Beauty Skincare

Sunscreen Guide to Protect your Skin

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a dermatologist or a medical professional. All the information in this blog post is things I have learned and researched over my lifetime. If there is any misleading or inaccurate information in this blog post please email [email protected] I have provided the best information possible to the best of my ability. I will keep this blog post up to date with the latest information.

Summer sunshine is here! In this blog post, I will be providing you a complete sunscreen guide to teach you to protect your skin. Back in 2013 when I lived in Austin we had a safety video on sun safety because a student in our district had passed away from skin cancer. My teacher also shared how she used to go to tanning beds a lot and developed skin cancer but luckily got it treated in earlier stages. Skin cancer is very real but it is also preventable with the usage of sunscreen and good practices like saying no to tanning and staying out of the sun. Sunscreen can also help prevent dark spots and aging.

I used sunscreen religiously for five years when I lived in sunny places like Austin and India, but after moving back to Boston I stopped using sunscreen since I didn’t feel the need to anymore. In my senior year of high school, we had a health clinic where I got to put my face in a machine and see how much sun damage I had. Luckily, I didn’t have a lot but the medical professionals advised me to wear sunscreen daily even if I’m just getting in the car to come to school. I created this blog post to remind people how important sunscreen is and answer all your questions and concerns to motivate you to incorporate sunscreen into your routine!

Tips for Sun Protection

  • Wear sunglasses: They’ll keep you protected and stylish! Invest in a high-quality pair of sunglasses that you will actually love and wear. I always buy my sunglasses from Sunglass Hut.
  • Stay in the shade: Sun-stroke is real and it is awful! With global warming on the rise, we have been seeing some crazy temperatures. Don’t spend too much time in the sun and stay in the shade or a cool area whenever possible.
  • Umbrellas and Hats: Honestly, I don’t use umbrellas very often for shade but they’re definitely a great way to stay protected if there are no trees nearby. I absolutely love a good summer hat! I have always believed summer is the best time to put on a hat! Keeps the sun out of your eyes and makes you look stylish! Go for a wide brim hat to get maximum protection. Straw hats are also very stylish for summer! Or you can pick a baseball cap with a design of something you like. I love wearing my Batman cap which I’m obsessed with! (all my friends can recognize that hat anywhere)

And of course wear sunscreen! That’s what this whole blog post is about anyways!

Is SPF in Makeup enough?

No, sunscreen in your makeup is not enough to stay protected from the sun. But there is no harm in using cosmetic products that have SPF. But they should be used in conjunction with good sunscreen. Cosmetic products with SPF will provide you with a little coverage but not as much as you need. To be fully protected you need a thick layer of sunscreen coverage. But with makeup, you wouldn’t apply a thick layer as it would look too cakey on your face.

My favorite face product with SPF is the ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint with SPF 40. This stuff is great for summer as it is extremely lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, but still provides foundation-like coverage. This comes in like a bottle so it’s a liquid type of formula. A great face makeup item with SPF in the drugstore is the Elf Camo CC Cream. It has SPF 30 and is so much better than your regular foundation. This one also feels lightweight and comes in a creamy formula that comes in tube packaging with a dispenser. If you’re more of a stick person then try out L’OREAL Longwear Shaping Foundation Stick SPF 27. I love using this in the summer and it’s especially great for travel so you don’t have to worry about the product spilling. Just swipe, blend, and go!

When to apply sunscreen in makeup routine?

Your sunscreen should be applied before you put on any makeup from your makeup routine. Sunscreen should go with your skincare routine as part of skin prep for your face before you put on your makeup. This is because you want the sunscreen sitting directly on your skin without layers of makeup between the skin and the sunscreen.

Should you wear sunscreen at night?

