Don’t skip the #1 step to younger skin
It’s a sunny Saturday morning and you’re out to brunch with your crew. You score an outdoor table to enjoy the warm, breezy day. But by the time you finish your B.A.E. and bottomless mimosas, you’re sporting a pink forehead, nose and shoulders. “Oops! I forgot to bring sunscreen,” you think.
If you think of sunscreen as thick, greasy, smelly white stuff you only deign to wear at the beach, you need to get in the SPF game. Sunscreen can easily be a lightweight, silky primer that enhances your skincare products and eases makeup application — and most importantly, protects you from cancer and wrinkles!
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so today I’m sharing with you the SPF questions I hear most often from my clients.
Do I really need to wear sunscreen every day?
YES! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer. Daily sunscreen use is essential to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for a formula labeled broad spectrum, meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
UVB rays cause sunburns and cancer. But UVA rays are also damaging — they destroy collagen and elastin, causing the fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots we associate with aging. And unlike UVB rays, UVA rays are just as strong year-round, so even though you might not get a sunburn in the winter, you’re still susceptible to long-term damage. This is true for all ethnicities (and sun spots are more difficult to treat on darker skin). Sunscreen is the #1 anti-aging skincare product you can use!
My makeup has SPF; isn’t that enough?
It helps, but no, it’s not enough. You would have to apply a significant amount of makeup to achieve the level of SPF advertised on the tube. For your own sake, I hope you’re not caking on that much foundation!
But I don’t like the texture or look of sunscreen.
In the past, some higher SPF lotions and physical sunscreens were difficult to wear, leaving a sticky film or a white, chalky cast. Fortunately, formulas have advanced, and now there are numerous options that go on sheer and silky, like a makeup primer. (See my favorites below!) I recommend using sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine. It simultaneously locks in the skincare products you just applied and creates a barrier to protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Won’t sunscreen make me break out?
If you’re prone to acne or have sensitive skin, look for physical sunscreen formulas (sometimes called mineral), which contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. They shield the skin, reflecting off UV rays, and are broad spectrum.
I’m super fair! Do I need to use a high SPF?
An SPF between 30 and 45 is ideal for everyone. Formulas below 30 block significantly less UV radiation. But formulas over 45 offer very little additional protection, especially against UVA rays. Remember, UVA rays are aging and UVB rays are burning. SPF is rated mainly on UVB protection, so with a high SPF, you might stay outside too long and think you’re safe because you’re not burning, when in fact UVA rays are doing long-term damage. Make sure your sunscreen contains UVA blockers like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule and oxybenzone.
How else can I protect myself?
Reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours if you’re sweating, wear a hat and protective clothing, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
In addition, research has shown that antioxidants optimize protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Vitamin C is UV-protective; when combined with vitamin E, it’s four times as effective. PCA Skin C&E Strength has 15% vitamin C and 5% vitamin E to protect your skin while also promoting new collagen and elastin production.
How can I reapply sunscreen when I’m wearing makeup?
A loose powder with SPF is one of the best solutions for this! I love the Colorescience Sunforgettable Retractable Brush with SPF 30. I always carry one with me so I can reapply easily on-the-go. I even use it on my arms and shoulders! (It’s also great to do a quick touchup on kids.)
Do self-tanners offer UV protection?
Whether you have a fake tan, a real tan (tsk tsk) or naturally dark skin, you are still susceptible to UVA and UVB radiation. Wear your sunscreen!
Find your ideal sunscreen at SFSkincare.com
No matter what your skin type or concern, there’s a sunscreen perfect for you at www.sfskincare.com. Here are some of my favorites:
Protects for 80 minutes in the water or sweating
Hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA hydrate dry skin
Fragrance-free formula with antioxidants leaves a sheer, matte finish
Weightless, oil control, tinted — perfect under makeup
Stash in your bag and never be caught unprotected
Medium coverage with an ultra-natural finish
Cheers to great skin,