Just like skincare staples such as night serum or moisturiser, there’s no one-size-fits-all with sunscreen…
While many of us assume that the only thing to consider when shopping for a new tube of sunblock is the SPF content, that is not the case at all. Sunscreens, just like other skincare products, need to be the right fit for an individual’s skin. In fact, there are various kinds available in the market for the different skin types. And with each new innovation, more and more varieties are being doled out to cater to all kinds of requirements.
One of the recent improvements to sunscreen (your best friend for good skin) are the new tinted versions. Keep in mind, though, that tinted sunscreens are different from tinted moisturisers with SPF. The latter has lesser SPF protection, and you would need to use a larger quantity to make sure you protect your face from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Thus, it is advisable to always opt for a tinted sunscreen over a tinted moisturiser with SPF.
Another point that we tend to overlook is the quantity of sunscreen needed. A good rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of sunscreen for your face, neck and ears. Due to the tint in sunscreens, many people often tend to use a pea-sized amount on their faces, and presume that they have sufficient coverage because the tint has spread evenly across their skin. But this is not true—a quantity as small as this one does not give your skin the layer of protection you need, and you in turn end up exposing yourself to the sun rays with insufficient defence.
Textures and ingredients play an important role in choosing the right sunscreen for your skin. These are the ones you should look out for, based on common skin types.
If you have acne prone or oily skin…
The sunscreens available in the market can roughly be divided into two wide-range categories—chemical and physical. Mineral sunscreens (also known as physical sunscreens) are preferable for oily, acne-prone skin. These have active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which form a shield over the skin, provide physical protection against the sun and are non-greasy unlike their creamy, chemical counterparts. Try to look for sebum-regulating ingredients as well, like green tea extract, baobab oil, L-carnitine and niacinamides for brightening. Also look for silicone as an ingredient, since it makes your skin feel less oily and sticky. The texture you want to opt for is a gel, or a very light liquid.
Recommended: Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint Moisturizer; MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30 Sunscreen; Eau Thermale Avène High Protection Complexion SPF 50+ Correcting Shield; Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50 for touch-up.
If you have acne prone or oily skin…
Those with dry skin can opt for a mineral or chemical sunscreen, depending on personal preferences. A mineral sunscreen starts working immediately, whereas a chemical one needs to be applied 20-30mins before stepping out of the house. Dry skin can benefit from moisturising sunscreens too. Numerous moisturisers are used in sunscreens now; popular ones include lanolin oils, Vitamin E, shea butter and other moisturising agents. Moisturising sunscreens are often formulated as creams, lotions or ointments, so look for these terms on the label. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkling as well, so try to opt for a sunscreen with antioxidants. A good way to load up your skin with antioxidants is to use a sunscreen with Vitamin C and E, and antioxidant-rich oils like acai and rosehip. People looking for sunscreens with anti-ageing benefits should also pick those containing peptides.
Recommended: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Primer (tinted), Algenist Repairing Tint & Radiance Moisturizer SPF 30, Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Rōsilliance® Tinted Organic BB+ Cream, Kiehl’s BB Cream Actively Correcting and Beautifying with SPF 50
If You Have Sensitive Skin
Having a sensitive skin type can mean different things to different people. Your skin can be sensitive right from the get go, or it can be something that is caused by skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or allergies. Sensitive skin can become inflamed and irritated easily with any product or procedure as well. If you have this skin type, choose a mineral sunscreen that contains natural sun blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, or if you want to try a chemical sunscreen, do so after undertaking a patch test. Your choice of texture should also depend on what your skin feels like—if you have sensitive and dry skin, use a moisturising, creamy sunscreen; if you have an oily or combination skin type that is also sensitive, go with sunscreens that are either gel-based or have the formulation of a light liquid. Look at the label: pick a no-fragrance, paraben-free sunscreen to ensure your sensitive skin is not further irritated with these ingredients. If you cannot find an unscented sunscreen, look for something with minimal fragrance.
If you would like to find out more about Hamilton Skin Clinic’s range of skincare, facials or cosmetic treatments, our medical team is available for complimentary 15 minute consultations in Hamilton.