Why do we need SPF?
Sun Protection Factor or more commonly known as SPF, is a topical lotion used to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that contribute to early signs of aging and potentially skin cancer. Most people don’t realize there are two main types of UV rays that cause harm to our skin including:
- UVA rays are what ages our skin the most by causing wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of premature aging. It could also be playing a role in some skin cancers.
- UVB rays could be the cause of most skin cancers and is what causes our skin to burn. FUN FACT: UVB rays can cause a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes!
There are many factors that play a role in the strength of UV rays and these include time of day, season, altitude, closeness to the equator, and cloud cover. This leads to the common misconception that you only need to wear SPF when you are doing something like spending the day out by the pool or on a tropical vacation. It’s true in these situations, you are probably exposed to a greater amount of harmful UV rays, but unless it’s the dead of night, if you are outside ANYWHERE, you are most likely exposing yourself to UV rays. SO YOU GOTTA PROTECT THAT SKIN, BABY! Keep it young, fresh, and cancer free.
What SPF should you use?
Now that we all agree you should ALWAYS wear sunscreen let’s talk about what sunscreens you should be slathering on. Because just like anything else, they are not all created equal!
I used to be fine with picking up some rando SPF but after discussing with my esthetician she brought me to the light (see what I did there?!)… mineral based sunscreens. Thats because the minerals, like Zinc Oxide, sit on top of your skin creating a physical barrier and reflect both UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens that are commonly found in drugstores, absorb the UV rays but are potentially harmful and can really irritate sensitive skin. Keep in mind, it’s only as good as you apply! Make sure you are covering all exposed skin and reapplying according to directions.
Now, I know you’re scared of that white, greasy, and sticky lotion on your skin but it’s 2018, not a 1990’s scene of Baywatch, and the SPF game has come a long way just like Zac Efron’s abs. Check out a few of the best mineral based sunscreens below that can be used everyday.
EltaMD has a great line of sun care products that range from $25 – $35, all of which are recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as effective broad-spectrum sunscreens.
- For the Body: The 30+ SPF is a great option for normal skin, if you have acne prone or oily skin, go with the SPF 45.
- For the Face: I love both of the following two options which comes in both clear or tinted formulas. Use this SPF 40 for normal to combination skin or this SPF 46 for acne prone or sensitive skin.
Drunk Elephant has a fantastic sunscreen for the face, neck, chest, and hands and is a great option everyday use. Shall I repeat. EVERYDAY USE! It comes in both a sheer formula at $34 or tinted formula at $36. And I love the fact that they are cruelty free, because ANIMALS!
Block Island is the 2017 Best Beach & Sport Sunscreen (Environmental Working Group – EWG) so I have to include in this list! To top it off, it’s cruelty free, vegan, and recycle friendly. Even better, this SPF 30 is super affordable at $20. So you can put on all the SPF without the guilt of breaking the bank. Can I get a MEOW!?!
Now, start making SPF application a part of your everyday morning routine to protect your skin from cancer and keep it young!
Have a favorite mineral SPF that wasn’t mentioned, have a question, or a thought you want to share? Comment below or drop me a line here! I would love to hear from you!