Learn These Sunscreen Facts To Help Protect Your Skin

Learn These Sunscreen Facts To Help Protect Your Skin

By Alison McGill

Today is National Sunscreen Day and it’s here to remind you to play it smart in the sunshine, not just in the summer, but 365 days a year.

According to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, one in six Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime; Canada sees over 85,000 cases of skin cancer every year. Skin cancer is also the number one cancer killer of women aged 25 to 30. The good news is there’s a very easy way to prevent skin cancer and protect yourself: wear sunscreen! Every. Single. Day.

We know wearing sunscreen is the secret to sun safety, but so many of us forget this step in our skin routine; it’s one that can literally save your life. The baseline protection factor your sunscreen needs to have? A minimum of SPF 30.

“A sunscreen with a broad-spectrum UV protection of at least SPF 30 is best for everyone,” shares Nadia Paglia, director of education at Dermalogica Canada. “This recommendation applies to people of all skin tones.”

Below, read more essential sunscreen facts from Paglia.

Physical VS. Chemical Sunscreen
Physical sunscreen (also known as mineral sunscreen) sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. It is typically thick consistency because of its mineral content—which typically includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—and can leave a white cast on skin. “Mineral sunscreens are thought to be more comfortable for sensitive skin types and are great option to put on if you have had a skin treatment on your face which increases sensitivity,” Paglia says. “A chemical sunscreen acts to absorbs and transforms the sun’s rays as heat. When applied it feels light and is visually undetectable. It is ideal for all skin types and conditions.”

Proper Sunscreen Application Ensures Best Protection
You should apply sunscreen to your skin 30 minutes before any sun exposure. For your face, cleanse and pat dry and make sure skin is free of any oils which can prevent sunscreen from sticking properly. Paglia suggests a nickel-sized dollop of SPF for your face, and it should be applied as the last step prior to applying your makeup.

“When applying sunscreen to your face, make sure you cover your neck and chest also,” Paglia shares. “A common mistake is to apply sunscreen to the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, and the other sensitive areas are often forgotten. Make sure you give equal attention to all areas of exposed skin. The tops of ears are easy to forget, and they are so sensitive and an easy target for sunburns. Also, make sure you apply sunscreen to the back of your hands. They are a spot that’s extremely vulnerable to sun damage.”

Don’t Forget To Reapply
According to Paglia, if you’re outside for more than two hours, you need to reup your sunscreen for consistent protection. If you are active and sweating, you need to reapply your sunscreen every 80 minutes.

Sunburn SOS
Sometimes even when you think you’ve fully protected yourself, sunburns happen. Get relief by taking a cool bath or shower to calm the fire; apply a cooling moisturizer packed with aloe vera; drink loads of water; and if you have swelling and discomfort pop an ibuprofen. If your face is sunburned, Paglia stresses avoiding active ingredients and exfoliants which can cause more sensitivity and inflammation is key. “Use products designed for sensitive skin to calm and cool redness. You may even want to keep a hydrating mist in the fridge during the summer months especially to provide cooling relief in the event you get too much sun.”

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens
Ready to start applying? Stock up on these sunscreen essentials just in time for summer.

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens - Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

The Invisible Sunscreen
This formula literally disappears upon application. Applied as the last step of your skin routine, consider this as a primer for your makeup.
BUY: Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen SPF 30, $69 for 50ml, dermalogica.ca

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens - Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 Sunscreen

The Glow-Boasting Sunscreen
This tinted SFP 40 sunscreen is available in four shades and delivers a gorgeous glow up. Packed with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it also has amazing skincare benefits, and it can double as a moisturizer if you want to skip a prep step.
BUY: Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 Sunscreen, $65 for 71ml, sephora.com

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens - Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF50+

The Sunscreen Stick
Keep this one in your bag for daily use, especially if you are heading out to a sunny patio lunch and need an extra protection on your nose, chin, cheeks, and ears. It glides easily on skin and does not leave behind any oily film or residue.
BUY: Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF50+, $42, shiseido.ca

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens - Sun Bum Mineral Spray SFP30

The Sunscreen Spray
This is the perfect sunscreen to pack and take on the go with you. It makes reapplication easy to do and its SPF 30 mineral formula guarantees solid protection from UVA/UVB rays.
BUY: Sun Bum Mineral Spray SFP30, $26 for 170g, shoppersdrugmart.ca

Our 5 Favourite Sunscreens - Extreme Hydrating Body + Hand SPF 50

The Hydrating Sunscreen
This cult Australian brand is now available in Canada, and we’re obsessed with their SKINSCREEN line. The innovative lineup of products is designed to protect all areas of skin against the sun. We’re especially into this hydration-boosting SPF 50 lotion formulated for body and hands.
BUY: Extreme Hydrating Body + Hand SPF 50, $41 for 150ml, ultraviolettespf.com

Want more? Check out THE STORY OF: Sunscreen, And Our Love/Hate Relationship With The Sun.

Tags: dermalogica, sunscreen, top story, topstory

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