By Jeanette Crutchfield
The beginning of the ‘70s was all about the “flower power” hippie movement where the focus was on a natural, barely there, almost invisible complexion. The look was anchored by sheer, hardly noticeable foundation in super soft natural textures.
The idea was to disguise any signs of texture on the skin to get a poreless looking finish. This is a trend we can easily take into today as the focus on skin looking natural and healthy is one that’s always in style.
Why is Sunscreen Important Year-Round?
Sunscreen is important to help protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. When used correctly, it can help decrease your risk of getting skin cancers, as well as help prevent premature skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures. This includes wrinkles and skin discolorations caused by exposure to the sun.
There are multiple types of rays that the sun emits. The two that can impact your skin the most are UVA and UVB rays. The easy way to remember the difference between the two is to think of UVA rays as the ones that can contribute to premature skin aging. UVA rays are the ones that can give you more wrinkles and skin discolorations.
Think of UVB rays as the ones that contribute to the sunburns you can get from too much sun exposure. The UVB rays are the ones that can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Choosing a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum SPF means that it will help protect your skin against both types of rays—UVA and UVB.
What Does the Number of SPF Mean?
The SPF number on your sunscreen can be very confusing. According to SkinCancer.org, SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it describes how long it would take your skin to shows signs of a sunburn while properly using a sunscreen compared to being in the sun without any protection at all.
What this means is that if you are in the sun without any sun protection and it takes you only 10 minutes for your skin to start getting red, then with an SPF 15, you could stay out in the sun 15 times longer before showing redness. An SPF 30 would allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer. However, it is important to remember that the number of the SPF does NOT refer to how many minutes you can be out in the sun. Regardless of the number on your SPF, the important thing to remember is to use your sunscreen exactly as directed on the package and reapply every two hours to be safe.
Difference Between Mineral Sunscreen & Chemical Sunscreen
Sunscreens have active ingredients in them that help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. There can be confusion though as to the difference in ingredients between a mineral-based and a chemical based sunscreen.
Mineral sunscreens use minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to physically block the sun’s rays before they can penetrate the skin and cause damage. The rays reflect off the minerals scattering them before they have a chance to penetrate the skin and cause damage.
Chemical sunscreens use active ingredients such as avobenzone and octisalate to absorb the UV rays once they enter your skin but before they can cause damage to your skin.
Different Forms of Sunscreen
There are many forms of sunscreen products that are available. Whether it’s a makeup product with SPF or a skincare product with SPF that you’re looking for, many of your favorite beauty products can now be purchased with SPF in them. Some of the most popular forms include creams and lotions, sunscreen sticks, and sprays.
Creams and Lotions
One of the most common forms of sunscreens are creams and lotions. These are rubbed into the skin prior to sun exposure to protect your skin. You can find formulas that double as face moisturizer and can also help with hydrating the skin. You can also find some that are oil controlling.
Others will be infused with skin-loving ingredients to help benefit the skin. Some face sunscreens have a shimmery glow to help give you a luminescent, dewy look while also protecting your skin from the sun. Others are a tinted sunscreen combining your foundation with your sun protection. You can sometimes even find face primers with SPF, giving you no excuse to not protect your skin. The options truly are endless.
One of the newest types of sunscreen sprays are those that also act as an SPF makeup setting spray. This allows you to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays while setting your makeup for long-lasting wear. It also makes it easier to reapply throughout the day without disturbing your makeup.
With all the types of sunscreens out there, the most important thing to remember when choosing one is to choose a format and formula that you like and are more likely to use on a regular basis. The sunscreen you enjoy using on a regular basis (and reapply often!) will be the one that protects your skin the best.