Make the most of the sunny weather and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine. In this sunscreen guide, we provide valuable insights on selecting the best sunscreen, applying it correctly, and maximizing sun protection. Let’s ensure your skin stays safe and healthy all summer long!

The Science Behind Sunscreen

Did you know that the sun emits different types of ultraviolet (UV) rays, namely UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B)? These rays can penetrate your skin and cause damage beyond just a temporary tan. Let’s take a closer look at these rays and their effects on your skin.

    • UVA Rays: UVA rays have a longer wavelength, allowing them to penetrate your skin at a deeper level. They are present throughout the day, regardless of the season or weather conditions. Surprisingly, UVA rays can even penetrate through clouds and glass (hello, Raincouver!). Prolonged exposure to UVA rays is responsible for long-term skin damage, leading to premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.
    • UVB Rays: UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and primarily affect the outermost layers of your skin. They are most intense between 10 am and 4 pm, and their presence is more prevalent during the summer months. UVB rays are notorious for causing sunburns, accelerating photoaging, and contributing to the risk of skin cancer.

Protecting Your Skin with Sunscreen

To safeguard your skin against these damaging rays, it’s crucial to establish a daily sunscreen application process. Sunscreens work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering UV rays, preventing them from wreaking havoc on your skin’s DNA. By incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine, regardless of the weather conditions, you actively protect your skin’s health, vitality, and significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer.

The Importance of Sunscreen for Different Skin Tones

It’s a common misconception that individuals with darker, more richly-melanated skin tones are immune to sun damage. While it’s true that melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, offers some natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays, it does not provide complete immunity.

One of the reasons for this misconception is that sunburns are less visible on darker skin. While fair-skinned individuals tend to experience visible redness and peeling after sun exposure, individuals with more melanated skin tones may exhibit a different response, such as increased warmth, itchiness, or an uneven darkening of the skin. These subtle signs of damage can often go unnoticed, leading to the false belief that sun protection is unnecessary.

Individuals with darker skin tones are still at risk for skin cancer. In fact, skin cancer may be more aggressive and diagnosed at later stages in individuals with more melanin in their skin, making early detection and prevention even more critical.

Sunscreen is crucial for all skin types and tones, including those with darker complexions. It’s essential to educate ourselves and others about the importance of sunscreen for all skin tones to dispel the misconception that certain individuals are immune to sun damage. Let’s prioritize sun protection as a universal practice, ensuring the well-being of our skin regardless of its natural hue.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin

When it comes to selecting the best sunscreen for your skin, several factors should be considered. To reduce your risk of skin cancer, an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 20 should be used on a daily basis. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, if you plan to swim, opt for sunscreens that are water-resistant and reef-safe. If you are blessed with richly-melanated skin, consider lightweight formulas that won’t leave a white cast or greasy residue. Lastly, consider your personal preference for physical sunscreen minerals vs. synthetic sunscreen chemicals.

Best Sunscreen for the Face

Choosing a sunscreen specifically formulated for the face is of utmost importance. Facial skin is more delicate and sensitive compared to the skin on the rest of the body; facial sunscreens are typically non-greasy, lightweight formulas that absorb quickly into the skin, making them suitable for wearing under makeup or as part of your daily skincare routine.

Additionally, sunscreens for the face often contain skin-loving ingredients such as antioxidants and hydrating components that offer added benefits like nourishment, anti-aging properties, and moisturization. By choosing a sunscreen specifically formulated for the face, you can ensure optimal protection, comfort, and skincare benefits for this delicate area.

While individual preferences may vary, key factors such as your skin type, sensitivity level, and lifestyle habits can help guide you toward the best sunscreen for your face.

    • Dry or Mature Skin: Seek a sunscreen with ceramides or other hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. One of our favorites is TiZO AM Replenish SPF 40. Not only does it provide sun protection, but it also offers hydration and antioxidant benefits.
    • Oily Skin: If you have oily skin, lean towards a lighter formula that won’t clog your pores. We like Rhonda Allison Skin Rehab Mineral Protection Cream, a silky, weightless zinc oxide formula that provides natural sun protection without a greasy feel.
    • Sunscreen Protection + Coverage: Tinted sunscreens and some mineral makeup formulas offer the dual benefit of SPF and cosmetic coverage that help refine skin tone. Tinted sunscreens can be an excellent option for those who prefer a natural, minimal makeup look or want to streamline their skin care routine. For a dewy or luminous look, opt for sunscreens with light-reflecting particles. For full coverage makeup with built-in sun protection, we recommend Jane Iredale Glow Time Pro BB Cream SPF 25 with its radiant satin finish and broad-spectrum sun protection. 

Hair & Scalp Sun Protection

When it comes to sun protection, it is important to protect your entire body, head to toe. Our hair and scalp are equally susceptible to the damaging effects of UV rays. Just like your skin, your scalp can get sunburned when exposed to excessive sunlight. This can cause discomfort, redness, and peeling. Protecting your scalp from UV rays helps prevent sunburn and comfort your head. Prolonged sun exposure can damage hair, such as dryness, brittleness, and colour fading. UV exposure can cause weakened strands that are more prone to breakage. We reach for Davines SU Hair Milk – a sun protective conditioning cream filled with UV protective filters to shield colour while hydrating during sun exposure.

Sunscreen Application Tips

Once you have selected a sunscreen, it’s time to incorporate sunscreen application into your daily skin care routine. Even on cloudy or overcast days, harmful UV rays can penetrate the clouds and cause skin damage. Therefore, it’s essential to apply sunscreen, rain or shine! 

How and, more importantly, how often do we need to apply sunscreen? 

    • Applying Sunscreen to the Face: When applying sunscreen to your face, use your fingertips to gently massage the product into your skin, focusing on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Be mindful of delicate areas such as the lips, the ears and around the eyes.
    • Sunscreen Reapplication: Sunscreen’s effectiveness diminishes over time, so reapplication is crucial for maintaining adequate sun protection. As a general rule, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
    • Reapplication with Makeup: Not sure how to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you are wearing makeup? We’ve got you! Powder sunscreen options such as Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen are a game-changing solution that offers lightweight, mineral-based protection for your face, body, and scalp. With broad-spectrum physical coverage and SPF 30, this innovative product comes in a convenient, refillable, flow-through vegan brush. Whether you wear it alone or over makeup, its versatility ensures you can effortlessly reapply throughout the day, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. 

Protecting your skin from sun damage requires more than just slathering on a random sunscreen. By choosing the right sunscreen, applying it correctly, reapplying as needed, and implementing additional sun protection strategies, you can significantly reduce your risk of skin damage and promote long-term skin health. Our FX Skin Therapists are here to support you every step of the way, encouraging you to prioritize sun protection so you can keep your skin safe and radiant while enjoying the outdoors all summer long.

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