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Do You Need Sunscreen Everyday?

September 23, 2020 | By Kelly

We all know that sunblock is an important part of skincare, preventing damage from UV rays. But, sunscreen can feel greasy and clogs pores. So, can you skip sunscreen on days without sun or when you don't plan to leave the house? Short answer, yes, you need sunscreen everyday. First, and foremost, daily use enforces the habit. Second, even on overcast days, UV light penetrates and causes damage.

Benefits Of Sunscreen

Obviously, sunscreen is a crucial tool in the fight against skin cancer. But, daily SPF has a slew of other benefits for your skin:

Prevents Cellular Damage

The core benefit of sunscreen is that it prevents UV light from penetrating into skin cells, this is what prevents cancer. A secondary benefit of preventing this cellular damage is that cellular damage is a cause of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen prevents new damage.

Prevents Dry Skin

Extended exposure to the sun without sunscreen dries out the skin. Dry skin is a major cause of the appearance of aging in our skin. Sunscreen helps prevent the drying effects of the sun.

What Sunscreen Should I Use

There are a lot of options for sunscreens: standalone, moisturizers with sunscreen, mineral based, chemical sunscreen, low SPF, high SPF. Which one is right for you?

Mineral vs Chemical

Sunscreens active ingredients come in two flavors: mineral and chemical. Don't let the names fool you, though, both are made in a lab. While they have the same outcome, they go about it in different ways.

Mineral Sunscreens

Sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide fall into this category. They protect by creating a physical layer between your skin and the UX rays. Mineral sunscreens are a bit thicker but can rub or wash off more easily. However, since they don't get absorbed by the skin, they tend to cause less irritation.

Chemical Sunscreens

Avobenzone and octocrylene are examples of active ingredients in chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are much thinner and blend in more easily than mineral sunscreens. However, they are more likely to cause irritation, especially for sensitive skin.

Stand-alone vs SPF Moisturizers

As dermatologists have increased the calls for daily sunscreen, skincare brands have started offering moisturizers with SPF. Obviously, this kills two birds with one stone, but do they work? Like with most things, it depends. Higher quality products, from trusted brands provide protection while also moisturizing well. Lower quality products, not so much. To keep in mind, though, is that dermatologists recommend a minimum of 30 SPF for a daily usage sunscreen. Many moisturizer sunscreen hybrids top out at 15 SPF.

Skin Type

Your skin type plays an important role in deciding what sunscreen is best for you. If you have acne-prone skin, typically mineral sunscreens should be the last step in your skin care routine. If you have oily skin, there are a variety of mineral and chemical sunscreens that are oil free. Those with dry skin may benefit the most from hybrid moisturizer/sunscreen products. Sensitive skin, like acne-prone skin, should opt for mineral sunscreens, but also watch out for fragrances and other additives.

So, with that, what are the best sunscreens?

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios

La Roche-Posay Anthelios

La Roche-Posay's Anthelios line has excellent options for every skin type. Their products are high SPF, go on light, dry quickly, and dry matte. Their products are also an exception to the rules on when to use mineral sunscreens. Most of the Anthelios sunscreens use avobenzone, but they are very suitable for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin.

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2. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen

On the lower end of the price spectrum, Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen is an excellent choice, especially for those with sensitive skin. This sunscreen is oil-free, mineral based, and high SPF. It goes on easily and doesn't feel heavy.

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3. Missha All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

Missha All-Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel

This a great choice for those with dry skin, as it is very moisturizing, while also being very light. One note, though, this is a kbeauty product, so ships from South Korea and will take time before it arrives.

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