Old Product, New Findings
We’ve been constantly told by dermatologists and skincare specialists that we should always wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day to protect us from skin cancer and also premature ageing. It’s the one product that’s a constant and we wear it all over, on our face as well all the exposed parts of our body. Like many of us, I’ve always invested in a broad spectrum SPF as a precaution against skin cancer and also as a big part of my beauty anti ageing regime since UVA and UVB rays cause the most damage by breaking down the collagen in your skin.
However new research has found that you need to choose your SPF carefully, after all it’s used daily and supposedly repeatedly (but I know many of us are lazy about the repeating or just plain forget). The skin in the largest organ in the body so that’s a lot of product which the skin absorbs. Chemical based sun care products which contains ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule have been found to penetrate to the bloodstream and can stay there for hours. Researchers are not yet quite sure of the long term health effects of these chemicals circulating in the bloodstream.
However the stance doesn’t change, a broad spectrum SPF is still as essential to use every day but now dermatologist and skincare specialist advice to use a mineral based sunscreen which contains either Titanium Dioxide or Zinc. The difference between a mineral based sunscreen and a chemical one is that the mineral sits on top of your skin and reflects the harmful rays of the sun whereas chemical ones absorbs the harmful rays after they have penetrated the skin. Some of the mineral based sun protection can leave a whitish film on the skin which is what turns off a lot of people from using these types but they’re not all like that, it’s just a matter of doing some research on product reviews and a bit of experimenting to find one that doesn’t turn you into a ghost and which doesn’t feel heavy and greasy on the skin
I now opt for mineral based broad spectrum sunblocks that have at least an SPF of minimum 30 and additionally is water resistant especially if you sweat a lot since the mineral sunblock sits on your skin. The thing I’ve found with the mineral based sunblock is that if you have sensitive skin, they don’t irritate you as much as the chemical ones do so that’s a big advantage if that’s an issue. You can find mineral sunscreen in both lotion and powder form. What I tend to do is apply the lotion first in the morning and then all my top ups through the day are with the powder so if there’s any oiliness or shine on the skin, the powder absorbs it while still protecting plus it doesn’t interfere with make-up.
Some of the ones that I’ve tried and quite like are the Neutrogena Zinc Sheer Dry Touch. It’s a bit thicker than the original and very popular Neutrogena Dry Touch, the zinc based one has to be worked into the skin a bit more. The whitishness does disappear after a couple of minutes and if you wear it under your make-up, it doesn’t cause it to slide and as it won’t block your pores. If you like getting into the water, it has staying power. The other advantage is that its value for money, it’s not as expensive as some of the other sunscreen on the market and it’s as effective.
The EltaMD UV spray Broad Spectrum SPF 46 is a cult favourite, it’s light and non greasy so won’t aggravate acne prone or block pores especially on oily skin. It sprays on white so you can see where you’ve missed out but it dries clear. It’s also a spray on so very easy to apply and do re-applications with.
Blue Lizard Sensitive is a gentle and simple formula especially made for people who have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. It’s quite interesting because the bottle actually turns blue when the UVA / UVB factors are high so it warns you to apply or re-apply your sunscreen.
In conclusion old product, new findings but the same advice, never forget your sunscreen!