What You Need to Know About Sunscreen Use

Applying sunscreen daily is a long-term investment into your skin, regardless of your skin tone. Sunscreens are proven to prevent photoaging, skin damage caused by exposure to the sun that includes pigmentation. They can even prevent skin cancer with consistent long-term use!

When Is the Best Time for Applying Sunscreen?

Sunscreen should be worn daily, prior to exposure to harmful UV rays. Do not be shy and apply a liberal amount! Remember to wear photoprotection year-round, and don’t forget to reapply after sweating or exercise.

What Type of Sunscreen Is Best?

Look for sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30 that include a ‘broad spectrum’ label, which provides coverage for both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens with only an SPF grading will protect from harmful UVB rays, but not UVA rays. UVB rays are associated with sunburn, whereas UVA rays affect skin aging.

Which Is Better: Chemical or Mineral?

There are both chemical and mineral types of UV filters, and ultimately the choice comes down to personal preference. Both have shown to be effective at protecting from UV rays. If you prefer natural ingredients, mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are a great option. I am a big fan of EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, and TIZO2 Facial Primer Non-tinted SPF 40.

Should You Be Applying Sunscreen Before or After Other Products?

Ideally, sunscreen should be applied prior to other products, including make-up. If you are concerned about matching the sunscreen with your skin tone, consider a tinted option such as EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, or TIZO3 Facial Primer Tinted SPF 40. A useful lifehack is mixing a little bit of your foundation with the sunscreen to achieve a better match!

Woman using sunscreen

Don’t Forget Sunscreen Use on These Areas!

Remember to protect your lips and ears! Both can be affected by the sun’s harmful rays and are often ignored when applying sunscreen. Don’t make this mistake and be sure to protect your entire face.

Finally, do not rely on sunscreen exclusively for photoprotection. Remember to practice other sun safe behaviours, including staying in the shade, avoiding the outdoors during peak sunlight hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and wearing sun protective clothing, including hats. If you’re looking for more skincare tips and treatments, reach out to our expert doctors at Kingsway Dermatology to learn more!

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