Look, I’ll start this article by saying I’m no dermatologist. In fact, I’m like, the opposite—just a girl with a career in fashion and a degree in Communications. Credible, I know. But, regardless, I love me some good research and staying up-to-date on the latest in wellness. (With my greatest claim to “health extraordinaire” being that I switched my whole family over to almond milk before it was a mainstream thing to do so. Am I like, Dr.Oz??? ) That being said, I’ve come across a lot of articles recently about the potentially harmful effects of sunscreen, particularly chemical sunscreens. And, considering as a generation we’re becoming hyper-aware of not only what we’re putting into our bodies, but also on our bodies, I had to dig further into the matter. Especially since I’m like, v into skin care, too. A girl who works in fashion AND also happens to be into skin care?! Who would have thought!?! Did I mention I was in a sorority, too??? But like, believe it or not, I’m actually smart, and in my quest to better my own life and yours, I’m here to share my findings. Here are some suncreens that are not as harmful for you as some of the ones you might see at a drugstore near you.
Okay, so to put it into the most simplistic terms, there are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. One uses chemical ingredients that actually absorb the sun’s rays to protect the skin, while the other creates a physical barrier to reflect them. And, as you can probably guess, the better-for-you option here is the one that creates the physical barrier. This is because, with a physical barrier, you’re not absorbing all those potentially harmful chemicals into your skin. There are ingredients in chemical sunscreens that are thought to be endocrine disruptors, which may interfere with thyroid and hormone function. Unfortunately, physical sunscreens, typically mineral sunscreens, tend to be thicker and more pasty, which is a huge deterrent for most people. Fortunately though, nowadays, there are plenty of high quality and more sheer options. You know, so you don’t have to look like Casper the friendly ghost strutting around the beach in your best bikini.
I know I’m going to crush a lot of souls here, particularly that of middle aged dads everywhere, but spray sunscreens are the worst culprits of the chemical sunscreens. Again, not only do you have to worry about the chemicals soaking into your skin, you also need to worry about breathing them in as well. *Sigh* Must everything in life we love be so bad??? Well, fortunately, no. Switch to a different type of spray sunscreen, such as the one above from BeautyCounter, which is a non-aerosol mineral mist, to help prevent a lot of those potential health risks while still protecting your skin.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve trusted Neutrogena with my life. And apparently, quite literally. I’ve been using Neutrogena for my go-to face sunscreen, because if I’m going to put anything on this stunning face of mine, it should be a dermatologist approved skin care brand, right??? Wrong. Apparently, according to the EWG, Neutrogena is one of the top sunscreen brands to avoid because they use high concentrations of hormone disrupting chemicals. What else in my life has been a lie?? Of course, no one wants to be walking around with a white chalky face like a mime, which can be the case with some mineral sunscreens. So, try this one from Drunk Elephant, which is not only sheer, but also protective and even simultaneously addresses other skincare concerns as well.
I know this isn’t what you guys want to hear, but, at the end of the day, the best way to protect your skin and overall health is to minimize the time spent in the sun. Or, if you must go in the sun, primarily protect yourself with clothing and beach accessories. Then, also follow with a mineral sunscreen, applied every hour or so. I mean, I definitely don’t want to be an old wrinkly hag, and I certainly don’t want skin cancer either. (#Priorities.) So, personally, I’ll just be sticking with my trusty self-tanner. Sure, my hands may be orange, but that sure beats the health risks associated with too much sun exposure, or now even with my sunscreens. Thank you, next.
Images: @tomasalas / Unsplash; Attitude Living; BeautyCounter; Sephora
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It’s no longer 2009, and thank god, because there were a lot of terrible fads back then, namely, over-tanning. Whether it be from a shitty spray tan or spending too much time in the sun, it’s no longer cute for your skin to look orange and/or like a leather hide. Blessings. However, if you’ve been using the same spray can of Coppertone Sport for the past six years, first of all. throw that shit away. Second of all, it’s time to rethink your strategy. You wouldn’t want a skin care product to be one-size-fits-all, so why should you expect that of your sunscreen? Here’s the best sunscreen for you based on your skin tone, summer goals, and general lifestyle choices.
If You’re Dark-Toned: Moroccanoil Sun Lotion
If you think you’re safe from UV rays because you have a darker skin tone, you are not. Just because it may not always be obvious when you burn, you’re still at risk for fun things like skin cancer and wrinkles. The most important thing when shopping for sunscreen with darker skin (you know, besides SPF) is whether it will leave a disgusting white or blue film all over you. This sunscreen by Moroccanoil goes on clear and doesn’t leave any kind of film on your skin, so you’ll just look moisturized and not chalky. Plus, it’s SPF 50 which means it lasts a lot longer than like, the completely useless SPF 4 tanning oil I used to buy as a teenager. I would tell you how many times longer, but that is math I cannot do.
