If you know anything about skincare then you must have heard that you should definitely apply sunscreen for face.
It is the last step in the skincare routine and skincare gurus swear by it as much as they say if you skip this, everything else is useless.
So, is it all just good marketing or do you really need sunscreen in your routine?
Let’s find out in this article.
What is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen essentially helps you aginst sun protection.
The harmful Ultraviolet in the sun can cause serious damage to your skin and yourself after continuous exposure.
This is where sunscreen gives protection against these harmful rays that can also cause skin cancer.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, every 2 people pass away in America every hour due to skin cancer.
In fact, regularly using SP5 15 sunscreen on a daily basis can decrease the risk of serious skin cancer, melanoma by 15 percent and the development of squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent.
It also helps to reduce premature skin aging such as wrinkles, age spots and sunburn.
Moreover, it can also decrease sun sensitivity and skin reactions by medicines such as tetracyclines.
Sunblock is available in many forms for face and body. You can have it in the form of lotion, spray, cream, gel, lip balm for lips, and even stick.
Furthermore, there are two types of sunscreen, chemical and mineral and all of these have an SPF value. More on that later.
You should apply sunscreen generously on your body on any area that will get sun exposure.
About 30 grams is enough for all of the body. Moreover, you should apply it half an hour prior to going out. This will allow the sunblock to bind well with the skin.
Furthermore, you should reapply it after every 2 hours in the sun. You also need to make sure that you apply it again if you get wet like swim or sweat.
Avoid smoking or with spray sunscreen as it is inflammable. Moreover, apply lip one only on the lips and protect your eyes when applying sunblock to the face.
You should wear sunscreen every day even if it’s cloudy because even then 80 percent of UVA and UVB rays can reach Earth. Therefore, it is a daily essential.
You must be thinking about how to choose sunscreen for your body now. Let’s find out what you should know about the essentials.
How to Choose a Sunscreen for Face
Not all sunblock works the same way and neither are all of them extremely effective.
To begin you should know about your skin type and choose the best sunblock for face accordingly.
For instance, if your skin is generally dry and you have flaky skin then your skin type is dry. You need to get the best sunscreen for face for dry skin accordingly.
Moreover, other points to consider are the type of sunscreens, either mineral or chemical, broad-spectrum and SPF value.
The best sunscreen for oily face can be Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. It has an SPF value of 50 which is pretty good considering the minimum should be around 30. Moreover, its watery and gel-like consistency will suit oily skin.
One of the best sunscreens for face acne can be Cetaphil DermaControl Daily Moisturizer. It is a moisturizer with SPF 30 which can cover both last steps of your skincare routine which also includes cleansing your clogged pores for acne-prone skin.
Likewise, for dry skin, you can check Aveeno’s moisturizer with an SPF 30 as it can also double as a sunblock and moisturizer alongside providing your skin hyaluronic acid.
These are a few suggestions. However, eventually, you will have to experiment yourself to see which sunscreen suits you best.
A gel-like consistency is good for oil skin types, likewise, thick cream and lotion consistency is good for dry skin.
So do some trial and error to find out what suits you best but also look for the things given below.
What to Look for in a Sunscreen for Face
After you choose a sunscreen that is fir for your skin type, you should look for other more important factors such as SPF and UVA, UVB protection.
Sun Protection factor is known as SPF. It indicates the amount of time the harmful rays will cause a sunburn compared to when you don’t wear sunblock.
To simplify, if your sunscreen has an SPF 50, it will protect you for 50 minutes from skin reddening in comparison to no sunscreen.
Therefore you should choose a sunblock with a good SPF value. SPF 30 can protect your skin from 97 percent of harmful UVB rays. While SPF 50 prevents about 98 percent from reaching the skin.
If you stay mostly indoors with short outdoor trips then even SPF 15 or higher is good for you.
However, if you will frequently be outdoors, then you should go for at least SPF 30.
You will inevitably have to reapply sunscreen when you stay outdoors for long.
However, you can still go for water-resistant and very water-resistant sunblocks.
These can provide up to 40 minutes and 80 minutes of protection respectively in exposure to water such as during a swim.
Nonetheless, with a high SPF or with water resistance you should apply it again after two hours.
Another important thing to look out for: Is your sunscreen broad spectrum?
This term applies to including protection against both UVA and UVB rays as told by the Food and Drug Administration.
UVB rays are responsible for reddening and sunburn. These are short sun rays that do not get through the glass.
UVA rays do get through glass and can even burn the skin causing tanning as well as signs of aging. Hence, it does not only affect the skin on the surface but also that beneath it.
Therefore, you need protection from both these sun rays and your sunblock should indicate it by words such as ” broad-spectrum, multi-spectrum or UVA/UVB protection.
You can also check for ingredients such as avobenzone and zinc oxide that provide protection against UVA rays.
Sometimes it also shows the PA factor that measures the amount of UV protection in the form of “+”.
Mineral sunscreens are also known as physical sunscreens.
These are inorganic as they contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
These help to make a protective barrier that helps deflect and scatter the harmful UV rays from the surface of the skin.
Though they can also provide protection by these ingredients absorbing the harmful rays in the skin by up to 95 percent.
Though, you should look for least 10 percent of zinc oxide in physical sunblocks to gain proper protection.
However, these sunblocks also leave a white cast sometimes.
Therefore if you don’t like that and have a different skin tone, you should opt for tinted sunblocks or those with nanotechnology that breaks the particles inside to not leave a white cast. However, they give a matte finish.
Chemical sunscreens are known as organic because they do not contain these two active ingredients but contain others.
These active ingredients lead to energy conversion. They convert UV light rays to heat by a chemical reaction which makes them harmless.
It absorbs in the skin and does create a skin barrier. They also do not have a white cast.
At the end, it all goes down to your preference. If you feel that a physical sunblock works better for you than a chemical one then you should go for that.
Other factors to keep into consideration are photosensitivity as well as other causes of skin cancer such as family history, moles and immunity. Some medicines may make your skin sensitive to sun. Hence, you may require more protection for photosensitive skin.
Is a Sunscreen for Face Safe to Use?
Though most sunscreens are tested in the Food and Drug Administration, some ingredients may pose a side effect.
For instance, chemical absorbers can cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.
Hence, if you have a skin condition like eczema, it is better to choose mineral sunscreens. If it causes redness and itching then take it off immediately.
Aminobenzoic acid can leave a stain on clothes. Moreover, if fragrances irritate you then you should thoroughly check the ingredients and choose a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free product.
However, is sunscreen also safe for children?
You need to consult your doctor to get the best and safe sunscreen for kids.
Physical sunblocks are a better option as they do not cause any irritation or rashes. Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free mineral sunblocks can also work well for children with sensitive skin.
Moreover, you can also choose to use sprays for children however, be careful to not spray it in their eyes.
Most sunscreens are usually safe and have more benefits than side effects and risks.
However, if you do suffer from any skin condition then it is better to let your dermatologist recommend you a sunscreen that will not react and cause irritation.
Hence, you should make your kids used to sunscreen from a young age so that they are protected for long.
If you still do not apply sunscreen for face, it is high time you start doing it.
Not only your face, but any part of your body exposed to the sun needs it too.
It helps you in numerous ways to fight premature aging and skin cancer.
You may not see the benefits right now but the sunscreen you use today can make you look youthful in the future and even protect you from a lethal disease.
Hence, don’t miss out on your sunscreen. If you miss this, any of your skincare isn’t as important.