WRITTEN BY: CECILIE BREE WILKINS
If you only use SPF in the summertime, or even skip it all together, you’re not alone; finding a non-greasy formula that doesn’t cause flashback or give your face a casket-ready gray tone, can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Regardless of your skin tone or individual complexion concerns, SPF is one of the most vital steps in preventing premature aging, hyper-pigmentation and even skin cancer.
When it comes to the basics, what sunscreen does is protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, which are carcinogens known to exponentially increase the risk of skin cancer. These ultraviolet rays are also the greatest culprits when it comes to fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and other signs of premature aging. While of course sunscreen protects from sunburns, it also helps to maintain skin youth as well as maintain a more even skin tone.
A common misconception surrounding sunscreen is the idea that sunscreen is only necessary to wear in the summer or on days when you are going to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. The reality is that you can never be too cautious when it comes to your skin’s vitality. You should be wearing your SPF every day, and even on the days when you are not in direct sunlight, as UVA rays can penetrate through windows. Even on cloudy or rainy days your skin is still exposed to ultraviolet rays.
If you’re wondering if the SPF infused into your other makeup or skincare products is enough, it is not. Just because a product says SPF 15 does not mean that you will necessarily get all of the skincare benefits by using that product. For example, when it comes to SPF infused foundations, on average, you would have to use around four pumps of product to achieve the full SPF benefits within. Therefore, it is always better to use a separate SPF before you go in with any of your cosmetic products.
It is also important to know that SPF 100 is not necessary. SPF 30 is enough to protect your skin from 96% of ultraviolet rays, and effectiveness beyond SPF 30 increase minimally. Don’t pay the extra dollars for SPF benefits that just aren’t there. Stick with SPF 30-50, and you should be fine.
If you are deeper in complexion, it is also important to know that the melanin in your skin does protect you from the sun more so than individuals who are lighter, however it does not make you immune to sun damage. While the risk of skin cancer is low, the risk is still there. Premature aging is also caused by the sun, which SPF can protect against.
As well, one of the leading complexion related issues among those of a deeper complexion is dark marks and hyper-pigmentation. This unevenness can be made worse by sun exposure, therefore a good SPF is one of the best ways to improve overall evenness.
For sunscreen recommendations that don’t cause flashback or white cast, here are a few:
Photo Source: Well + Good