Tanning season is upon us, and while we all know how important it is to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays we often forget to apply the sunscreen when we go out. It should be part of the daily routine, even in those cloudy summer days as it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Many foundations include sun protection, but it’s always best to use a separate sunscreen or moisturiser with SPF. We advice you to opt for SPF 30, as it blocks about 96% of the sun’s rays.
Classic vs Mineral Sunscreens: what is the difference?
Mineral sunscreens don’t get absorbed to your body as they don’t have chemicals. They just sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays. The two ingredients you will usually see in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Not only are mineral formulas gentler on sensitive skin, but they’re also considered the best type of sunscreen for the acne-prone, as anti-microbial zinc oxide even has acne-fighting benefits.
However, be wary of ‘mineral-based’ term which usually means zinc and/or titanium dioxide have been mixed with chemical sunscreens.
Also, make sure the mineral sunscreen is not loaded with other toxins – red flag anything ending in -paraben, pthalates, sodium laureth sulfate, and fragrance.
Chemical sunscreens are probably the most commonly used ones, which contain a combination of chemicals like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate), Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Avobenzone.
What does broad spectrum sunscreen do?
There are two types of UV light that can damage your skin — UVA and UVB. Originally, sunscreens were designed to protect against UVB rays, which thought to be the only rays that could cause harm, whilst UVA rays were thought to produce a ‘healthy tan’. Now its known that UVA rays are as much harmful and can prematurely age your skin causing wrinkling and age spots. A broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum sunscreen is designed to protect you from both.
The higher SPF, the better sunscreen?
Choosing the correct SPF for your skin type can often be confusing . Just because a sunscreen has a high SPF does not necessarily mean that you are being protected from damaging UVA rays. SPF is only a measure of how well a sunscreen deflects UVB rays.
When applied correctly, a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will provide slightly more protection from UVB rays than does a sunscreen with an SPF of 15. But the SPF 30 product isn’t twice as protective as the SPF 15 product. Sunscreens with SPFs greater than 50 provide only a small increase in UVB protection.
Also, keep in mind that sunscreen is often not applied thoroughly or thickly enough, and it might be washed off during swimming or sweating. As a result, even the best sunscreen might be less effective than the SPF number on the bottle would lead you to believe. Rather than looking at a sunscreen’s SPF, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
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Now all that is a little clear, have a look at our editor’s picks of the market’s most mineral and multitasking sunscreens here.