It is extremely important that you know a few key things when it comes to purchasing sunscreen for your face and body. Let’s go through Ash’s top suggestions for what to look for when deciding on an SPF for you!
- SPF 30-50: SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and while the process of measuring SPF is a little tricky, what you really need to focus on is getting a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50. SPF between 30 and 50 blocks 97% of harmful UV rays, plus anything over an SPF of 50 is considered a chemical sunscreen, which I’ll explain shortly.
- Broad spectrum: This means that your sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays age the skin and body, while UVB rays burn the superficial layers of the skin. It is so important to get sunscreen that is broad spectrum (it will most likely say it on the bottle) as you need to be protected not only from rays that can burn you, but also rays that can age you!
- Active ingredients: This one is the most important. Check the “active ingredients” label on the back of your sunscreen and it should only read TITANIUM DIOXIDE or ZINC OXIDE. These are mineral or physical sunscreen ingredients. ANY other ingredient you may see that claims to be a sunscreen ingredient is a chemical sunscreen, and chemical sunscreens are bad for your body, and the environment.
Let’s expand a little more on mineral and chemical sunscreen, because I really want to explain this to you! What mineral sunscreen does is create a physical barrier on the skin which deflects the rays and heat from penetrating into the skin, whereas chemical sunscreen ingredients ABSORB the heat and rays into the skin and can really cause issues. This can irritate the skin, allow the chemical ingredients to seep into your bloodstream, and can flare up skin conditions such as eczema or melasma. Chemical sunscreens are also not reef safe (mineral sunscreen is!), and they can also turn hair extensions into another color because they damage and ruin extension hair!
So to recap, when picking a sunscreen product, opt for an SPF of 30-50, broad spectrum coverage, and a product that has ONLY mineral sunscreen ingredients as the active ingredients listed!