Whether you’re outdoors for recreational or work purposes, repeated exposure to the sun will have its natural consequences for your skin.
Irrespective of the circumstances for sun exposure, selecting a sunscreen product that offers some degree of protection from the sun’s UV rays can be one way to protect your skin from these ageing affects.
What is SPF?
The SPF number on the product’s label refers to the strength of protection, and the length of time a sun-screening product will allow your skin to be in the sun without burning – relative to the length of time bare skin (or skin without the product applied) would burn or redden.
To sum that up, the SPF number tells people how much longer they can last out in the sun with protection for their skin, without being burned. The higher the SPF number, the longer the period of protection against the sun.
For example, let’s say ‘Joe’, a young student, would normally burn after 12 minutes of being out in the sun. He applies a sunscreen, also referred to as a sun block, with an SPF of 15. This means that he should be fine for 15 times his average amount of protection time. In other words, ‘Joe’ would be protected for up to 3 hours. Here’s the formula for calculating:
12 minutes x 15 SPF = 180 minutes (3 hours).
(Now if ‘Joe’ applied a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, he’d be protected for up to 6 hours. E.g. 12 minutes x 30 SPF = 360 minutes (6 hours)).
Suncreen Application And Selection
Here are some tips to help you choose the best sunscreen product.
- Before buying a sunscreen product, read the label and be sure that it will filter and absorb both UVA and UVB.
- Check also the products level of protection. SPF 15, or 30, depending on how long you usually stay out in the sun.
- Keep in mind that inexpensive brands are just as effective as the expensive brands.
- Check the expiration date. An expired product will lose its potency thereby will not perform its role. This could lead to serious sun burn.
- Choose a product too, that is labeled board spectrum, to give your skin complete protection from UVB, UVA and UVC.
- Remember that lighter skin will burn more quickly than darker skin. Therefore light skinned individuals needs higher SPF.
- The product should comply and abide with the standard AS/NZS2604 to support their claims and declaration for SPF, water resistance and board spectrum. This should be in their label.
- Check the products formulation. It must be non allergenic so it is safe to use on sensitive skin and on the face as well as nonacnegenic so as not to clog the pores.
- Insist on a product that is PABA free, containing no irritating chemicals and is safe to use on the face.
- A water proof sunscreen is best.
- Read the label and make sure that aside from sun protection, it also contains essential skin moisturizers to nourish your skin at the same time.
- Before applying a sunscreen, the skin should be clean and dry so that it can be well absorbed.
- Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen all over the body and pay special attention to the face, nose, ears, cheeks, and scalp as these are areas that are prone to sun burn.
- Reapply often, when perspiring heavily or after swimming. It is best to apply it fifteen minutes before you go out in the sun.
- Even on cloudy days, there is still a need for sunscreen application.
- Even with a sunscreen, avoid the sun during the hottest hours of the day starting at ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.
- Reflectors like zinc cream that reflects UV rays off the skin, should only be applied on small areas of the skin as they tend to limit perspiration.
Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin
It’s a good idea to invest in a good daily sunscreen that does not cause blemishes and acne. Here are the best sunscreens for oily and acne-prone skin.
1. Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-free UV Protector SPF 42
This light sunscreen from Shiseido is oil-free, contains natural amino acids that ensure beautiful skin and feels very light, making it a great base for your make-up.
In addition to protecting against UV rays, the cream also protects the skin from dryness and air pollution. And best of all? You get no pimples!
2. Biotherm Dry Touch Matte Effect Face Cream SPF30
We all know that nasty feeling: a shiny and oily skin after applying sunscreen. This sunscreen from Biotherm has a light, oil-free texture that provides a nice matte finish.
Blended with Life planktonTM to hydrate skin for twelve hours. Leaves your skin soothed & comfortable.
3. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Light Fluid Face Sunscreen SPF 60
This multi-award winning facial sunscreen provides advanced protection in a lightweight, matte finish fluid. It helps visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage and is formulated with Cell-Ox Shield® technology: broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants.
It feels wonderful and matte on the skin, not heavy or greasy, and doesn’t cause any breakouts.
4. Clinique Super City Block, Oil-Free Daily Skin Protector and Moisturizer SPF 40
This Clinique sunscreen is perfect to add to your daily skincare routine. Not only does it provide oil-free and transparent protection, the cream also absorbs excess sebum.
Protects against sun and environmental damage with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun block and antioxidants. For all skins, even the most sensitive. Wear alone or as an invisible makeup primer.
5. EUCERIN Sun Dry Touch Oil Control Face SPF50+
The Sun Oil Control Gel from Eucerin is specially designed for oily and acne-prone skin. The Oil Control technology ensures that it meets your needs and ensures a matte finish – even when you smear for the umpteenth time.
The sunscreen also supports skin’s own DNA repair mechanism. The Advanced Spectral Technology combines broadband and photostable UVA and UVB filters1 for very high UV protection with Licochalcone A to neutralize free radicals caused by UV and HEVIS light.
6. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin SPF 55
This best-selling, oil-free sunscreen for acne-prone skin is specially formulated with Helioplex® Technology. It provides superior broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, without causing breakouts.
Perfect for the face and body, this liquid sunscreen lotion has a water-light texture that leaves a weightless, matte finish so skin can breathe.