Are you aware that you could be missing a crucial step in your skincare routine that has been proven to keep skin young, supple, and wrinkle free?
If you’re anything like me, you stick to the basics: Wash, tone, and moisturize. I’ve learned that’s good to follow these simple steps, but it’s not good enough! Ever heard the saying, “The best offense is a good defense?” This totally applies here–it’s not enough to wash away the dirt, feed your skin clarifying toner, then bathe it in restorative moisturizing ingredients–you need to nip the problem in the bud and prevent any damage rather than fix it after the fact.
This is where sunscreen comes in.
The horror stories about the sun’s rays are no secret: Premature aging, sun spots, sun burn, wrinkles. I could go on and on, and these are just cosmetic issues. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to eye damage and unwanted cell growth and skin cancer, something everyone should avoid at all costs, especially because adding sunscreen does not have to cost much or take much more time than your normal skincare routine.
Sunscreen has always been a bit of a mythical creature that I did not want to get to know. All the letters intimidated me. SPF, UVA, UVB, what actually should I be looking for in a sunscreen? When it comes to sunscreen, the only thing you need to remember is SPF: Should Put on Face. No questions asked.
Still not sure where to begin? Here’s Sunscreen: Demystified!
Q: What does sunscreen do?
A: Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays from the sun. But not all sunscreens are created equal.
Q: What do I need to look for in a sunscreen?
A: What you want to look for is a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen. This means that you’re protected from both UVA (causes wrinkling and premature aging) and UVB (causes reddening and sunburn) rays. If a sunscreen is not labelled as broad spectrum, multi spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection, it is likely to only protect you from getting burnt by the sun, not from the aging effects that may only show up later on in life.
Q: What is SPF?
A: SPF is Sun Protection Factor, which contrary to popular belief, is not the amount of protection it gives your skin but rather how long it takes for UVB to redden skin. To get technical: using a sunscreen SPF of 15 will take 15x longer for you to redden in the sun than without it.
Q: How do I integrate sunscreen into my skincare routine?
A: Sunscreen is always the final step in your skincare routine. Any skin-care product applied over a sunscreen reduces the sunscreen’s effectiveness to some degree. You can also look for a moisturizer integrated with SPF. This gives you all the benefits with 0 cons.
Q: How do I transition from my skincare routine to my makeup routine?
A: Make sure to let each step fully set before moving on to assure a smooth, non-tacky base. We recommend going in this order: Wash, tone, moisturize, sunscreen, primer, concealer, foundation, powder, and on to the rest of your face.
Have fun under the sun, but don’t forget to protect your skin too!
Got the 411 on sunscreen down pat? Let us know how you’re enjoying us the sun by tagging us at #beautybytes!
Featured images by Regina Yamamoto.
Maia is a junior in high school who loves anything related to travel. She believes that summer is the best time of the year to do her favorite things–binge-watching shows, eating, and being with friends.