Sunscreen, SPF, Sun Protection Factor, Sunblock, Suntan lotion.
These are all different ways to call the most important step in your skincare routine. SUNSCREEN!
There are two types of SPF, physical and chemical. They both have their pros and cons, but no matter which one you wear- you will be protected from the harmful UV (ultra violet) rays.
Let's Talk About Physical Sunscreen.
Physical sunscreen typically contains mineral ingredients, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This type of protection works by staying on the surface of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin's surface. Physical SPF is effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays, as all physical sunscreens are broad spectrum. The great part about physical sunscreens, upon application they work as soon as they’re applied. They are typically less irritating to the skin, and are great for sensitive skin types. If you are someone who struggles with oily or acne prone skin, physical protection is unlikely to clog your pores- as it does not deeply penetrate the skin. Just be sure to do a double cleanse at night!
The only con of some physical sun protections, is that they are generally thicker in consistency and they are more difficult to rub in. This may result in a white cast.
Let's Talk About Chemical Sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreen typically contains the active ingredients avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. The way this type of sun protection works is by getting absorbed into the skin, then absorbing the UV rays. This converts the rays into heat, and releases them from the body. This type of protection needs to be applied at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure to ensure its effectiveness. According to the EWGs Guide To Sunscreen, the chemical filters typically have a greater chance of causing skin allergies.
The main pro of chemical sunscreens is that they tend to be thinner and spread more easily on the skin.
Do I Really Need To Reapply Throughout The Day?
Absolutely ! The sun breaks down all sunscreen actives over time, and mineral actives are more likely to be wiped off over time since they sit on the top layer of the skin. No matter what the time of the year or what type of weather, you should be wearing sun protection and reapplying every two hours. If you're wearing a full face of makeup, there are options like this
Whichever sun protection you decide to use, be sure to use a generous amount- about the size of a quarter to cover your face and neck. And don't forget to reapply every 2 hours!