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Everything To Consider When Choosing Sunscreen

By Tariemi Oreoritse
16 October 2022   |   8:00 am
Sunscreen is a vital part of any skincare routine. Your skincare routine is incomplete without the final step, which is sealing everything in place with sunscreen. Offering protection from the sun’s UV rays, sunscreens are also popular for their anti-ageing properties, protecting the skin from fine lines and wrinkles. With all of its important functions,…

sunscreen

Sunscreen is a vital part of any skincare routine.
Your skincare routine is incomplete without the final step, which is sealing everything in place with sunscreen. Offering protection from the sun’s UV rays, sunscreens are also popular for their anti-ageing properties, protecting the skin from fine lines and wrinkles.

With all of its important functions, it becomes even more critical to pay more attention to the type of sunscreen you use. Details like texture, ingredients to avoid, how much SPF it contains, as well as its wear time need to be essentially considered to get the best out of your sunscreen.
So, when picking out your next sunscreen, these are 10 things to pay attention to:

● Avoid Parabens:
Choose sunscreens that are paraben-phthalate and sulfate free.
Parabens are chemicals used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic products to prolong their shelf life. However, these ingredients can be very irritating to the skin as they disrupt hormones and increase the risk of cancer and other skin problems.
As such, opt for sunscreens that are labelled paraben-free to ensure your skin remains fully protected without added risks.

● Avoid Harsh Ingredients:
Regardless of your skin type, harsh ingredients in skincare products are very harmful to your skin. This irritation is even worse for people with sensitive skin types.
Ingredients such as fragrances, chemicals and dyes do not contribute to the efficacy of your sunscreen and therefore can be done without.
Take a second look at your sunscreen ingredient list to ensure there are no added chemicals that would harm your skin.

● Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen?
Know the difference between mineral or chemical sunscreens. While both types of sunscreens are efficient at protecting your skin from UV damage, the main difference between them is how they work to prevent damage.
Mineral sunscreens are physical and sit directly on the skin’s surface, filtering out the damaging UV rays of the sun. They commonly include ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and homosalate, which the skin absorbs. When in contact with UV rays, it converts this radiation to heat and reflects it off the skin in a chemical reaction.
Compared to mineral sunscreen, the active chemicals in chemical sunscreens may be irritating to some skin types and it is also not considered safe for children and women.
It is, however, a better choice for long days out, as you won’t sweat it off.

● The Right Formula:
Make sure to pick out the right formula for your skin type. Sensitive skin types would benefit from fragrance-free sunscreen as they limit inflammation and reaction. They would also benefit from mineral sunscreen which sits on the skin and gets to work almost immediately.
Oily skin types would benefit most from sunscreens with matte or powder formulas that absorb excess oil. These sunscreen types are also very easy to reapply.
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic sunscreens are perfectly suited for acne-prone skin. These sunscreen types absorb excess oil and stop shine.
Finally, for ageing skin, consider using sunscreen that not only prevents sun damage but also protects the skin from ageing.

● Broad Spectrum Formulas:
Your sunscreen should offer protection from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB rays. However, they are both highly damaging to the skin and you must protect your skin from both.
Hence, your best bet is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

● SPF 30 & Higher:
Your sunscreen should contain over SPF 30. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 will prevent over 97% of UVB rays from entering your skin while SPF 50 and above will allow less than 2% of these rays from entering your skin.

● Reapplication:
It’s recommended to have an at-home sunscreen and another for the on-the-go. Since sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, it makes sense to choose a formula that can be easily reapplied. A spray formula is great for reapplication. The only detail to pay attention to is to make sure to rub in the sunscreen.
Sunscreen is the last and final part of any skincare routine. It seals in all the other active ingredients, making sure they work efficiently while also protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s V rays.