It might have taken what seems like years, but the sun has finally arrived(!!), which means it’s time for picnics in the park, drinks in the beer garden and an actual *social life* – Is this a dream?
What it also means is that we should be taking extra care of our skin. In true teenager-in-the-2000s style, I remember the days where my ‘sun care’ consisted of repeatedly saying ‘my foundation has SPF 10 in it’, and occasionally coating myself in factor two tanning oil (honestly, shudder).
Now though, SPF is the cornerstone of any good skincare routine, and any dermatologist will tell you that we should be wearing it every day. Wearing SPF prevents burning and sun damage, and it’s also generally considered to be the best defense against premature signs of ageing (we’re talking wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and age spots.)
So, which type of SPF should you choose? After a year of perfecting our skincare routines to a T – it makes sense to tailor our sunscreen to best fit our skin-type too. We’ve rounded up some tips for what to look for in a sunscreen to suit your skin type best. Here’s what you need to know.
By Beth Ryan
1 Sensitive skin
There are generally two types of sunscreen: physical (or mineral), and chemical. Chemical sunscreens can contain ingredients that can be irritating, so if you’re opting for one of these, make sure to always check the ingredients list for any which you know irritate your skin, and avoid them. It’s also a good idea to avoid any unnecessary components, such as fragrances or heavy oils. Some sunscreen products also contain alcohol, which can be drying and irritating, so it’s useful to avoid these too. For very sensitive skin, a mineral sunscreen might be your best option. Plus, they’re better for the environment, so it’s a win-win.
2 Oily skin
If your skin is oily, traditional sunscreens can sometimes feel thick or greasy, and can even cause breakouts and clog pores. Opting for an oil-free formula is a great option, and there are a tonne of options available for sunscreen gels, powders, and sprays which can be less heavy than traditional cream products. You can also forego your usual moisturizer, and instead opt for an SPF with moisturising properties instead, if you’re concerned about the number of products you’re applying. Just make sure that the protection is still there, and that you’re still re-applying it throughout the day.
3 Dry skin
For dry skin, make sure to avoid any sunscreens which contain alcohol, as this can dry skin out further- ditto with fragrances. Opting for a lightweight moisturiser that contains SPF is a good idea here too- especially if it contains hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
4 Dark and black skin
The higher levels of melanin in darker and black skin types mean that they may be less susceptible to sun damage, but it’s a common misconception that sunscreen isn’t needed. SPF should be worn every day regardless of skin type, and experts recommend at least factor 30. Some creams and lotions can leave a white or ashy cast on darker skin tones, but there are a tonne of options that blend seamlessly- look for gel or ‘invisible’ products, or products particularly formulated for darker skin tones, as these will avoid leaving any chalky residue.
5 Fair skin
If your skin is fair, it’ll take barely any time of full sun exposure for damage to be caused (as little as 5-10 mins). Given this, it’s super important to opt for a product with a high protection factor to avoid burning and long-term damage. Factor 30 should be the minimum SPF you opt for, but the higher the better, really. It should also be reapplied often throughout the day, especially if you’re in direct sunlight. Other than that, the product you opt for really depends on your personal preference for texture and formula.
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