No, you don’t need to wear sunscreen at night, sunscreen is only necessary during the daytime when the sun is out.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

Experts recommend that you reapply sunscreen every two hours. Honestly, I don’t do this but I’m working towards it. I think this rule is especially important if you’re outdoors and spending time in the sun. Since I spend most of my time indoors I don’t really do this. I know reapplying sunscreen can be hard to remember! A tip for this is to set up an alarm or timer to remind yourself. Or there are many apps on the app store for this, one of my favorites is REAPPLY: Sunscreen Timer. If you’re wearing makeup and you need to reapply the best way is to use a sunscreen powder or a setting spray with SPF. Personally I have never tried these products but here are some products that I have heard good reviews about.

How much sunscreen to apply to face?

I use two finger lengths of sunscreen (pointer and middle finger) to apply sunscreen all over my face. This was a tip I found from a TikTok from a dermatologist and I found it helps! Think of making a peace sign and dispensing sunscreen all over the fingers that you use for the peace sign. Make sure you cover all over your face well and get other parts like your neck and ears.

Sunscreen Expiration

Sunscreen typically lasts three years, usually you can find the expiration date on the product or its packaging. Be sure to store your sunscreen in a cool and dry place. Not storing your sunscreen correctly can cause the product to breakdown and expire faster.

What sunscreen SPF is best?

You need to apply SPF 30 to get the right amount of protection. Unfortunately, SPF 15 is not enough. Any SPF higher than 30 is only marginally more protective. It is said that an SPF 50 sunscreen is to protect you 1% more than an SPF 30. It’s still debatable when it comes to whether products more than SPF 50 should be used or not. Some studies show that SPF 100 is more effective than SPF 50, but some worry about the formulation and safety behind those higher SPFs. Keep in mind that sunscreen does not make you invincible from the sun. Even if you do use sunscreen the sun can still get to you, but it will be less since you have sunscreen on.

Mineral vs Chemical Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Whereas chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and then absorbs the rays, converts the rays into heat, and then releases them from the body. It is found that mineral sunscreen is better for POC.

Best Drugstore Sunscreen for face

The best drugstore sunscreen for my face that I have tried is Bliss’s Blockstar Sunscreen SPF 30. This is a tinted color so there’s no white cast left and it’s lightweight. Currently, this is my favorite sunscreen and I definitely recommend it! It also doesn’t have that typical sunscreen smell.

sunscreen dispensed on hand as a smiley face with bliss blockstar sunscreen next to it

Sunscreen for Rosacea prone skin

If you have rosacea prone skin then your skin is probably red all the time. To combat redness we generally use a green color corrector in our makeup to offset the redness. This is why Hero Cosmetics launched their Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight SPF 30 Sunscreen. The sunscreen has a green tint to it which will help combat redness and it also has great formulation! Fragrance free so you don’t get any of that icky sunscreen smell. It does have a bit of a primer feel to it so I recommend applying makeup over it but this is not bothersome unless you’re touching your face. (and you shouldn’t be touching your face all the time anyways) Also note that I found it tricky to blend in at times so make sure you completely blend it in.

Best Body Sunscreen

For body sunscreen, I like Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Sunscreen with SPF 30. It’s lightweight and fragrance-free. This also works as a moisturizer so it saves you a step. I have tried using this on my face and although it’s not bad I prefer a facial sunscreen.

Coral Reef and Sunscreen

Many people hop into the water with their sunscreen on not knowing that the ingredients in their sunscreen could be harming the coral reefs. Look for sunscreens that don’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. These are the two main ingredients in sunscreen that damage the coral reef. Mineral sunscreens tend to be safer for the ocean. Personally, I’m not someone who hops in the ocean so I have not looked into a coral reef-safe sunscreen. But if you are someone who does go into the ocean please keep this in mind, we all know climate change is happening and it’s the little things like this that can make a huge difference!

Which Sunscreen should I use?

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to sunscreen so choose a product that you will enjoy using and religiously stick to. Sunscreen is an important part of a skincare routine and by finding a product you truly love it will be easier to stick to a routine.

Here is a roundup of products I have personally used and loved! If you have any questions about these products feel free to DM me on Instagram!

I hope this blog post was helpful to you and it provided you with the ultimate sunscreen guide! If you have questions or suggestions to add to this sunscreen guide, share in the comments!