Sunscreen, an Everyday Essential
It's been getting really sunny here in So Cal now that summer is creeping up so it's an appropriate time to talk about sunscreen! Although many people use it ONLY when the sun is out, I highly encourage you to use it on a daily basis and implement it into your skincare/makeup routine. I religiously use facial sunscreen and haven't looked back!
Why use sunscreen?
As the ozone layer is getting thinner and thinner, the sun's harmful UV rays are becoming stronger and stronger. Even if the sun's not out, your skin is still being exposed to UV rays. UVA and UVB rays are linked to premature wrinkles and aging, sunburns, hyper pigmentation, sun spots, skin cancer, and just overall damage of the skin cells. I started using facial sunscreen everyday because I wanted to prevent wrinkles (you know what they say, prevention is key!) and to avoid a nose tan because I frequently wear glasses. If you start using sunscreen on a daily basis, you're less likely to get skin concerns like wrinkles, spots, an uneven skin tone, and so on. Also, your face is always exposed to the damaging sun rays, so why not protect it and make sunscreen your new best friend?
Chemical vs. physical sunscreen
Since switching from toxic, conventional products, I was doing some online research about the safe options for sunscreen and found that physical sunscreens are by far the safest choice. Reapplication of every ~2 hours is suggested for both types.
- Sits on top of the skin to block or deflect UV rays
- Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide and, or Zinc oxide
- Titanium dioxide may cause breakouts
- Titanium dioxide provides protection from UVA rays
- Zinc oxide is generally safe for even sensitive skin types
- Zinc oxide provides stable protection from UVA and UVB rays
- The protection is effective immediately after application
- SPF 15 is generally sufficient
- Reapply after 2 hours if sweating or swimming
- Safest option
- Absorbs UV rays into skin
- Active ingredients: Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Helioplex, etc.
- Active ingredients mentioned above are more likely to cause irritation and are unsafe around the eye area
- The protection is effective after 15-20 minutes after application
- Reapply after 2 hours (since the chemicals break down)
My recommendation for a facial sunscreen
I picked up the MyChelle Replenishing Solar Defense Lotion SPF 30 at my local Wholefoods. Out of all the physical sunscreens offered, this was the thinnest and the easiest to apply! Majority of physical sunscreens are very thick and sticky, thus goes on very white. I love this sunscreen because it's easy to blend out and creates a smooth base for my makeup to sit on top of. Also, it doesn't have a noticeable white cast! It's made for all skin types and combination skin and leaves a dewy finish. I find it to be pretty moisturizing since I have oily skin, however, I don't have any problems with it being greasy since I use powder foundation which controls my oils.
On EWG, it scores a 2 (on a scale to 1-10, 1 being very safe, and 10 being very toxic).
Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide (ZinClear™) 13.5% Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran, Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Glycerin, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Ergothioneine (L), Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Glyceryl Isostearate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Tocopherol (D-alpha), Lecithin, Malic Acid (L), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium Lactate, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide
P.S. The directions says to apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure, but physical sunscreens are effective immediately after applying. I have contacted MyChellle and the representative said, "it is recommended to make sure any sun care product has absorbed properly in the skin before venturing out into direct sunlight, to ensure adequate protection from the sun’s rays."