Sun… protection, what?
It’s now 3 weeks into Summer and I’ve already seen TOO many people forget about sun protection in their rush to return to full Summer vacation mode. And the result of this haphazard running to the beach to catch some colour on their skin – lots and lots of unevening scorching, and lots of painful burns from the unforgiving sun. Of course, we love the sun and all, it’s an essential part of a beach visit and the Summer is a brief time of year we all wait for so we can actually enjoy the 20% of toasty weather we can get (unless you live in California or something where pleasant weather is just another day in a life of glorious Cali life). In Toronto, Canada, where 80% of the year is frigid cold, or raining and frigid cold, or snowing and hailing frigid cold, consistent hot weather (even in the short Summer months) is not a luxury we have that we can rely on.
Having said that, there are many here who neglect to protect themselves from the sun.
I’m sure there are some people who are reading this and thinking, OK grandma, crawl back into the hole from which you came to rain on everyone’s parade. Summer is finally here, and what is a Summer without a little tan, and a little bum burn.
If you end up getting a mild to severe sunburn while you’re busy out enjoying your life, what’s the harm? Just a little casualty that will eventually heal. YOLO, right? LIVE YOUR LIFE!
Sure, that’s all good and well but when your skin is so damaged to a point of no return I’m sure you won’t be saying the same thing then.
Here are some devastating results of skin damage from sun protection neglect:
- Premature aging (Wrinkles, age spots, loose skin)
- Spider veins
- Uneven skin tone
- Dry, scaly patches of skin (Actinic Keratoses)
- Skin cancer
So yes, I think we can all skip the sun damage, as fun as it may seem at the time.
But, I Want that Tan Life
I know, I know. Some of you are pasty AF. I can also be just as pasty after many Winter months of hiding in my bed. I get it.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with a beautiful, warm, melanin coloured skin tone and have this all year round while others struggle with borderline skin cancer inducing sun damage for a bit of a tan…
While some of you may be thinking, “If I layer up on sunscreen I’ll never get the tan I wanted for Summer”, that’s not true!
You can certainly achieve a tan even with an application of sunscreen. Meaning, while sunscreen blocks the harmful UV rays from causing real damage on your skin, it can’t prevent a tan from forming. All you need is patience and consistency. After a full day out in the sun with reapplication of sunscreen all over every other hour, I still manage to walk away with a tan (of course, not as much of a tan than you’d perhaps like after one go, but the point is – YOU CAN STILL TAN).
Mineral vs. Chemical
First, a little lesson on the science of sunscreen.
Sunscreen is made into 3 different formulations:
- Mineral (physical/surface sunscreen)
- Chemical (chemical reaction sunscreen)
- Combination of mineral and chemical (Both physical/surface and chemical reaction sunscreen)
Physical/surface sunscreens mean that they use a formulation of minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which sits on the surface of the skin and blocks the harmful UV rays from penetrating your skin.
Chemical sunscreens often use a formulation of common chemical sun blockers like avobenzone and octisalate which protect your skin from UV damage by absorbing the UV rays before they damage your skin.
A combination of sunscreen formulations that use both mineral and chemical sun blockers is often preferred these days for its double duty protection.
There are two types of UV rays that can harm your skin and you can remember these in this way:
UVA – These rays harm you by causing premature aging.
UVB – These rays harm you by causing burns.
On the market, you will also see sunscreen that states it provides “broad spectrum” protection which means it protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
For effective sunscreen protection, you must reapply at least every hour (or more frequently, depending on how much you sweat and whether or not you’ve been in water).
The Starting Line-up
Here are some solid sunscreen options you can start with!
For those seeking a calming mineral option without a heinous white cast, Paula’s choice serves up an amazing broad spectrum sunscreen line for both dry to normal skin types and normal to oily skin types that blend seamlessly with your skin without too much blending.
As mentioned, they also have a formula for normal to oily skin for people like me who require some oil control (especially in hot weather).
If you’re looking into a chemical solution that both protects your skin and also works well under makeup, here are two amazing options that soothes, hydrates, and moisturizes your skin without being too heavy or sticky.
The Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk is a perfectly light milky texture (as the name implies) that melts impeccably with your skin (with a sort of texture as an essence or light serum). It does not pill or dry the skin as it absorbs seamlessly and is invisible with ZERO whitecast.
Lastly, another solid chemical sunscreen is the Biore UV Aqua Rich Smooth Watery Gel that also works great under makeup as it is a light solution that absorbs well into the skin without pilling and whitecast. No compromise to sun protection whatsoever.
Protect and Maintain!
Don’t forget, you MUST reapply wherever you have sun exposure. Of course it is difficult to reapply on top of a full face of makeup, but remember that part of the point is also to dial back on the foundation and full face makeup and do your best to refresh your complexion by letting your pores BREATHE.
Consistency and dedication is key, guys, and we can still enjoy the Summer while maintaining our skin protection as well. We can have everything we want, only in moderation. 😉
If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, please feel free to leave me a comment below and I will be more than happy to help with all your sun protection questions!
Let’s get our glow!