To understand why sun care and sunscreens are so important , we first need to go to the root of the culprit; our sun.
The sun is an amazing star, it warms our planet and allows for life to exist here on Earth; it helps the plants to grow, and it lights our days and brings joy into our hearts.
The sun also produces different solar rays that affect everything they come into contact with, even though they are invisible to the naked eye.
When it comes to the skin, these rays are classified as either UBA or UVB rays and they affect our skin in different ways.
UVA rays cause the most damage to the skin when it comes to aging. They make the skin age prematurely and cause fine lines and wrinkles to form. UVA rays also pass-through glass, so while staying indoors, they are still affecting you.
UVB rays ae the ones that cause the skin to tan and darken, get golden or crisp, depending on how long you choose to linger. The great thing about UVB rays is that they do not pass-through glass and once inside, you are protected from them.
Now obviously we all need to go outside and enjoy our summer days, especially in places, like Montreal, where the winters can be long. Once Spring arrives and ushers in the warmth of Summer, our hearts burst with joy and we all feel drawn outdoors.
With the sun being so powerful and our skins so fragile, it is so important that we take the time to protect our skins.
Protection comes in the form of Sun Protection Factor (SPF), usually followed by a number, commonly between 15 and 60.
In: TOP Sunscreen Products, remember the number (30+) is a grade not a minute!
A product with an SPF, allows your skin a certain degree of protection from the sun before the burning effects start to affect your face. This makes all SPF based products temporary and you are suggested to re-apply during the day, every two hours, during the peak sun periods.
Now an SPF product is guaranteed to protect you against UVB rays, to have protection against both UVB and UVA rays you need a broad-spectrum protection, which means the product has additional screens in it to protect against UVA rays as well.
You will notice some products have a plus sign or a series of pluses (+) next to the number associated with the SPF, this indicates the product has been outside tested for its level of SPF and has been found to guarantee the amount it promises.
Obviously the higher the amount of SPF indicated in the product, the longer you are protected from the damaging effects of the sun. However, it is important to note that the numbers are not minutes.
This is also part of the reason it is generally suggested that you reapply every 2 hours; to facilitate this, you will see that there are spray and aerosol versions and powder makeup versions for those of you that enjoy painting your faces.
Before I get into the beauty products I am recommending, we must talk about the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens.
Mineral sunscreens are formulated with the minerals zinc or titanium dioxide, sometimes combined, as the source of protection against sun damage. They are often the heaviest formulations and tend to leave a stronger white cast on the skin. Mineral sunscreens are viewed by many as being less carcinogenic than chemical sunscreens, however this remains a highly debated and divided opinion.
A chemical sunscreen is made of synthetic ingredients you have likely never heard of unless you are a skin care geek like me. Homosalate and octinoxate, avobenzone and oxybenzone, names that do not sound like they grow from trees or get chipped from rocks or minerals. What makes chemical sunscreens so beloved in skincare, is that they are often very comfortable and have good slip on the skin, making them easier to integrate into the chemical formulations of sun care products. Chemical sunscreens also tend to be less heavy in feel and leave much less of a white cast to the skin.
Personally, I have tried both mineral and chemical sunscreens and I find that the usage of sunscreen in general, far outweighs any perceived dangers. Here, I have a confession to make, for many, years, I was not a fan or supporter of sunscreen. I never wore it, I even had periods where I tanned like mad in salons and used self tanners to darken my skin.
I seriously damaged my skin, luckily, I always cared and moisturized my skin. A few years ago, I had a laser treatment for the face, to stimulate collagen and brighten my complexion at my favorite Medical Esthetic Clinic, ACCESS MEDICA. They warned me to wear sunscreen everyday and since then I have never missed a day, rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, hot or cold. I wear it everyday as a final layer of protection.
Once the pandemic hit, I began using highly active ingredients in my skincare routine, and it became essential that I always protect my skin. I have found that SPF is the most effective tool against aging, hyperpigmentation and keeping a lovely, hydrated, and glowing skin texture.
I have tried quite a few sunscreens over the past 2 years, and I have many more, I am looking forward to trying. My suggestions come from both my tried-and-true picks as well as my wish list sunscreens.
Lather it on beauties and enjoy!
A product I have bought several times is the Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 60. An excellent chemical sunscreen that is good for use on the face and the body, comes in a tube for easy application. Bonus is its hydrating power; it gives the skin a glow boost.
Last year I bought for a good friend the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion SPF 50, I had heard that it was a sheer, lightweight, hydrating sunscreen with no white cast that was infused with hyaluronic acid and was safe for dark skins to use. He loved it, so much so, that this year, I must try this product to see about its hype for myself.
Another product, I am very excited to try, is the Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 PA+++, reviewers and bloggers are all abuzz about this product. Supergoop! has become a sun care staple at Sephora and comes highly recommended, this sunscreen from their range of products is mineral based and vegan and cruelty-free and offers broad-spectrum protection. Apparently, it also acts as an excellent makeup primer, which makes this product of double use for anyone using foundation type products on their skin, after protection.
Another face primer that I love is the Lise Watier Sun Smart Universal UV Shield SPF 30, it is lightweight, blends in quickly onto the skin and offers broad-spectrum protection, easily re-applied on clear skin or on top of makeup, I love carrying a tube of this with me during the summer.
For quick touch-ups, every couple of hours, I suggest Laboratoire Dr. Renaud Loose Powder SPF 50 Broad Spectrum, an antiaging loose powder with UVA and UVB protection from a mineral source. Easy to take with you and allows you to mattify your face as well as protect it from the sun. Comes in two shades, one Light, one Dark.
Another product I am purchasing over the summer will be Bioderma Photoderm Spray SPF 40, a spray that is safe on all ages and everywhere on the face and body, highly practical to have a mist to renew your sun protection and refresh you as it does it.
So, as you can see, there is no reason for you not to enjoy your sun protection. There are many products out there that can really help you to protect your skin daily, without overcomplicating your life.
Get out there and enjoy the sun and protect your skin, this is an investment in product and time you will thank me for. And in the meantime, apply and reapply.
Montreal nightlife royalty and Mother of the legendary House of Pride. Master makeup artist and beauty guru extraordinaire, Jacques Besner was raised in a world of art, fashion and beauty. A Clin d’oeil magazine beauty expert, Jacques shares his tips and tricks, knowledge and know-how to introduce you to as many Montreal beauty secrets as he can find. Stay tuned for knowledge and stay beautiful!