare products that trending recently. The concept is to provide multitasking function with single application; hydrate the skin, protect the skin from UV-rays, repairing the skin-barrier at the same time.
Related: 19 Best Moisturizers with SPF in 2022
CC cream with SPF
A CC cream also known as color-correcting cream that came with SPF is a great product for women who want the all the benefits of a foundation but with the added sun protection without looking like they are wearing makeup. They are ideal for women who want to targets certain skin area that have skin concern that need to be hide instantly such as discoloration or redness. CC cream is to be use for day time wear and can be used as a base before putting on makeup.
CC cream has many benefits including age treatment for fine lines, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles, sun protection and an improved skin texture. This is a perfect skin formula for those who want to look fresh and young always. For a wrinkle free skin, apply CC cream with SPF after morning skin care routine. It will help moisturize your skin and will protect it from sun rays.
A CC cream is a thicker formula than a lotion, with more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. CC cream is smooth, creamy and luxurious. It evens out skin tone and leaves a natural finish. CC cream is more effective than foundation at treating uneven skin tone and complexion. CC cream is even effective as a sunscreen. It is safe for every skin type.
Note: “CC cream products can vary in color, consistency, and coverage.”
+ Cle de Peau Beaute UV Protective Cream Tinted SPF 50+, $85
+ YVES Saint Laurent Top Secrets CC Crème SPF35, $81
BB Cream with SPF
As the name would imply, BB cream or beauty/blemish balm can help covers blemishes, even out the skin tone and hydrate the skin. This can be a great option for people who don’t want to wear makeup, but still want to make their skin look better. The BB cream’s main objective is to hydrate the skin and give the face a natural look. You can say that BB cream can act as a primer, moisturizer and foundation at the same time and also with added SPF for UV-ray protection. Nowadays BB cream were infused with packed of brightening agents, acids and anti-oxidants to cater the needs of every skin tone and type; and every skin concern.
The amount of BB cream you should use on your face depends on your desired coverage. If you’re looking for full coverage, you should use a dollop the size of a golf ball. If you’re going for medium coverage, use a quarter sized dollop. And for light coverage, you can use a pea sized dollop. Applied your BB cream with a kabuki brush to get fullest coverage application and smooth texture. This allows for maximum absorption. You need to layer this cream before applying the foundation.
+ 3Lab Perfect BB SPF40, $100
+ Lancome Hydra Zen Tinted BB Cream, $67
Best Ingredients for SPF Protection
What you should find in SPF protector are ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties that can bring calming effects to the skin within minutes. Also, anti-oxidants properties, to counter free radicals and prevent longer-term damage to the skin.
+ Aloe-vera – Type of antioxidants that have soothing effect on the skin with hydrating properties.
+ Chamomile – Anti-inflammatory agents (azulene compound)
+ Niacinamide & Petrolatum – Provide soothing effect to treat sunburn area
Skin Concern Treatment that Comes with SPF
Please remind that sunscreen makeup, or any treatment with SPF should not replace your regular daily sunscreen because of minimal and less spectrum protection within them.
# Redness Treatment with SPF
This hybrid skincare item commonly formulated to control skin flare-ups, and neutralizing redness on the skin to even out the skin tone, and provide calming effect. At the same time, it helps protect the skin from UV-rays with SPF.
+ Rosalique 3-in-1 Anti-Redness Miracle Formula, $40
Related: The Right Sunscreen Products that Prevents Redness and Flushing
# Aging treatment with SPF
Sunburn can double your risk of melanoma in your lifetime. Around 90% of melanoma cases are caused by excessive exposure to UV ray without proper protection. Sunburn can fasten the sign of aging such as fine lines and wrinkle. Here are some things to consider when looking for the right aging treatment cream with sun protection. First, check to see that it has a reasonable SPF. This will be helpful in preventing damage to your skin from the sun. If your skin is sensitive to the sun, it is especially recommended to use a hydration cream with SPF and have proven active ingredients such as peptides, collagen, epidermal growth factor, hyaluronic acid and retinol to treat aging skin concern. And the ingredients you should avoid to prevent skin irritation are mineral oil, phthalates and parabens.
+ Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme+ Broad Spectrum SPF15, $106
+ Strivectin Advanced Retinol Day Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30, $99
Related: Best Skin Aging Treatment SPF in 2022
# Skin Tint with SPF
We all have different skin types and requirements, time of year, and weather conditions. What works for one person may not work for you. Some of us have oily skin while some have dry skin and others somewhere in-between. The best thing to do is to find a sunscreen that works for your skin type. If you have dry skin, look for a tinted moisturizer with nourishing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe-vera that has SPF. This will moisturize it and make it look healthier. Tinted moisturizer commonly come with hint of color, matte or dewy base to deliver a natural and healthy-looking finishing.
+ Trish McEvoy Beauty Bal Instant Solutions, $87
+ La Mer the Radiant Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF30, $85
# Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is a problem that many people have to face in their life. As we age, our skin gets drier, thinner and more sensitive. So, what is the best way to protect it from excessive exposure towards UV ray?
Finding a suitable sunscreen for sensitive skin is not an easy task The difference between all the best sunscreens for sensitive skin is that they must free from chemicals that can cause harm to your skin. Hypoallergenic and vegan-friendly product can bring great value to your skin in this. The best sunscreen for sensitive skin will not only protect you from UV rays but also moisturizes your skin.
Find the one that skip the greasy residue and opt for lighter lotions that are water-based. If you want something more powerful to combat aging and sun damage, look into products like retinol or vitamin C serums.
