Thanks to the power of social media - sunscreen is finally getting the attention that it deserves and for good reason too. Most of us think of sunscreen for a hot summer day where the sun is shining. But UV rays are invisible and you can still get sun damage on a cloudy day. So the #1 thing you can do for the health of your skin is slathering on sunscreen everyday, throughout the day, all year...rain or shine.
Here’s what sunscreen does:
Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
This will reduce your risk of developing skin cancers. Sunscreen blocks UV rays protect your skin from sun damage, which will prevent the formation of skin cancer.
Prevent Damaged Skin
Aside from the protection from cancer, sunscreens also help to prevent other sun damages, such as sunburns, as well as preventing long-term sun damage like premature aging. Who wants to look 50 when you’re only 30?! It can also prevent having an uneven skin tone. If you wanna look like you have flawless skin, put your sunscreen on!
But which one do I buy??
There are good options out there to consider when we’re buying our sunscreen. There’s chemical based sunscreen and mineral based sunscreen but, we’ll get to that in a second.
You should really look at a sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum protection. This will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
UVA radiation has the longest wavelength, making up 95% of the UV rays that reach the earth’s surface. UVA rays are strong enough to penetrate through window glass and can definitely penetrate through the middle layer of your skin, affecting your skin cells. UVA rays are associated with aging and will cause long term damage like wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
UVB radiation has a shorter wavelength, making up only 5% of the UV rays that reach the earth’s surface so this will only reach the top layer of your skin, unlike the UVA rays. But, it does not at all mean that it’s not as damaging! UVB rays are responsible for immediate damage like sunburns.
Both of these UV rays are both big contributors to skin cancer and that is why - look for Broad Spectrum Sunscreen!
Ok let’s talk chemical based vs. mineral based sunscreen:
Chemical sunscreens have organic (carbon-based) compounds that absorb the UV rays. Through a chemical reaction, those compounds turn UV rays into heat, which is released from skin. While there isn’t enough data on the long-term effect of chemical based sunscreens, this type of sunscreen is absorbed by the skin. So we recommend finding a mineral based sunscreen if possible.
Mineral sunscreens have active ingredients (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide) that physically sit on top of your skin which blocks harmful UV rays. This type of sunscreen acts as a physical barrier between the skin and UV rays. Since it doesn’t not get absorbed into the bloodstream, we are a fan. But having skin of colour makes this type of sunscreen more onerous to wear due to the white cast it leaves on the skin. I don’t particularly like looking washed out, but there are some mineral based sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast too. These are definitely more expensive, but in our opinion, worth the money.
Ultimately, sunscreen is the #1 skincare product you should be using throughout the day. Whether you decide to use chemical based or mineral is your choice. The best sunscreen to buy is the one you’ll actually use.