Sunscreen is definitely one of the most essential items in any girl’s skincare routine, if not in anyone’s healthcare routine! It protects our skin from the sun’s damages such as pigmentation, wrinkles, dryness, sunburn, leathery texture – and even cancer. As important as it is, let’s look at some requirements to choose the best sunscreen for your skin!
1. Learn the Difference Between Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens
The inorganic physical UV filters in physical sunscreen, also known as "mineral" sunscreen, reflect, scatter, and block the sun's rays before they reach the skin. These physical blockers, often referred to as active minerals, are made to rest on top of the epidermis rather than be absorbed by the skin.
Common Physical UV Filters:
- Titanium Dioxide: a useful addition to cosmetic products, as it remains stable even when exposed to UV radiation and doesn’t degrade in the sun.
- Zinc Oxide: this physical blocker scatters and reflects UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the outer layer of the skin.
Chemical sunscreens work differently, they contain organic (carbon-based) active components that instantly absorb UV rays when they come into contact. Chemical sunscreens include organic substances that, when exposed to sunlight, accelerate a chemical process that converts UV radiation into heat that is subsequently expelled from the skin. Chemical UV filters frequently only offer protection from one of the two types of UV radiation whereas physical UV filters block both.
Common Chemical UV Filters:
- Avobenzone: most commonly used UVA chemical filter found in chemical sunscreens. This ingredient is unstable, meaning it quickly degrades in sunlight.
- Octinoxate: an endocrine disruptor that can affect thyroid function.
- Octisalate: a chemical that helps absorb UVB rays (but not UVA rays).
- Oxybenzone: This chemical UV filter absorbs UVB and UVA rays
- Octocrylene: This chemical UV filter can absorb both UVB and UVA rays.
Parabens are a group of chemicals that are widely used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic products. They are a popular ingredient in skincare products for their antibacterial properties and their ability to prolong the life of shelf products. However, recent studies found out that parabens can be irritating to the skin and disrupt hormones in the body, increasing the risk of cancer and other defects.
3. Look for "Broad Spectrum" Formulas
Make sure your sunscreen pick offers protection from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are mainly linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, and some time lead to skin cancers. UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage the DNA in skin cells directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns.
4. Choose a SPF of 30 or Higher
SPF is short for Sun Protection Factor. In sunscreen, SPF helps to block your skin from the sun’s radiation. SPF works by extending your skin’s natural defenses against the sun’s rays. For example, an SPF of 15 provides about 15 times more protection than just your normal skin without sunscreen. An SPF of 50, then, would provide 50 times more protection than skin without sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of the sun's UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun's UVB rays.
The feeling of a greasy, sticky formula is something we all want to avoid. A sunscreen that is too thick in texture can cause clogged pores, thus leading to breakouts. Therefore, look for a sun care product that is matte and light-weight with no white cast.
If you are looking for a sunscreen that meets all the above requirements, we’ve got Okame Brightening UV Shield Sunscreen. This sunscreen is gentle enough to be used as your day cream, but long-lasting enough to protect your skin from the sun all day. The product contains 5 chemical and physical UV filters that offer you absolute protection, effective within 10-12 hours, highlighting:
- Tinosorb S
- Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide
- Octinoxate & Octocrylene
Lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin, the subtle, pink-beige color is designed to give a natural glow effect for a brighter and healthier look. You'll notice it immediately - your skin will be smoother and firmer after just one use. The product is formulated without Dimethicone, Paraben, Fragrance, and Mineral Oils that are irritation-free for all skin types, even those that are under treatments.