Wearing a sunscreen daily is a long-term investment into your skin regardless of your skin tone. Sunscreens are proven to prevent photoaging including pigmentation and can prevent skin cancer with consistent long term use.
When to apply?
Sunscreen should be applied 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 with sweating or exercise.
What type of sunscreen?
Look for sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30 that also have a ‘broad spectrum’ label, which indicates signifies coverage for both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens with only an SPF grading protect from harmful UVB but not UVA rays. UVB rays are associated with skin burning whereas UVA causing skin aging.
Chemical vs mineral?
There are both chemical and mineral types of UV filters and ultimately the choice is a personal preference. Both have shown to be effective at protecting from UV rays. If you are looking for a more natural ingredient, then 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.
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 Elta MD UV Clear Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 or TIZO3 Facial Primer Tinted SPF 40. A useful hack is mixing some of your foundation with the sunscreen to achieve a better match.
Areas not to miss!
Remember to protect your lips and ears!
Do not rely on sunscreen exclusively for photoprotection. Remember to practice other sun-safe behaviours including seeking shade, avoiding peak hours outdoors between 11am and 3pm, and wearing sun-protective clothing including hats.