# Brush Applicator Sunscreen
Make sure you’re always protected from the sun with this brush applicator sunscreen! It’s easy to apply. Simply flip open the top and swipe the brush across the sunscreen to get enough to cover your entire body. Remember to apply even to hard-to-reach areas like your back. It won’t leave any kind of mess on your hands and you can leap into the pool with no worries. This sunscreen is perfect for people who don’t have time to put on lotion every morning. You’ll be safe from the harmful UV rays in no time!
# Lotion with SPF vs Body Sunscreen
SPF lotion and sunscreen is a two different thing due to difference in concentration of active sunscreen ingredients and SPF with PA value. SPF lotion commonly formulated to make it spread easily, and body sunscreen need to be water and sweat resistant, provide protective coat on the skin and have broad spectrum protection. SPF Body lotion tend to be more comfort to the skin compared to body sunscreen as it only has minimal protection against UV ray.
If you need to expose to the UV ray just for a while like 15 minutes, then SPF lotion is a good option. SPF lotion is fairly easy to put on. You can use it as a preventative measure against skin, or you can apply it to specific areas that you want to heal. SPF Lotion is available in a number of scents and packages, so you can find one that suits your tastes. It protects your skin from the UV ray minimally. Be sure to apply it to your neck, chest and hands as well.
SPF lotion normally have SPF range between 15 to 29, while body sunscreen has SPF of at least 30. You can apply both at the same time with body lotion as a first layer and body sunscreen as a second layer.
# Vitamin Infused Sunscreen
Sunscreen is usually boring and unappealing. But have you ever heard of a sunscreen that’s infused with vitamins? The most common vitamins found in skincare products are A, C, and E. These vitamins are essential for our health and wellbeing. They can also help us maintain beautiful skin. With so much vitamin packed into one bottle, there is no reason to be wary of applying sunscreen to your skin.
+ Supergoop! Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C SPF50, $21
# Blue Light Protection
Blue light is the kind of light that speed up aging and lead to pigmentation. Blue light is found in sunlight, as well as led and incandescent bulbs. It also emits from most types of handheld devices, as well as televisions. Blue light induces oxidative stress in the skin through the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). As we know, oxidative stress can lead to various damage to the skin such as hyperpigmentation, and weaken the skin barrier. One way to protect the skin is to wear sunscreen every day, but only few sunscreens out there that cover the protection against blue light range. There are some ingredients that can help to counter blue light such as Niacinamide PC and PEPHA-Age. Here we list some sunscreen that provide protection against blue light:
+ Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum, $150
+ Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50, $61
Related: Skincare Products that Protect the Skin from Blue-Light
# Eye Cream with SPF
The skin around the eyes is thin compared to other part of the body so it is the most sensitive areas. If it exposed for a long time under direct sunlight without proper protection, it will be prone to burning, irritation and sun damage, that will lead to redness, fine lines and wrinkles. Hybrid eye cream can be a better solution to protect against UV ray, and at the same time provide hydration and treatment to these areas. Find ingredients such as peptides, humectants, ceramides, caffeine to fix skin concerns such as dark circle and other aging signs.
+ Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Eye SPF15, $89
+ Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15, $75
# SPF Lipsticks & Lip Balms
A fine lip balm should be well off in beeswax, petrolatum and oils in order to seal moisture so the lips keep hydrated. Try to avoid applying shiny lip gloss to bare lips as it tends to direct sunlight to the lips. This then can lead to damage to the collagen and thin the epidermis within the lips.
+ Cle de Peau Beaute UV Protective Lip Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30, $65
+ Dr Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Platinum Lip Plump SPF30, $50
Foundation with SPF
Present makeup, liquids, creams, cushion compact, powder, fluids – were infused with SPF. Not all foundations provide broad spectrum coverage, commonly only blocks UVB rays, so user still need to apply sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF with PA++++ for optimum protection against UV-ray.
Related: Difference between SPF15, SPF30, SPF50
>> Liquid Foundation with SPF
Nowadays, you can get sun protection through your makeup. Present foundations were designed for every type of skin user that want to mattify, or need extra shine to their skin. Some liquid foundations were formulated to provide more coverage compared to a regular tinted moisturizer, with hydrating and brightening features, have breathable texture and help to neutralize redness and dark spots with natural finishing and improve skin radiance. Foundation from Shiseido Synchro provide 30 types of shades, so you can find your perfect shade that match your skin tone.
+ Giorgio Armani power fabric longwear high cover foundation SPF25, $64
+ Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum Broad Spectrum SPF20, $60
Related: 27 Best Foundation with SPF for Different Type of Skin Concerns.
>> Setting Powder with SPF
High-performing SPF powder commonly made of finely ground minerals that help minimize signs of aging on the skin. This type of powder also used to reduce shine by absorbing oiliness from the skin, even out the complexion and mattify oily skin or shiny skin to deliver natural finishing on the skin. If you don’t like the greasy feeling of SPF lotion, this setting powder is a great replacement for you. When come to choosing the best powder for your skin, do consider your skin type, get a broad-spectrum protection and reapply it for every two hours. For dry skin user, find ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid to increase hydration on the skin.
+ La Mer the Soft Moisure Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF30, $135
+ iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF40, $78
Related: 5 best SPF Lip Balms in 2022
Sunscreen may not be the only thing you will need before going out for a day in the sun. Try to avoid any activities under peak sun between 10am to 5pm. Find some shade when you are walking outside. Wear a clothing that cover your whole skin during mid-day. Darker and tightly woven fabrics offer the best protection. You should also wear a hat and sunglasses so that your face is not exposed to the harmful sunlight rays. It’s important to get plenty of water when you are outside during the summer months, so remember to bring a bottle with you. SPF protection below 15 values does not provide enough protection to your skin. Don’t put your sunscreen at high temperature area as it will reduce its shelf life. Sunscreen commonly has a shelf life of 2 years and 11 months after date of production. Do not expose sunscreen to children below 1 year old because their skin is too sensitive for this age limit.