Wearing sunscreen on your face is an easy, low-maintenance way to protect your skin from the sun’s rays and, if you don’t wear sunscreen regularly, you run the risk of short and long term damage. long-term. “A lot of people don’t wear sunscreen because they think they don’t need it,” said certified dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD. “Sunscreen not only protects you against sunburn, but also against skin cancer in the future.”
Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, which is why the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends that everyone, including those with darker skin, wear sunscreen to help protect. their skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. While it is common to apply sunscreen outdoors during the summer months, you shouldn’t skimp on SPF when it is cloudy, such as during summer rainstorms, because ultraviolet A ( UVA) “can penetrate windows and cloud cover,” according to the nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation. You should also wear sunscreen indoors if you’re sitting by a window or using smart devices that emit blue light, according to dermatologists.
With only a few weeks until the summer season begins on June 20, we asked dermatologists about buying facial sunscreens and their product recommendations.
How to buy sunscreen for the face?
You’re not limited to a handful of sun protection options for your face, as there are sunscreens designed for different types of skin – acne-prone, oily, and dry – and they are available in formulas like lotions. , creams and powders. Although spray sunscreens are relatively common, Lancer previously advised Shopping readers to only use spray sunscreens on hard-to-reach parts of the body rather than the face, as spray sunscreens can cause acne.
What is SPF and why is it important?
SPF stands for Sun protection factor and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advise wearing at least one SPF 15. Most of the dermatologists we interviewed, as well as the AAD, consider SPF 30 to be a sweet spot because it can block up to 97% ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun. rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer. The FDA, AAD, and dermatologists prefer broad-spectrum sunscreens, whether for the face or body, which means they can protect against both UVB and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.
When should I apply sunscreen?
Individual sunscreen instructions will vary, but the AAD recommends applying it at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, while the Skin Cancer Foundation prefers to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure.
If you want to wear makeup on top of your sunscreen, you should let your sunscreen “sit” for about eight minutes, certified dermatologist Ashley Jenkins, MD advised. This waiting period allows your sunscreen to “form a nice, smooth film on top of your skin, which protects you from UV rays.”
How Much SPF Do I Need on My Face?
You’ll need about a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen to cover your entire face, certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, previously told us in our guide to choosing the best sunscreen.
Place several pea-sized dots of sunscreen on your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, then spread an even layer all over your face, advised University-certified dermatologist Susan Chon, MD. from Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Should I reapply sunscreen?
Yes, you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, according to the FDA, AAD, and dermatologists we interviewed. You should also reapply sunscreen after sweating or taking a bath in the water, grantIng to AAD.
The best sunscreens for the face
We asked doctors about their favorite facial sunscreens, which include a blend of chemical and mineral sunscreens suitable for a variety of skin types, such as those with rashes, oily skin, and dry skin. Their recommendations are available to buy from well-known retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target, as well as beauty stores like Ulta, Sephora, and Dermstore.
No matter which facial sunscreen you use, the biggest benefit of SPF is that “the protection offered by the sunscreen really prevents sun damage and skin cancer,” Chon said. , who is also a professor of dermatology and director at the University of Texas MD Anderson. Cancer center. “Prevention is much easier than cosmetic procedures or skin cancer surgeries after neglecting to take care of our skin. “
Best Powder Sunscreen: Colorescience
Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral powder
Reapplication is essential, which is why certified dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD, recommended this “easy to use” powdered sunscreen. This SPF is also a board-certified Susan Bard, MD, favorite facial sunscreen of Vive Dermatology, as it is convenient to apply over makeup. The tinted sunscreen comes in five colors – Deep, Tan, Medium Shimmer, Medium Matte, and Fair – and it uses both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as active ingredients. It is also formulated with hyaluronic acid powder to help hydrate the skin and rich in antioxidants green tea, Grape seed and oak wood extracts.
Best sunscreen for acne-prone skin: EltaMD
EltaMD UV Clear Face SPF 46 Sunscreen
As one of the most purchased sunscreens among Shopping readers, the popular Elta ® sunscreen was recommended by Bard because it is designed for people with acne or rosacea. Elta® Broad Spectrum Sunscreen was also recommended by three doctors in our guide to the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin. This “great ‘sunscreen’ dries quickly, so you can apply it to your face, neck and chest before dressing all year round,” according to certified dermatologist Robyn Gmyrek, MD.
Best sunscreen for oily skin: Olay
Olay Sun + Shine Control Facial Sunscreen Serum with SPF 35
Bard recommended this “great” sunscreen to anyone with oily skin or prone to shine when using facial sunscreen. This chemical sunscreen is infused with a blend of antioxidants and niacinamide which the brand describes as a “unicorn” ingredient because it hydrates the skin, promotes cell renewal and removes dead skin cells.
Best sunscreen for dry skin: CeraVe
CeraVe Mineral Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen SPF 50
When Madfes helps patients purchase facial sunscreens, she recommends “cosmetically stylish formulas,” like this CeraVe mineral sunscreen. This oil-free sunscreen uses a combination of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to help create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. He also boasts niacinamide which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Best tinted sunscreen: La Roche-Posay
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 50 Sun Cream
According to Bard, an “excellent” tinted mineral sunscreen that won’t leave skin “chalky” is this facial sunscreen from La Roche-Posay. This tinted sunscreen for the face uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxidee for sun protection. It is also formulated with rich antioxidants senna alata leaf extract and soothing thermal water. The brand claims that this SPF is water resistant for up to 40 minutes and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Best Antioxidant Rich Sunscreen: Clinique
Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for the Face
Lancer is a fan of the products in his skincare line of the same name, but he also recommended this Clinique sunscreen because it is made from antioxidants, which he called a “big bonus in sunscreen.” Clinique claims this oil-free mineral sunscreen – it uses titanium dioxide to help protect the face from the sun’s UV rays – is free of parabens and gentle enough to be applied by sensitive skin.
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