Tuesday, July 16

13 Things to Know About Summer SPF Creams

Summer is supposed to be a season of fun, sand, and plenty of outdoor fun. However, it also brings the risk of sunburn and long-term skin issues caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It’s highly mandatory to learn how to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

The first way to start is to learn how to use a high-quality SPF cream. In this article, we will explore all kinds of SPF creams and talk about their benefits and how to choose the right one for your particular skin type and activities. From lightweight formulas for everyday wear all the way to water-resistant options for beach days, we’ve got you covered. Literally!

sunscreen sunlight SPF cream
Photo by wavebreakmedia from Shutterstock

More about SPF

SPF is short for Sun Protection Factor, which is a way to measure how well sunscreens can protect your skin from UVB rays. UVB is the kind of radiation that might cause sunburn, damage the skin, and easily contribute to skin cancer.

The number generally shows how much longer it takes for the skin to burn with the sunscreen applied, as opposed to not using it at all. For instance, SPF 30 shows that it takes 30 times longer for your skin to burn than if you were not wearing any sunscreen.

How important is it?

Using the right SPF is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun can ultimately lead to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and possibly skin cancer. If you know how to incorporate SPF into your daily skincare routine, you can protect yourself from all the harmful, unwanted effects and keep your skin youthful and radiant.

How to decide on the right SPF cream

First, we need to discuss SPF levels. There are three types of levels you should know about:

  • SPF 30: this one is suitable for a wide range of daily activities, and it protects you against 97% of UVB rays;
  • SPF 50: This one packs a tad more protection, blocking around 98% of UVB rays. This one is recommended for prolonged outdoor exposure.
  • SPF 100: This one is considered to be the most efficient yet, blocking 99% of UVB rays. However, it needs to be reapplied as frequently as lower SPFs.

A hero in disguise: broad-spectrum protection

You might want to look for products that are labeled “broad-spectrum,”, which basically means they’re meant to protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays generally penetrate the skin more deeply and also contribute to premature aging and skin cancer.

Water resistance

For beach days, swimming, and any other intense physical activity, you should opt for water-resistant SPF creams. All these formulas are meant to maintain their effectiveness even if you sweat a lot or spend time in the water. However, it’s worth remembering to reapply every 40–80 minutes as recommended on the product.

What are the best SPF creams, depending on skin types?

Now, we made a short introduction to SPF and why it’s so important to have it attached to your hand at all times (not just during summer, but especially then), but I bet you’re wondering which cream is good for your skin type. While SPF is mandatory for anybody out there, regardless of skin type, we still have many options, and we can choose something that will protect our skin from UV rays without disturbing the healthy balance of our particular skin type. Here’s a list of products tailor-made for your skin type:

For oily and acne-prone skin

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60

This is an oil-free sunscreen that’s ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. It packs a quite broad range of protection and has all sorts of ingredients that absorb excess oil, leaving a matte finish.

Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 55

Made to prevent breakouts, this lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen won’t clog your pores. Moreover, it’s also known to have a gentle effect on your skin, especially if you struggle with acne.

For dry skin

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30

This one from CeraVe combines broad-spectrum protection with plenty of hydrating ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which makes the perfect combination for dry-type skin.

EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

This one is rich in hyaluronic acid, boosting moisture retention and providing hydration while also protecting your skin from the sun.

For sensitive skin

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50

This one is formulated with naturally sourced zinc oxide. This sunscreen is quite gentle on sensitive skin and completely free from fragrances and parabens.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ Sensitive

This mineral-based sunscreen is meant for sensitive skin, offering a wide range of protection without any irritating chemicals that might harm your skin’s natural pH.

sunlight SPF cream
Photo by Aleksey Boyko images from Shutterstock

For combination skin

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

This one is one of my favorites: it’s a non-greasy sunscreen that packs broad-spectrum protection and is also rich in antioxidants to support overall skin health.

Supergoop! Unseen sunscreen, SPF 40

Well-known for its eccentric, invisible formula, this high-quality sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, which also includes combination skin. It works very well under makeup, so you don’t have to worry about SPF protection while wearing your favorite blush!

There are also SPF creams for specific needs.

For sports and outdoor activities

Did you know there are specific SPF creams you can rely on when you’re jogging outside or playing golf for many hours in a row? While you can also use any other SPF cream, if you’re looking for something a bit more specific, these are yours to try!

Banana Boat Ultra Sport SPF 50

This amazing sunscreen is meant for active individuals. It’s also a water-resistant cream that lasts for up to 80 minutes and won’t run into your eyes when you sweat.

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

This one provides broad-spectrum protection and is also water-resistant, which makes it ideal for sports and outdoor activities.

For anti-aging

Tell me you weren’t looking for a specific SPF cream that could also act as an efficient anti-aging one! C’mon, if there’s one perk to being alive in this time and age, it’s that the thought of a double-purpose cream is not so dreamy anymore! Why do I insist on this? Because there are options:

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30

This one combines sun protection with anti-aging ingredients such as peptides and niacinamide that efficiently reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 50

This amazing moisturizer with SPF comes with broad-spectrum protection and also has antioxidants that will help you combat environmental damage.

What happens if you don’t use sunscreen?

Well, doctors and specialists have good reasons to insist on using SPF during the heat season, and not only that. As it turns out, repeated sun exposure might lead to premature aging.

To be more specific, if you’re not proactive and refuse to protect yourself while being outside, you might develop lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and spots that might make you appear older than your actual age. This is specifically true for areas like your face and chest that are exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

Naturally, another impending consequence of prolonged sun exposure is getting sunburn. In fact, did you know it only takes 20 to 30 minutes for the sun to actually burn your skin? Like regular burns, sunburns could range in severity. An extremely severe sunburn can lead to blisters, which could further lead to long-term health risks.

If you found this article useful, we also recommend checking out: 14 Weird Things That Show Up on Your Skin After 50

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