Even though summer is over, it doesn’t mean we forget this skincare essential: sunscreen.
When you were a child it’s easy to recall being forced to wear sunscreen so your face wouldn’t burn, and you would turn out a tan golden brown. As I grew up, sunscreen became less important, and more of a hassle. Why spend 5 minutes applying it when I could spend those 5 minutes in the pool? Turns out, those 5 minutes spent applying sunscreen really do matter. Here’s a guide for all you would want to know about sunscreen, answering all your burning (literally) questions.
Do I really need it? Yes. You do.
Well, why do I need it? Because your skin is one part of you that you want to keep as safe and well-maintained for the rest of your life. As cliché as it sounds, your body is your own personal temple, so why carelessly throw away skin cells and damage your body in the sun just because you don’t want to spend extra time applying sunscreen? Just trust us.
What happens if I don’t use it? Nothing at first. The first few times you don’t use sunscreen can be harmless. Depending on your skin’s melanin, you may burn, or tan, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, darker skinned people usually get suntan, while lighter skinned people get sunburnt. The effects of not using sunscreen can appear later on in life. Skin cancer is the most common issue faced from too much sun seeping into the skin. Skin cancer stems (no pun intended) from the skin cells that have too much of UV radiation (sunburn). You won’t get it right away, but wearing sunscreen will reduce early risk of skin cancer according to the Melanoma Research Foundation. (I just got a little spooked out writing this). Please, just wear sunscreen.
I usually tan anyways, who cares?! You should care. I can personally say that I never wore sunscreen from the ages of 14-18. But after really thinking about the pros and cons of sunscreen, I realized taking care of skin and body was important to me, I decided it was time to buckle down and start wearing sunscreen. Don’t let your natural nice tan skin fool you into thinking sunscreen application is unnecessary. Although we are less susceptible to skin cancer, it’s still avoidable.
What’s the difference in SPFs? First off, SPF stands for sun protection factor (a.k.a. How much the sunscreen will protect you from the sun.) The higher the SPF the more protected your skin will be. Into the Gloss did an in depth Q&A with licensed beauty experts all about SPFs if they tickle your fancy, from wearing an SPF with makeup (which yes, you can), to what to do when you already have sun damage. The most commonly found SPFs are between 30-50. As it says on the sunscreen bottles, an SPF between those numbers is said to keep your skin protected and hydrated for around 80 minutes, and applied every two hours, 15 minutes before you go out into the sun. Sound like a mouth full? It’ll get easier with time.
What types of sunscreen(s) should I be using? It’s really all up to you how protected you want your skin to be, and what you want to protect. The most common are face and body sunscreen. Face sunscreen tend to be lighter so your face, since it’s one of the most sensitive places. Body sunscreen *can* be used for both the face and body, but tend to be higher in the SPF and stronger, which may cause breakouts if heavily used. I’m here to suggest cruelty-free sunscreens because it’s apart of my lifestyle. Cruelty-free sunscreen doesn’t feature ingredients such as parabens and sulfates, sourced ingredients that are chemically made. They do feature ingredients such as coconut and leaf extract, which can be naturally sourced from plants.
Any suggestions? Glossier, (a Mimp Mag favourite) recently released Invisible Shield*, which has SPF 35 and is marketed as a face sunscreen. It’s milky consistency sinks into the skin, as though you never applied it. Alba Botanica, has a competing face sunscreen, a part of their Very Emollient* line, that has SPF 30 is light on the face, and fragrance free, which is key for a facial sunscreen. Pacifica* has an SPF 50 all-mineral body sunscreen that replaces the typical sunscreen scent with coconut probiotic (a microorganism that is beneficial to the body because of its soothing component). *=all vegan!
In conclusion, it’s really liberating to wear sunscreen. You’ll be happier, and you’ll feel like you can stay in the sun for hours. Just don’t forget to reapply.