Safe fun in the sun
Why sunscreen is non-negotiable
MP EDITION 043
You’ve heard it time and time again but if you’re not practicing it, I’m here to tell you that you need to wear sunscreen every. single. day.
The importance of sunscreen
Ok, so maybe you’ve heard it a thousand times but you don’t know WHY sunscreen is always needed. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause skin damage all year round. A scary fact is that the sun is responsible for 90% of skin’s aging, so doing something as simple as putting on SPF every day to combat that is a no brainer.
Yes, that means even in the winter, even if you’re working from home (unless you work in a cave with no windows), and even if it’s cloudy, raining, or snowing.
This is because there are two kinds of UV rays:
Over time, repeated exposure to both UVA and UVB rays break down the elastin in your skin, making it less plump and bouncy and results in premature wrinkles and fine lines. If you’re wondering how much damage could a brief jaunt into the sun can be or if it’s really that bad if you forget sunscreen for just one day, sun damage can happen quite quickly, like minutes. Of course, this depends on factors like where you are in the world and how intense the sun is where you are but keep in mind that sun damage is cumulative so your minutes clocked in the sun without protection over the years can add up.
And what’s worse? It’s irreversible. Cells replicate themselves so if your skin cells are damaged, the replicated cells will be damaged too, creating more mutated cells. Mutated cells mean less collagen, more oxidants, and pigmentation (freckles or dark spots).
What to look for in a sunscreen
Not all sunscreen are made the same so when choosing a sunscreen, look for the following things:
- SPF (sun protection factor): This is the level of protection provided. Opt for a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 at the very minimum.
- Broad spectrum: It’s important to note that SPF only offers UVB protection and not UVA protection so you need to look for a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” which protects against both.
- Water-resistant: For protection when you swim or are in the water.
- Ingredients: As with any skincare product, you need to pay attention to the ingredients that are in them. Physical sunscreens commonly contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, providing a physical barrier to reflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals that protect the skin by absorbing UV rays. Both are effective but opt for a physical sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.
Sunscreens we love
Sunscreens have come a long way from the greasy, streaky, and chalky versions of years past. Check out some of our top sunscreen selects below.
- Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics Sun Drops
- Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen
- Biossance Squalane + Zinc Mineral Sunscreen
- The Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen
- Coola Mineral tinted BB+ Cream Organic Sunscreen
- Avène Complexion Correcting Shield
- Black Girl Sunscreen
- Elta MD UV Elements
- La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen
- REN Clean Screen Mineral Mattifying Face Sunscreen
Lastly, some other things to consider:
- Blue light: There’s also another type of light that causes skin damage worth mentioning: the blue light from your mobile devices, also known as high-energy visible light (HEV). Blue light can contribute to hyperpigmentation like melasma and dark spots, as well as accelerate aging. Coola’s Sun Silk Drops include ingredients that protect against HEV and infrared-light and offer broad-spectrum protection.
Stay safe out there. Muff love.