Sunscreen 101: Tips and Tricks You Need to Know Right Now
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen for the face. It protects our skin against hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, DNA cell damage, and the big one, skin cancer.
It’s hard to see why anyone would hate sunscreen after all of that, but without knowing sunscreen 101, it can easily become your worst nightmare. To get you on good terms with sunscreen, we’re going to share our top tips and tricks with you.
What is SPF and how does work?
We see it, hear it, and even wear it yet some of us still don’t know what SPF stands for, so before we get into sunscreen 101, let’s start with the basics. SPF = Sun Protection Factor, and it works to extend the amount of time it would usually take your skin to burn without wearing sunscreen.
For example, if you usually burn after spending 20 minutes in the sun, applying a sunscreen with SPF 50 will protect you from burning fifty times longer than this. Many people think SPF works like sunblock and stops you from tanning, so using a high SPF in our teens and early adulthood when we were obsessed with catching a tan was a major no-no.
Coming back from a trip hella brown was the equivalent of holiday spam on Insta back in the day, and if you didn’t, well then you might as well not have gone. But now you know you can still be beautifully bronzed and smothered in SPF 50, we can get into the important stuff.
Sunscreen Tips and Tricks
Wait at Least 15 Minutes for Your Sunscreen to Soak in Before Applying Makeup
This one is for oily skin types! Sunscreen for the face gets a bad rep for being seriously sticky and greasy, but it’s often because we don’t wait long enough for it to soak in before we apply makeup over the top (sometimes they’re just straight-up shiny though).
Leaving it to properly absorb into the skin for a minimum of 15 minutes will help to remove excess oiliness for better makeup application and delay oil build-up.
Best Sunscreens for Oily Skin Types:
Not only does this sunscreen have a unique dry-touch texture, but it also helps to control the overproduction of sebum that leads to oiliness (um, yes please). Rich in ferulic acid, vitamins C and E, it includes antioxidant benefits to protect against DNA cell damage.
Heliocare Water Gel - €35,00
This Water Gel sunscreen by Heliocare for the face is intensely hydrating (if the name didn’t give it away) and will prevent the skin from drying out and creating more sebum to moisturise it. If you already know you’ll be layering skincare and makeup products, the formula is fast-drying and leaves a barely-there matte finish.
Double-Check Your Sunscreen Covers Broad-Spectrum Protection
The sun emits two main types of UV rays, UVB and UVA, that we need to protect ourselves from. UVB rays can instantly affect the skin, as they’re what give us those oh-so-lovely sunburns. But they can also have long-term effects that go on to cause the majority of skin cancers.
UVA rays make up roughly 95% of the UV rays that can reach us on Earth. They’re ever so slightly less intense, but they can penetrate a lot deeper into the skin and cause some skin cancers.
Trouble is, not all sunscreens will shield you from UVA and UVB rays, so make sure to double-check that the one you’re using does.
Best Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens:
Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 – €57,00
With broad-spectrum protection, a dewy finish, and a peachy tint, this sunscreen is a sure winner for those who don’t like to wear much makeup (we’re natural beauty’s biggest fan). For additional skin benefits, you’ll discover vitamin B3 and E for their antioxidant qualities to stand up against other environmental stressors like bacteria and pollution.
For those fed up with white residue, this broad-spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin doesn’t leave anything behind no matter your skin tone. But what about infrared and high energy visible light? It covers that too.
When You’re Wearing Makeup, Top-Up Your Protection with an SPF Compact Powder
If you thought topping up sunscreen for the face while already wearing makeup was impossible, it’s not. While we wouldn’t recommend relying solely on a multipurpose SPF as it dilutes its protection, a compact powder that offers sun defence is ideal for those moments you need to top-up your SPF and mattify your skin while you’re out and about.
Best Sunscreen Compact:
Leaving compact powders with SPF 30 in the dust is this sunscreen compact by SkinBetter. With a whopping SPF 50, it provides broad-spectrum, blue light, and infrared radiation protection in a silky powder that instantly mattifies the skin. If you have particularly oily skin, it can also be used as a primer underneath your makeup to keep it in place and give a longer-lasting matte finish. What’s more, it’s 80-minute water resistance, you know, just in case you want to cool off by swan diving into a pool.
Watch this space as well as we have some exciting SPF powders coming soon to help you top up on the go…
Wear SPF Every Day, Whether You’re Inside or Outside
Did you know that approximately 80% of the UV rays can still pass through clouds and 50% of UVA rays can sneak past glass? This makes sunscreen essential every day, indoors or outdoors, so write it on the back of your hand, put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, or get a friend to remind you – whatever you have to do to make sure you’re applying sunscreen daily.
Best Everyday Sunscreen:
In a user-friendly stick, this sunscreen provides protection beyond UV rays including, blue light, pollution, and infrared radiation with an easy, fuss-free application for everyday use. Simply swipe on first thing in the morning and place it in your handbag for on-the-go top-ups. These is a firm favourite of Dr. Laura’s who used it on her recent holiday to Mexico.
All this talk of SPF has us daydreaming of sunnier beach times. Image via Unsplash @Annie Spratt