If You’re Pale AF: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Hello, my people. I’m naturally so pale that I am translucent. And if I haven’t been in the sun in a while (which is always), I am guaranteed to burn. I get sunburnt just driving. Like, through my car windows. If you want to make sure those UV rays don’t touch your porcelain skin, get a high SPF (at least 50) and reapply often. That way there is just no chance of it wearing off. Also, wear a hat. And long sleeves. And never go outside.
If You’re Active: Coola Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick
First of all, why? You like, move on purpose? Sounds fake, but k. If you are extremely active and swim or sweat (gross) or like, run around in circles on the beach chasing some sort of ball (again, I ask you, why???), you need a sunscreen with staying power. Anything that says “sport” in the title is probably a safe bet, like Coola’s Sport Stick. The thicker texture of a sunscreen stick helps it stay on better, plus it’s easier to apply on the go. Also, Coola’s entire brand smells incredible (see below).
If You Hate The Smell Of Sunscreen: Coola Classic Sport Organic Suncare
So this is actually my favorite sunscreen, and I recommend buying the entire kit because it all smells to-die-for amazing. These products don’t have the texture of sunscreen at all—they feel just like lotion, but you won’t burn. You can buy each item individually and they have a few different scents, none of which will make you smell like a baby prostitute. Or like a sunburnt frat-boy surfer like the shit from the drugstore, which is equally important.
If You Always Wear Makeup: Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist
Did you guys know the SPF actually has nothing to do with strength, but with how long the sunscreen lasts? #science. So, if you need to reapply your sunscreen because you’re outside for an extended period of time, there is no larger guarantee that you will not fucking do this than wearing a full face of makeup. Makeup is expensive. It takes time. There is no way I am taking all of this shit off and reapplying just so I can protect my skin. Especially if you’re like me and don’t wear foundation on the reg, your face skin is exposed and at risk. Enter: Makeup Setting Spray with SPF. I fucking love this product. I used it at an entire day of Disneyland to refresh my SPF and for the first time ever, I did not burn. Also, it smells like rosemary and mint and it’s refreshing. 11/10.
If You Wear CC Cream: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
If you already use a BB or CC cream and you want to speed up your skin prep routine, get one that has sunscreen built in like this SPF 50 CC cream from IT Cosmetics. This has your sunscreen, primer, foundation, and moisturizer all in one. Now you can sleep in an extra, like, what, four minutes? But at least your skin will be protected and you don’t have to buy 50 different products to keep your face in line.
Images: Erii Gutierrez / Unsplash
In LA, it’s basically already summer. For the rest of you sad people who live in places with “weather,” summer is coming soon and the most important part of having sunshine back is protecting your skin. Do you want to look wrinkled and haggard and like you’re 60 at age 32? I grew up on the beach, people, and let me tell you: the sun DOES NOT age you well. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to die of skin cancer from the many years I tanned my naturally ghost-pale skin without sunscreen. Sigh. Lucky for you, you don’t have to end up like me. I researched and ranked the best sunscreen for every skin type so you can all die pretty.
For Oily Skin: Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector
Is there anything worse than when your skin is already oily af by itself than adding greasy sunscreen to it? Fuck no. Thankfully we live in the age of ~science~ and you can now buy grease-free and oil-free sunscreen, like this awesome one from Clinique. It also works well under makeup and is SPF 40, so you don’t need to worry about your look melting halfway through the day.
For Acne-Prone Skin: Shiseido Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion
Ah, acne. I remember seeing my dermatologist at 19 and being all, “when will I grow out of this shit?” And he laughed and said I was old, it was too late, and I will have adult acne forever. Good times. Fortunately, Shiseido makes an entire line of skincare products for the acne-challenged, including sunscreen that isn’t greasy and won’t make you break out. This one is SPF 50 and water/sweat resistant, so you can workout in it and not worry about it wrecking your fragile skin.
For Dry Skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer
If your skin is really dry, you’ll want something both protective and moisturizing. You’re already at greater risk of wrinkles with dry skin, so SPF is super important. This one by First Aid Beauty is a thick moisturizer that will hydrate your dehydrated skin as a two-in-one. Since it’s non-comedogenic, you don’t have to worry about clogged pores and ending up with our acne-ridden friends above.
For Sensitive Skin: Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
Sensitive skin requires extra care, so you need something with mild ingredients that won’t cause a breakout or rash. Supergoop’s products are highly rated for sensitivity, and this particular sunscreen is really light, but still effective. It also is oil-free and won’t dry out your skin.
Image: Marvin Meyer / Unsplash
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