There is nothing more important in summer than using the right sunscreen. Since we’re little, we hear it all the time: don’t forget to apply your sunscreen before hitting the water/park/insert outdoor location. It has become an habit for those wandering around the planet’s beaches and since the first synthetic sunscreen in 1928, it becomes the number one victim of hateful thoughts when the skin eventually burns.
But do you know how to pick the appropriate sunscreen according to your skin type? People often thinks that there is an all-in-one solution for these kind of general problematics, but there is not. And there are truly some things you need to understand (like the difference between UVB and UVA) in order to complete this mission. Here is a list of what you should look for in a good sun shield.
A light texture
Keep that in mind: the thinner the texture, the better the absorption. A lotion is better than a cream, a spray better than a lotion and a mist better than a spray! If you’re really into creams, you must want to try a watery formula like the one I use. It’s a Nivea product that I only found in Japan so far, a watery transparent product that doesn’t leave a sticky finish: the best. The downside of a cream is that most formulas leave a whitish layer that just make you SO pale. Also, the thickness of the product takes longer to absorb, which isn’t very convenient.
A high SPF for UVB
UVB are the ultraviolet rays of the sun that cause sunburn on the surface. They’re different with UVA, which you can learn about below. The higher the SPF (sun protecting factor) on your bottle, the thicker the shield will be. Think of a SPF as a fraction of the intensity of the sunray that tries to get you all reddened. SPF 20 would then mean that 1 out 20 radiations will reach your skin, but also that it would take 200 minutes for your skin to start burning. Assuming that you must reapply sunscreen every 2 hours (120 minutes), the higher the SPF, the fewer radiations can get to you! Note that SPF only helps preventing sunburn but not skin damage, drought nor wrinkle formation. If you’re very pale (i.e lacks melanin), you have no other choice than religiously applying a SPF50++. However, the darker the skin, the higher the concentration in melanin. And melanin produces its very own anti-UVB shield. You need an SPF but it can be lower (especially if you want to tan, i.e increase your melanin level) because what you truly need is a high PA.
A high PA for UVA
The common belief had us thinking that only SPF was ever important. But the real danger with sun is UVA – these radiations, I swear, are your worst enemy. Unlike UVB, UVA radiations get to the deepest layers of your skin, right there where the whole structure of your dermis is being fabricated. It attacks elasticity and dries all your tissues. UVA are the cause for dryness, wrinkles, dehydration and all these skin troubles that come with an intense sun exposure. In order to fight UVA, you need a to focus on the PA of your product. It goes from PA+ to PA+++. I would recommend you never buy a sunscreen which doesn’t explicitly display this information.
- Never forget to fully hydrate and soothe after a long exposure like a day at the beach.
- Drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration.
- Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving outdoors for optimal protection.
- Opt for a waterproof formula should you swim.
- Wear sunscreen every single day of the year because winter radiations are as much intense as in summer, if not worse!
How do you like your sunscreen? I hope this post helped you get a better understanding of how sun works on your skin. Share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you like this summer introducing post, you can also subscribe to the blog (enter your e-mail in below) or support by following me on Instagram.